|JOHN IRELAND - Play-by-Play Announcer
Ireland, the team’s sideline reporter on KCAL 9 since the 2002-03 season, will call each and every Lakers game on 710 AM ESPN Radio alongside former Laker and two-time NBA Champion Mychal Thompson, who will be entering his ninth season as the Lakers radio color commentator.
Another winner of four local Emmy Awards for best sports reporting, Ireland currently co-hosts the Mason and Ireland Show on 710 AM ESPN Radio while also serving as a regular sports anchor and reporter for the KCBS/KCAL sports team. A UCLA graduate, Ireland’s career path took him to stations in Monroe (LA), Beaumont (TX) and San Diego (CA) before ultimately finding a home at KCAL 9 in 1995. In 1997, Ireland added the Los Angeles Clippers radio play-by-play announcer responsibilities to his resume, working five seasons in all for the team on a fill-in basis before joining the Lakers beat as sideline reporter in 2002. A two-time recipient of the Southern California Sports Broadcasters (SCSB) Irv Kaze Radio Talk Show Host Award, Ireland has also previously filled in on radio play-by-play duties for both UCLA and Lakers basketball games.
MYCHAL THOMPSON - Radio Color Commentator
A member of the Lakers championship teams in 1987 and 1988, Mychal Thompson enters his fifth season as the team’s radio color commentator. Formerly the Timberwolves television color analyst for two seasons, Thompson teams with play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes for all Lakers radio broadcasts.
Thompson, a standout at the University of Minnesota, averaged 20.8 ppg throughout his four-year collegiate career and was named All-America following both the 1976-77 and 1977-78 campaigns. The leading scorer in Golden Gopher history with 1,992 points, Thompson was the first overall selection in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Portland Trailblazers. In 12 seasons and 935 regular season games with the Trailblazers, Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, Thompson averaged 13.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
Prior to joining the Lakers broadcast team, Thompson co-hosted a radio show in Portland, Ore. and also worked with the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies, Seattle Supersonics and Trailblazers as a television broadcast color analyst. Thompson also serves as Sports Ambassador for his native Bahamas.
He and his wife, Julie, reside in Rancho Santa Margarita with their three sons.