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Brothers In The NBA

Publish Date: 20.12.2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

In terms of probabilty, the odds for making it to the NBA are low. Like, really low. In fact, you have about a 0.03%, or one in 3,333, chance of making it into an NBA team. Let’s go a step further to really drive that point home: out of 16,000 college basketball players in the US, only about 100 of them will get to play in the NBA. Now think of that statistic and add your sibling(s) into the equation – the numbers skyrocket from there.

Obviously, professional basketball players are built a specific way, so it makes some sense that their siblings, who come from the same gene pool, will possess those same physical gifts. But basketball is about way more than just how tall and strong you are. That said, although the chances are slim, there are brothers who share the physical gifts and the basketball skills to make it into the NBA.

Current brothers in the NBA

As of January of 2021, there were nine sets of brothers playing in the NBA:

  • Antetokounmpo Giannis (Milwaukee Bucks), Kostas (Los Angeles Lakers) and Thanasis (Milwaukee Bucks)
  • Ball LaMelo (Charlotte Hornets) and Lonzo (Chicago Bulls)
  • Curry Seth (Philadelphia 76ers) and Stephen (Golden State Warriors)
  • Hernangomez Juancho (Boston Celtics) and Willy (New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Holiday Aaron (Washington Wizards), Jrue (Milwaukee Bucks), and Justin (Indiana Pacers)
  • Lopez Brook (Milwaukee Bucks) and Robin (Orlando Magic)
  • Martin Caleb (Miami Heat) and Cody (Charlotte Hornets)
  • McDaniels Jalen (Charlotte Hornets) and Jaden (Minnesota Timberwolves)
  • Morris Marcus (Los Angeles Clippers) and Markieff (Miami Heat)

Let’s take a closer look at some of these brothers and track the journey they made together.

1. Stephen & Seth Curry

Curry is a pretty special name in the NBA, as Stephen and Seth’s father, Dell, also enjoyed a 15-year NBA career. The Curry boys grew up around the league, shooting around with their father  in the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors practice gyms.

Stephen Curry has been on the basketball map since his 2008 Cinderella NCAA Tournament run. Steph wasn’t recruited so heavily and ended up at Davidson. The Wildcats made waves in 2008, making it all the way to the Elite Eight, following Curry’s heroics. He was drafted seventh by the Golden State Warriors and the rest is history. He is now known as one of the greatest shooters ever and has won three titles for Golden State.

Seth Curry started his college career at Liberty, before transferring to Duke after a great freshman season. Seth went undrafted after his senior season, but still managed to work his way into the league. He has played for the Grizzlies, Cavaliers, Suns, Kings, Mavericks, Blazers, and 76ers since 2014. He is having his best year ever, with career highs in minutes (33 per game), points (15 per game), and rebounds (3 per game).

2. Giannis, Kostas, & Thanasis Antetokounmpo

March 31, 2021, marked only the second time in NBA history that a brother trio played in the same game together. The Antetokounmpo brothers made it happen when the Milwaukee Bucks faced off against the Los Angeles Lakers. The brothers shared a hug and Giannis remarked that it was the best moment of his career. But how did they get there?

Giannis was a relative mystery when he came into the league. The only footage of him was from Greece and showed him dominating players that seemed half his size. He proved everyone wrong once he entered the league. It only took three years for him to be an All-Star and only five seasons for him to be named MVP. He took the MVP home the following year as well.

Meanwhile, the youngest brother, Kostas, entered the league in 2018, but only played two games that season and five games the next. This year, Kostas has been on the Laker roster from the beginning, but is only averaging around 4 minutes per game. The oldest of the three, Thanasis, entered the league in 2016. After three seasons overseas, Thanasis was signed by the Bucks and has been playing alongside Giannis since 2019. His contribution isn’t huge – he averages around 4 points in 15 MPG – but he raised the NBA title with his brother just last season. So now, all three brothers have won an NBA title during their careers.

3. Lonzo & LaMelo Ball

The Ball brothers gained a reputation when Lonzo chose to enter the NBA Draft in 2017. While most of the press was generated by their controversial father, Lavar, the Ball brothers themselves raised a few eyebrows with their play on the court. Lonzo signed with UCLA as a five-star recruit before leaving for the league after his freshman year. In just his fifth season, Lonzo has already played for three teams.

He was on the wrong side of the LeBron James project with the Lakers. In an attempt to create a Championship team, the Lakers dealt away a lot of their young talent and Lonzo ended up in New Orleans. The Pelicans were a bit of a mess, but Lonzo showed promise. He now plays for the Bulls and the team chemistry is great, largely thanks to Lonzo’s role in the team.

LaMelo Ball’s basketball career started off a little rocky. After a spat with his high school coach, LaMelo left high school to play overseas in Australia. After foregoing his college eligibility, LaMelo entered the NBA Draft and was selected third overall. History was made at the same time, as the Ball brothers became the first to both be selected in the top three of the Draft. LaMelo’s career has shown promise. He took home Rookie of the Year honors in 2020 and is avoiding a sophomore slump so far, averaging 15 points and 6 assists for the dangerous Charlotte Hornets team.

Does Brother-In-Law Count?

The NBA is a pretty tight circle, and that can lead to two NBA names becoming one big happy family. There are two fairly high-profile examples in the league right now.

1. Damion Lee (Golden State Warriors) – Married Steph & Seth Curry’s sister

Yep, that’s right. Steph Curry is teammates with Damion Lee, who married Steph’s sister back in July of 2018. Three months later, the Warriors signed Lee to a contract to suit up with Steph. While Lee is steadfast in his desire to be his own man on the court, it is hard to separate him from one of the league’s greatest players in history.

Lee, however, is balling out right now, averaging 10 points and shooting almost 40% from three to start the 2021-22 season. Becoming brother-in-law to two of the NBA’s finest shooters may well have rubbed off on Lee.

2. Seth Curry (Philadelphia 76ers) – Married Austin Rivers’ sister (Doc Rivers’ daughter)

Seth Curry shows up in this article for the third time, as he is married to Callie Rivers. Who just happens to be the daughter of NBA Hall of Famer and current NBA coach Doc Rivers, and sister to current NBA hooper Austin Rivers. Seth actually plays for Doc’s team in Philly currently. The combination of two heralded families – the Rivers and the Currys – is a rare, but much welcome union.

Family really does matter

Becoming a brother duo, or trio in some cases, is incredibly rare, but these nine sibling sets are all currently playing in the NBA, and are living proof that greatness can run in the family. Having a brother that does the same job as you is pretty unique. But if that job happens to be as a professional basketball player – with the crazy schedule, the money, the publicity, the physical and mental toll – then you will speak a language very few ever have.

Do you have a favorite brother combo (or trio) in the league? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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