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5 best father-son duos in league history, ranked

In the world of sports, be it the NBA, NFL or MLB, having a popular athlete as a father is a surefire way to achieve a certain level of success. After all, nothing beats teaching your own parent. This is doubly true if your father is one of the best athletes of his generation or of all time. There have been many such father-son duos in the history of American sports.

However, only a select few have achieved great success in their sports. Often it is the son who takes his father’s teaching and runs a mile with him. Let’s take a look at some of the best and most successful father-son duos in US sports history.

The 5 Best Father-Son Duos in NBA History, Ranked

honorable mentions

Before we start this list, let’s list a few father-son duos that almost made the list, or some interesting facts related to them.

  • Gary Trent Sr and Gary Trent Jr.
    • Both father and son were traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Toronto Raptors in 41 NBA games in what was one of the strangest coincidences in history.
  • Melvin and Devin Booker
  • Larry Nance and Larry Nance Jr. both played for the Cleveland Cavaliers at some point.
  • Joe and Kobe Bryant
  • Mitchell and Andrew Wiggins, the last father-son duo to win an NBA title
  • Doc and Austin Rivers, the first father-son duo to serve as coach and player on the team.

5. The Hardaways (Tim and Tim Jr.)

Arguably the most exciting father-son duo in the NBA, the Hardaways are the first entry on this list. However, for the most part, their place on this list belongs to the older Tim Hardaway.

Hardaway Sr. was part of the legendary Run TMC Warriors alongside Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond. The trio was one of the most spectacular ensembles in the league. In the slower-paced NBA era, Hardaway Sr. led a thrilling, fast-breaking offensive line.

The younger Hardaway, on the other hand, has been on the rise lately. After several seasons of languishing with the New York Knicks, Tim Jr. was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. There, he turned into an underrated goal threat that helped complete rising star Luka Doncic’s game. His absence due to injury was greatly missed by the Mavs during their run to the Western Conference Finals last season.

4. Saboni (Arvydas and Domantas)

The path of Arvydas Sabonis in the NBA is full of surprises and injuries. The Lithuanian big man was one of the most dominant forces in the league when he was healthy. His combination of size, craftsmanship, touch and courtly vision was simply unsurpassed in his era. Unfortunately, injuries and old age slowed him down considerably.

At least his son pretty much continues his legacy. After several poor seasons in the league, Domantas Sabonis had his NBA breakthrough in Indiana. The center, who plays almost like his father with his finesse and touch, has turned into an All-Star by the age of 4. It is very possible that by the end of all this, Domantas will surpass the legacy of his father.

3. The Paytons (Gary Payton and Gary Payton II)

Gary Payton II, Gary Payton, Warriors

The saying “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is perfect for the father-son duo Gary Payton and Gary Payton II in the letter “T”. he had protection from his son.

The story of the older Payton has been told many times, but it is worth mentioning every time. Gary Payton Sr is considered to be one of the best, if not the best defensive linebackers in the NBA. He earned the nickname “The Glove” because he seemed to pick up every pass that came his way. Of course, his legendary thrash talk game was just as good as his blocking defense.

On the other hand, Gary Payton II’s path to prominence in the NBA is very different from his father’s. While the senior Payton was second overall, Payton II was undrafted and had no team for most of his NBA career. However, in 2021, Payton II has become one of the fiercest defensemen in the NBA, adopting his father’s defensive tenacity. He helped lead the Warriors to the 2022 championship, becoming the fifth father-son duo to win an NBA title. (via Gary Payton on Twitter)

2. Thompsons (Michal and Clay)

The best and most recognizable trait of Klay Thompson in the NBA is his ability to flare up at any moment. Blink and the Warriors star can give you 15 points in less than 2 minutes. However, this sizzling scoring is rooted in Thompson’s bloodline.

Michael Thompson was one of the most underrated scorers of his generation. Former Blazers lottery pick Thompson Sr. lit up in the league in his second year, scoring over 20 points per game. As he got older, Thompson played a backup role, eventually winning two rings with the Lakers.

Clay, on the other hand, has been slower to climb to the top of the league. Along with Warriors teammate Stephen Curry (more on him later), Thompson formed arguably the best shooting duo in the NBA. His incredible performance on the outside has made him a vital cog in the Warriors’ four rings.

1. Curry (Dell, Steven, Seth)

Warriors, Dell Curry, Stephen Curry, Seth Curry

Have you ever doubted which father-son duo would be the best in NBA history?

Dell Curry was one of the most underrated snipers of the 90s. The then-Charlotte Hornets guard rocked the outside during his NBA playing days, serving as the sixth man on many of those previous teams. At one point, he even held most of the Hornets’ major franchise records!

Of course, Dell had two sons who went on to play in the NBA. There was a time when the only notable thing about Seth Curry was his bond with his brother (more on him in a minute). However, over the years, Seth has become one of the best shooters in the league, to the point where he even surpassed his brother in 3-point percentage.

However, you may have heard a lot more about the “other” Curry brother than about Seth. The oldest of the Curry brothers is one of the most powerful players in the NBA today. Stephen Curry’s shooting from anywhere on the court revolutionized the game in many ways. His four rings and countless NBA 3-point records are testament to how much he dominated his career.

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