These 10 brother acts stand out most in NBA history

NBA.com Global on Nov 22, 2019 07:01 AM
These 10 brother acts stand out most in NBA history
SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 29 : Pau Gasol #16 of the San Antonio Spurs and Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during game on November 29, 2017 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. (Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com

There have been, by an unofficial count, approximately 70 sets of brothers that have participated in the NBA -- and no, we’re not including the Van Gundys. Jeff and Stan have done their work on the sidelines, first as coaches, now as broadcasters.

With Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Brook and Robin Lopez, the Milwaukee Bucks currently lead the league in active brothers. Here, arguably, are the 10 “best” brother acts in NBA history.

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10. Marcus and Markieff Morris. These guys get bonus points for being twins, a more frequent trait of NBA brothers than one might expect. They also have kept the focus on their shared DNA for much of their career, not just enjoying their time together with Phoenix to start their careers (2012-15) but actually sharing a four-year, $52 million contract that they divvied up themselves.

9. Horace and Harvey Grant. Another set of NBA twins, taking different paths in their impact. Horace was a member of four championships teams (three with Chicago, one with the Lakers), reached the 1995 Finals with Orlando and earned one All-Star nod. Harvey was a workmanlike, less-decorated power forward for 11 seasons but delivered sons Jerami and Jerian to the NBA as well. The Grants nosed out Jim and John Paxson, notable for also getting three rings with Michael Jordan (John). Jim was a two-time All-Star, twice averaging more than 20 points per game for Portland. Their familial connection extends to father Jim, who played 138 games with Minneapolis and Cincinnati in the 1950s.

8. Brent, Jon and Drew Barry. If two is a brother act, three is a family affair -- something the Barry boys owed at least in part to their father Rick, the Hall of Famer best known for his prolific scoring and leadership with the Warriors. Brent won two titles with San Antonio, played 14 seasons and won the 1996 Slam Dunk contest. Jon was a dangerous 3-point threat (39.2%) for eight teams across his 14 seasons. Drew stuck around to play 60 games in three seasons but, with a 38.1% 3-point prowess, might have lasted longer in today’s game.

7. Caldwell, Charles, Major and Wil Jones. If three is great, is four better? The Jones family ups the ante on the Barrys or, for that matter, the current threesome of Jrue, Justin and Aaron Holiday. Caldwell was the best known of the bunch, playing in 1,299 games, making one All-Star team and two All-Defensive teams. Charles got a ring as a member of the 1995 Rockets. Major was the minor Jones contributor, logging 374 games in six seasons. And Wil spent seven of his nine seasons in the ABA before reaching the NBA with Indiana and Buffalo.

6. Stephen and Seth Curry. Only one Kia Most Valuable Player -- until Antetokounmpo -- had a brother who played in the league, and that’s Stephen. The Golden State deep threat has credentials that are unassailable, but Seth hasn’t done enough yet at this level to boost the tandem higher on this list. And sorry, brothers-in-law (Warriors guard Damion Lee and Rockets guard Austin Rivers) don’t count here.

5. Bernard and Albert King. Bernard is a Hall of Famer known for his unstoppable mid-range scoring and possibly the greatest comeback from knee surgery in NBA history. Albert is best known, well, for not being Bernard, despite a tremendous college career. Still, he averaged 12.1 points for four teams in a career that included stints in Israel and the CBA.

4. Al and Dick McGuire. Al was a brash journeyman guard from New York who averaged 6.1 fouls per 36 minutes played. Dick was a smooth seven-time All-Star with the Knicks and Pistons. Together, they are the only pair of brothers to reach the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame (Al got in thanks to his NCAA coaching at Marquette).

3. Dominique and Gerald Wilkins. With all due respect to George and Ed Mikan from the league’s pioneer era, Dominque is probably the greatest former player to have had a brother reach the league. The Hall of Famer ranks 14th all-time in scoring, one spot ahead of George Gervin. And Gerald was better than cup-of-coffee Derrick Gervin, scoring nearly 12,000 points in his 900 games while fathering former NBA journeyman Damien Wilkins. In time, the Currys might bump these guys down.

2. Tom and Dick Van Arsdale. Perhaps the league’s most famous twins through its first three decades or so, the Van Arsdales had appropriately symmetrical careers. The 6-foot-5 wings both starred at Indiana. They were drafted consecutively in 1965 (Dick was picked No. 10). Both made the NBA’s all-rookie team. Each was a three-time All-Star. Dick averaged at least 20 points three times, Tom did it twice, though Tom finished with more total points (15,079 to 14,232). They wrapped up together in Phoenix in 1976-77, combining for 13.5 points in 38.2 minutes.

1. Pau and Marc Gasol. Early on, it seemed like this brother act would be best known for being traded for each other. That happened on Feb. 1, 2008, back when a 27-year-old Pau was hitting his prime while Marc was still playing in Europe. Not a chance now. Both are Hall of Fame bound, with three rings, nine All-Star appearances, six all-NBA berths, two all-Rookie selections and individual hardware (2002 Rookie of the Year for Pau, 2013 Defensive Player of the Year for Marc). This doesn’t even account for their play in international competition.

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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