I’m not afraid to say it….i’m on the Stephen Curry bandwagon. I can’t wait till he gets to the league to prove all of his detractors wrong at how well he’ll be able to adapt to the NBA game. Personally, i’m on the opposite end of the spectrum with my opinions of Curry. I think he is one of the most ‘NBA-Ready’ players who will be in this years NBA draft. But whenever I think about Curry I can’t help but think about his father and ex-NBA player and sharpshooter Del Curry. Although Del was a solid contributor in the NBA, his son Stephen is likely to eclipse his father’s numbers at a fairly early stage of his career.
So it got me thinking…..who was the best father and son duo the NBA has ever seen? It took a while to decide on the top two or three, but I figured a lot of you out there will have your own opinions on the topic, so here is my list of the Greatest NBA Father and Son Duos of All-time!
1. Rick Barry and Brent Barry
The fact that Rick and Brent are one of only two father and son duos to have ever both won the NBA Championship, it was an easy choice to list them first. Although Luke and Bill Walton almost became father and son combo number 3 to do so last year with the Lakers making it to the NBA Finals, I still would have listed Rick and Brent first skill wise. Rick Barry was one of the leagues best shooters, and frequently led the league in free throw percentage (we will give him a pass on the fact he was one of the only players to shoot free throws “granny style”). Like his father Brent is one of the league’s best outside shooters and has played key roles on every team he’s played for. Brent also won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1996 and he has two NBA titles with the Spurs. Both Rick and Brent are known as “heady” players who think the game at all times.
2. Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Kobe Bryant
Who can argue this pick, when Kobe Bryant is clearly one of this generations best NBA players, and is considered one of the top players of all-time. Pretty much just having a father that played in the league at all, qualifies Kobe to be high up on this list. But with that said, Joe could certainly hold his own. He played 8 seasons in the NBA before heading overseas to play in the Italian league, and as we all know you can’t last a full 8 seasons in the NBA without some serious game. Joe Bryant also is known for having scored 53 points in an italian league game, which is widely considered a huge accomplishment given the style of play. Kobe’s game speaks for itself, no need to recap his accomplishments.
3. Jimmy Walker and Jalen Rose
Jimmy Walker was the first overall pick of the 1967 NBA Draft and had a nine year stint in the league averaging over 16 points per game. Enough said. Jalen Rose was well known before ever entering the NBA due to his presence on the Michigan Fab Five squad that had tons of media attention for their skills on the court and bad boy persona off it. Jalen turned out to be a great NBA player with his best seasons in a Pacers uniform teamed with Reggie Miller from 1996-2002. He averaged over 14 points per game for his career.
4. Bill Walton and Luke Walton
Bill Walton had a very illustrious career winning an NBA title with the Boston Celtics, NBA MVP, NBA Finals MVP, and NBA Sixth Man of the Year awards. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 1993 and is now a well known NBA commentator. “Throw it down Big Man! One Time! Throw it down!” After a great college career Luke was drafted by the LA Lakers and has found a nice home with the team, often being looked to for a spark off the bench and often times starting. Luke is well known for his passing ability, court vision, and knowledge of the game.
5. Henry Bibby and Mike Bibby
Both Henry and Mike Bibby are true point guards. Henry Bibby lead the UCLA Bruins in college to three NCAA Division I titles! Then when drafted to the Knicks in 1972 he didn’t take long to find success when he helped the Knicks win the NBA Championship in 1973. Henry is mostly known however for his time in Philadelphia as a Sixer where he helped them twice get to the NBA Finals, however losing in both 1977 and 1980. Like father like son, Mike Bibby had great success in college leading Arizona to the 1997 NCAA Division I Championship. Mike has had his best seasons with the Sacramento Kings where coupled with Chris Webber they led the Kings to the Western Conference Finals before losing the eventual champion LA Lakers.
6. Rick Barry and Jon Barry
We already mentioned Rick Barry above as the top father and son duo of all time with his son Brent, but you also have to consider him in the duo with his son Jon Barry, another NBA sharpshooter who is now retired and working as an NBA commentator and analyst. Jon was a bit of an NBA journeyman playing with 8 teams over his career, however he had his most successful seasons with the Detroit Pistons in 2001 and 2002 where he was a key player off the bench providing a spark with many long range 3-pointers. He was also a regular rotation player with the Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.
7. Gerald Wilkens and Damien Wilkens
Drafted in 1985 Gerald Wilkens was a key piece to the New York Knicks success in the late 1980’s. He was often second leading scorer on the team behind leader Patrick Ewing. He was always considered a clutch shooter, and like his brother Dominique Wilkens, was a high flier. Gerald competed in both the 1986 and 1987 Slam Dunk Contests. Damien Wilkens over the last few years has shown great promise with the Seattle Supersonics and now the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has shown flashes of brilliance in scoring the ball, but has struggled quite a bit with consistency. People often get confused and assume he is the son of Dominique Wilkens who is actually his uncle.
8. Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Mike Dunleavy Sr. didn’t have a long career in the NBA as he was forced to retire early due to chronic back pain. However he did have a few solid seasons in the league, and in 1980-81 he helped Houston reach the NBA Finals while averaging over 10 points per game. He is also the Coach and GM of the LA Clippers. Mike Dunleavy Jr. was a huge success in college with Duke and won the NCAA Championship in 2000. He was overhyped coming into the NBA, and was considered a disappointment for quite a few years. He has however shown streaks of scoring brilliance and his consistency has been improving over the last couple of seasons with the Indiana Pacers.
9. Ronald Brewer and Ronnie Brewer
Ron Brewer was selected by the Trail Blazers with 7th pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, and was named to the 1978-79 NBA All-Rookie Team, after averaging 13.3 points and 1.3 steals per game. Brewer was drafted directly after Larry Bird and ahead of notable NBA players such as Reggie Theus and Maurice Cheeks. Ron finished his career just shy of a 12 points per game average. Ronnie Brewer is a currently active player with the Utah Jazz. Brewer saw very limited playing time in his 2006-07 rookie season with Utah, appearing in only 56 games. By mid-November 2007, he was averaging double figures in points and was among the NBA leaders in steals. He was later selected to play in the 2008 Rookie-Sophomore Game.
10. Scott May and Sean May
Scott May was a power forward on the 1976 Indiana basketball team that went undefeated and won the NCAA championship under coach Bobby Knight. He won a gold medal as a member of the United States basketball team in the 1976 Summer Olympics. The Chicago Bulls chose Scott May with the second overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft. He played seven seasons, scoring 3,690 points and pulling down 1,450 rebounds. His son Sean May won an NCAA title with the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2005. He was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats the following year, but has been a big NBA disappointment due to the long list of injuries that has plagued him thus far.
Honorable Mentions: George and Coby Karl, Stan and Kevin Love, and Patrick Ewing Sr. and Jr.,