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YouTube Gold: A Great Example Of David Thompson’s Phenomenal Leaping Ability

There’s a lot after this first shot, but look at where his hand is: surreal.

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers, 3-15-77
DENVER, CO – MARCH 15: Denver Nuggets forward David Thompson #33 releases a jump shot over the outstretched hand of Los Angeles Lakers forward Don Ford #42 during an NBA basketball game at McNichols Arena on March 15, 1977 in Denver, Colorado. Ford was a sixth-round draft choice of the Lakers in 1975 and finished his eight-year NBA career with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Following two years with the Cavs he joined the Auxilium Torino team in Italy, playing for a year.
Photo by Mark Junge/Getty Images

David Thompson left NC State in 1975 after a sensational career and is still widely considered the best player in ACC history. Among the people who consider him so is Michael Jordan, who did pretty well himself, starting a decade or so later.

We’ve linked to Thompson videos before and the specific reason that we linked to this one is because of one of the first shots: you can see that, in fact, he could get to the top of the backboard.

And he was just 6-4.

Keep in mind that Thompson grew up in Shelby, NC, and arrived in Raleigh in 1972. This was years before the grass roots circuit took hold, years before science transformed nutrition, training and equipment. Basically, he was a kid who grew up off the beaten path with so much talent that he was going to be noticed. Look at that first leap here and consider what Bill Walton said about DT, that he was “Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and LeBron James rolled into one”.

He was simply incredible.