Dubs’ Klay Thompson Explains Why He Beaned Kevin Love in Little League

Klay Thompson Kevin Love

Getty Klay Thompson defends Kevin Love during the 2017 NBA Finals.

The rivalry between Klay Thompson and Kevin Love apparently goes back a lot further than the four years that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers met in the NBA Finals.

The Warriors star this week shared a hilarious story about an encounter the two had back in Little League, when Thompson was on the mound and beaned his future NBA counterpart. Thompson recounted the incident during a trip back to the Portland area, where he and Love both grew up during the early 2000s.

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Throwing Some Heat

Thompson did a bit of sightseeing when the Warriors traveled to Portland for a preseason tilt against the Trail Blazers. Thompson, a product of Santa Margarita Catholic High School and Washington State, toured some of his old haunts and visited his grade school. During the trip, he also told the story about the time he was on the mound in high school and Love was at bat.

“I beaned him. Right in the back,” Love explained, via Warriors on NBCSports. “Knew he was going to be a Cav.”

Love later took to social media to verify Thompson’s story, saying he remembered getting hit with a fastball in his left shoulder.

Thompson and Love weren’t always rivals. As NBC Sports Bay Area pointed out, the two actually played on the same Little League team in 2001.

Thompson seemed to revel in the rivalry that grew between the Warriors and Cavaliers through four straight NBA Finals appearances between the two, with the Warriors winning three of them. Back in 2016, LeBron James had a Halloween party featuring tombstones with the names of Thompson and fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry, a slight that Thompson didn’t seem to forget about later on.

When Anthony Slater of The Athletic reminded Thompson of the incident during a 2018 interview, the Warriors star seemed to enjoy twisting the knife a bit while calling out James’s “pettiness.”

“Oh, yeah. Ha!” Thompson replied. “That was funny. Look how that turned out. Psssh. Bums. That was crazy. I forgot about that. Well, look at what pettiness gets you. Gets you 1-8 in the Finals. Idiots.”

Thompson Fired up to Return

It’s not just on the mound that Thompson has shown some fire. As he prepares to return to the Warriors after two straight seasons lost to major injuries, the All-Star guard has gotten fired up and promised his fans that he’ll be back better than ever.

“I’m balling out this season,” he told followers during an Instagram Live session back in September. “By the grace of God I will be balling. Injuries are no fun, but it’s a part of sports. What can you do? … All you can do is keep moving for real. … I’m going to bounce back, that’s a fact. I guarantee that.”

It will be a bit longer before Thompson can return to the court. He continues to rehab the Achilles tear he suffered close to a year ago, with insiders predicting that he will be take the court again sometime around the team’s Christmas Day game against the Phoenix Suns.

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