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Klay Thompson Fondly Recalls the Time He Beaned Kevin Love in Little League

In Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: a baseball rivalry between two NBA greats, Charlie Morton’s gutsy Game 1 and more.

That’s one stacked Little League game

Long before he became one of the deadliest long-range shooters in NBA history, Klay Thompson struggled with his accuracy on the baseball diamond.

Earlier this month, Thompson had a chance to visit his former elementary school when the Warriors were in Portland for their preseason opener. He found his old class picture in the hallway, shot some jumpers in the gym and went to check out the baseball field where he used to play Little League games. And Thompson wasn’t the only future NBA star to play baseball there.

“I faced Kevin Love here,” Thompson recalled. “I was pitching, he was batting. I beaned him. Right in the back.

“Knew he was going to be a Cav.”

Klay wasn’t kidding, either. Love confirmed on Instagram that he took a fastball right to the shoulder in one of their heated games between Lakeside Lumber and Superior Fence.

Screenshot from Kevin Love's Instagram story

But, despite the beanball, Love and Thompson’s Little League rivalry wasn’t nearly as contentious as it was during the 2015-2018 NBA Finals. The two were very good friends growing up in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

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“Kevin would come over to the house almost every weekend. We were very close to the Loves,” Klay’s father, Mychal Thompson, told the Portland Tribune in 2014.

They weren’t always on different baseball teams, though.

The Warriors–Cavaliers rivalry in the second half of the last decade was one of the greatest in NBA history. It sounds like it had its roots on a baseball field in Oregon. 

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Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.