10 Father-Son Duos That Played in the NBA

With LeBron James and his son Bronny James poised to make NBA history next season, fans may be thinking about the various NBA stars who had children who also played in the league and found quite a bit of success. Because basketball is a sport where size plays an integral role in deciding a player’s ceiling or potential, genetics is a big factor.

Having a parent who played in the NBA offers a young child some advantages. However, the success that the star finds will be based on his own achievements and nothing more. That being said, let’s take a closer look and find out more about the outstanding father-son duos in the NBA.

Steph Curry and Dell Curry

Considering that Steph Curry is recognized by many as one of the best players of the last generation, he deserves to be mentioned first on this list. Most fans will already know that Steph comes from a family of basketball players, as his father Dell Curry played for 15 seasons in the NBA.

To make things more interesting, Steph’s younger brother Seth and brother-in-law Damion Lee have also played on many NBA teams. Therefore, one could consider the impact that Dell’s NBA career had on his entire family.

Kobe Bryant and Joe Bryant

Although LeBron James and Michael Jordan tend to dominate the GOAT discussion, several fans also have Kobe Bryant high on the list. After all, the Black Mamba is a 5x NBA champion and was known for his mental toughness, skill and work ethic.

Fans who know about Kobe’s background will be aware that his father, Joe Bryant, played in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. Although he never saw as much success compared to his son, it cannot be denied that Joe Bryant encouraged Kobe to make it to the NBA.

Jalen Brunson and Rick Brunson

Jalen Brunson is a young NBA star who has ignited the New York Knicks fan base once again. After joining the team, he turned them into postseason contenders. Most NBA experts will agree that Jalen Brunson is one of the top 15 players currently in the league.

Veteran fans may be aware that Rick Brunson is Jalen’s father and also spent some time in the league as a player. Rick was in the NBA from 1997-2006 and played for several teams such as the Knicks, Blazers, and Bulls.

Klay Thompson and Mychal Thompson

Klay Thompson has been a major talking point this offseason. He recently signed a 3-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks and will no longer be a part of the Golden State Warriors. Although Klay did not leave the Warriors in the best of conditions, many will remember his invaluable contributions to the success the team has seen over the past decade.

Klay’s father Mychal Thompson was also an NBA star who spent the majority of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers. Before learning that Klay was joining the Mavericks, many fans wondered if he would join the Lakers and play for the same team his father was on.

Gary Payton II and Gary Payton

Veteran NBA fans will remember Gary Payton. He was one of the top players in the league a few decades ago and spent the majority of his career with the Seattle Supersonics. Golden State Warriors fans will know that Gary Payton II is the former player’s son.

Although Gary Payton has yet to prove himself as a certified star in the league, there is no denying the talent or impact he showed during his time with the Warriors.

Domontas Sabonis and Arvydas Sabonis

Sacramento Kings star Domontas Sabonis has established himself as one of the top centers in the league. While the Kings didn’t see much playoff success, Domontas made a name for himself well beyond his father’s legacy.

To those who don’t know, Arvydas Sabonis played with the Portland Trail Blazers for a short period of his career, Arvydas proved to be quite an impressive player, averaging 12 points and 7.3 rebounds. However, his son’s career numbers so far are far above his own.

Andrew Wiggins and Mitchell Wiggins

Although Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins has dealt with struggles, his talent and ability on the basketball court is undeniable. It could be argued that Andrew Wiggins was the second best player on the Warriors’ roster when they won the 2022 NBA championship.

Wiggins’ father spent 6 seasons in the NBA. Veteran fans may remember that Mitchell Wiggins played with the Houston Rockets for 4 seasons in the 1980s. While he was a decent player, Andrew went beyond the shadow his father’s name may have left.

Austin Rivers and Doc Rivers

Of all the duos on this list, Austin Rivers and Doc Rivers’ relationship deserves a closer look. Although Austin retired recently and technically cannot be considered an active player, he spent time in the league being coached by Doc Rivers.

Since Doc Rivers used to be a player himself, that means they are a duo most similar to LeBron James and Bronny James. At least, Bronny won’t have to suffer being coached by LeBron, this is something Austin Rivers had to deal with.

Bol Bol and Manut Bol

As already mentioned, size plays an important role in making it to the NBA. One has to look at former NBA star Manute Bol and his son Bol Bol to better understand this concept. Manute was listed at a shocking 7’7 and is actually one of the tallest players in league history.

Although Bol Bol is significantly shorter at 7’3, he is still much taller compared to most of the stars in the NBA. While their length has prevented them from finding much success due to the physicality of the NBA, they are a father-son duo that is quite well known.

David Stockton and John Stockton

NBA fans who have a good knowledge of the greats in the sport will definitely know about John Stockton. While he was unable to win an NBA championship and had 2 attempts against Michael Jordan, Stockton is considered one of the greatest point guards in the history of the league.

David Stockton played in only 6 NBA games between 2015 and 2018. Considering he was the son of a great point guard, this was definitely a failure in the eyes of most fans. It could be argued that something similar could happen with Bronny James if he is unable to take his game to the next level.

LeBron James and Bronny James deserve special mention

While there are also several other patrophile duos that weren’t mentioned on this list, the most recent inclusion overshadows them for a particular reason. LeBron James and Bronny James will make history as the only father duo to step onto the court as teammates.

A father-son duo has never been seen across the league, even with different teams. Therefore, being the first couple to make history will put them at the top of this list. The main question left in the minds of fans is about what Bronny will be able to do. He did not perform well in college and will face a lot of pressure when he makes his debut for the Lakers.

In any case, one also has to wonder if there is any chance for another NBA star to stay in the league long enough to face his son. Maybe Steph Curry could do that with Cannon Curry. Or Jayson Tatum with his son Deuce. While this scenario certainly won’t happen, it’s something fans can entertain themselves with.

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