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Like father like son: Who are the best ‘father-son duos’ in NBA history?

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nba father-son duos

Some of the greatest NBA players of all time have been taught the game their entire lives by the best coaches possible, actual NBA players. And these former players just so happen to be their father.

As of the start of the 2023-24 NBA season, there have been over 90 father-son duos in the history of the league. You’ve probably heard of some, others will leave you shocked, while there’s a special tier of father-son duos considered the greatest of all time.

At this point, no father and son have played in the NBA at the same time – although LeBron James is trying his best to fix that – this list clearly shows basketball talent can be passed from one generation to the next.

But with so many father-son duos sprinkled throughout the 77-season history of the NBA, let’s breakdown at the best we’ve ever seen.

Top five best NBA father-son duos of all-time: Ranked 5-1

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5. Tim Hardaway – Tim Hardaway Jr

Tipping off our top five father-son duos is Tim Hardaway and his son Tim Hardaway Jr, who currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks.

Tim Hardaway senior, is a Hall of Fame player who averaged over 17 points a game across his career including a career-high 23-point average with the Warriors in just his third season.

His son has proven himself a reliable shooter who’s constantly in the frame for Sixth-man of the Year honours. For the past few seasons, Tim Hardaway Jr. has averaged around 15 points a game.

4. Rick Barry – Jon, Brent & Drew

There aren’t many who’ve played in both the NBA and ABA. Rick Barry was. His career saw him heavily involved in a period of significant change in American basketball.

Rick also created three father-son duos, with three of his sons making it through to the NBA, with Brent the most recognised, playing 14 seasons and winning two championships with the San Antonio Spurs.

However, Rick is one of the greatest players of all time, a champion, chosen into the NBA 75th anniversary team, and a Hall of Fame inductee.

3. Joe Bryant – Kobe Bryant

Joe Bryant may be more of an unknown former NBA player, but his son Kobe changed the game forever and is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time.

Joe played eight seasons in the NBA, a majority with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he didn’t quite get the playing minutes he would’ve wanted, before moving to the Western Conference to join the Clippers and Rockets where he averaged over nine points a game each of his four seasons.

It’s well documented the success of his son, Kobe, who led the Lakers to five championships, won an MVP, and is arguably a top 10 player all-time — along with now being considered a part of the best NBA father-son duos.

NBA father-son duos
Kobe Bryant, affectionately known as the ‘Black Mamba’, is one of the greatest LA Lakers of all time

2. Mychal Thompson – Klay & Mychel Thompson

You can’t leave the other Splash Brother off this list, especially considering how strong of a player his father was in the league, playing 13 seasons for three franchises and winning two championships.

Mychel Thompson, Mychal’s son, only managed to play five games in his career for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, it’s fair to say Klay has been the better of Mychal Thompson’s sons, playing 11 seasons (not including an injured season).

Klay Thompson has won four titles, bringing the family tally to six, along with being a five-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA and an All-NBA defensive team selection in 2018-19.

1. Dell Curry – Stephen & Seth Curry

Coming in at number one on our list of the best father-son duos of all time in the NBA is none other than Dell Curry and his sons Steph and Seth.

Dell played 16 seasons in the NBA, a majority of them with Charlotte, averaging 11.7 points a game on 46% shooting from the field and 40% from deep — we can see where his sons got their shooting from.

Obviously many know who the story has gone for one of his sons, Steph, winning four championships, two MVPs, a Finals MVP, a member of the NBA’s 75th anniversary team and is considered the greatest shooter of all time. Seth Curry has also played important roles on some quality teams, having played for nine different teams.

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