Golden State brothers

Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson grew up playing pickup games against NBA star Klay

Golden State brothers

The NBA playoffs began on Saturday, and the reigning champion Golden State Warriors -- who won a record 73 regular-season games -- seem unstoppable on the road to a second straight title. It may be easy to overlook the fact that Steph Curry isn't the Warriors' only superstar, but he's gotten plenty of help defending the crown from five-year veteran Klay Thompson, who happens to be the older brother of Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson.

In fact, the Thompson family is filled with star athletes. Dad Mychal was the NBA's No. 1 overall draft pick in 1978 and went on to play for 12 seasons, while mom Julie was a volleyball standout at the University of San Francisco. The eldest Thompson son, Mychel, plays for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA's D-League. Since Trayce was traded to his hometown Dodgers after making his MLB debut with the White Sox last August, all three brothers now play within a five-hour drive of one another.

As a kid, Trayce followed in his older brothers' basketball footsteps and also dabbled on the gridiron. But baseball was always his priority.

"I played basketball until I was a junior in high school, and football up until high school," said the now-25-year-old. "But I knew from Tee Ball that I was a baseball player. It was my first love.

"There were definitely times when I really loved football and times when I really loved basketball, but even during those times, I'd always come home and start swinging a bat."

Despite being the youngest, and shortest, Thompson son -- he stands a mere 6 foot 3 -- Trayce didn't shy away from sizing up the competition.

"In our backyard games, we wanted to beat each other," he recalled. "My oldest brother was always a little more developed, so we didn't play 1-on-1 much. We did a lot of 1-on-2: Klay and me against Mychel.

"We had neighbors who had three boys, too, so we used to have 3-on-3 games all the time for Wiffle Ball, basketball and football. Whatever season it was, that's what we were going to play."

Despite being the one with a championship ring, Klay wasn't always on the winning side of those friendly competitions.

"[With my siblings] when it came time for our games, it was all about support," Trayce said. "But Klay and I used to play Wiffle Ball against each other, just pitcher versus batter, all the time. And I always whooped him."

Allison Duffy-Davis is a managing editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.