Thursday / May 08 / 2014
My Top 7 Statistically Best Father and Son Combos
Syd Salazar

Photo: Golden State Warriors shooting guard Stephen Curry gestures against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter of Game 6 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cinco de Mayo 2014 up to this day remains awesome for me. My wife gave birth to my firstborn last Monday and I am super ecstatic. And while the rest of the world would rather catch Oklahoma City and the LA Clippers face off with each other, San Antonio bet their top seed advantage against Portland, Washington shock Indiana, and Miami defend their titles against the Brooklyn Nets… I will let the other writers pinpoint the series matchup as I stray against the norm.

In lieu of my son’s birth, I’m going to dabble on the topic that revolves around father and son combos. There is something behind the maxim “like father, like son” and most of the time, it does reap benefits. In the 2014 NBA Draft, former NBA player and Ginebra import Mitchell Wiggins and Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo will have their spawns participate in the undertaking. The only difference here is that their kids will probably take a different road as to what happened with their dads.

McAdoo’s son James will probably be a second round selection – like what happened to Bill Walton’s kid Luke and as of last year… Glen Rice Jr. Meanwhile, Andrew Wiggins is seen as a potential top pick.

I will name what I perceived are the best seven father and son combos that played in the NBA.


Let’s start off the list with one half of the Splash Brothers. Klay Thompson is known as a wickedly awesome triple zone deadshot. But it’s not the case with his dad who is more of a low post threat. Mychal Thompson is the top pick of the 1978 NBA Draft who was picked ahead of Fil-American Raymond Townsend, PBA imports Billy Ray Bates and Carlos Terry, and the legendary Larry Bird. The first ever foreign-born top pick is a key fixture of the Showtime LA Lakers squad of the late 80s in which he won two titles. If Klay continues to play like the second coming of Chris Mullin, expect this rank to rise up in the future. Aside from Klay, Mychal had another son named Mychel who played five games for the Cleveland Cavaliers.


In case you wonder why the hell Mike Bibby is a good point guard (especially when he played for the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks) you can blame this on a little thing called pedigree. Before Mike crawled, Henry was dishing passes to the likes of Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, and Earl Monroe for the New York Knicks – which also gave him a title in 1973. And then during his stint with the Philadelphia 76ers – no less than the good doctor himself – Julius Erving… made all of Henry’s passes and playmaking goodness into statistical fruition. Now unlike his dad, the closest Mike ever had in winning a title was when the Dallas Mavericks upstaged the Miami Heat in six games in the 2011 NBA Finals (in hindsight, most of Mike’s playoff losses were dealt by the Mavs). Nonetheless though, in terms of individual one-ups, the former Sacramento King did more.


I bet a lot of people are cringing at the sight of the Currys at this spot but thing is… you need to check this list out a couple of years later because this dad and spawn combo could be on top of this list. The difference between Dell and Step is that the former Charlotte Hornet has always been a shock scorer off the bench. In the course of his career, the older Curry just started in 99 of the 1083 games he played in. Meanwhile Step is just about to finish his fifth season in the league. Like I said… this is a mere setback because this rank is sure to rise as the younger Curry’s career progress. Dell has another kid in the pro circuit but Seth Curry is not as fortunate as Step. But if we concentrate on the better Curry spawn, it’s good to know that this offensive juggernaut may get the awards and accomplishments that eluded his dad.


Not all father and son duos had the best of relationships. This combo is an example of such as Jimmy Walker died without even meeting up with his son Jalen (although his Wiki page tells us that they do have talked on the phone). This fact is funny because if you check out their playing styles, you’ll probably see a similarity. Walker and Rose played almost the same position (although Jalen is bigger compared to his dad) and both players were high level secondary scorers when they were playing and can actually lead a team if needed. Walker is a former first round pick overall while Rose “rose” to stardom as part of the super quintet Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA. While their relationship is complex, you can’t deny that Walker’s basketball genes helped in the development of Rose (although not all superstar genes are rightfully passed on to their kids).


It’s hard to have a superstar dad and this is what happened when the Brothers Barry identify their selves with the great Rick Barry. The master of the underhanded free throw shot, Rick would always get mentioned on whatever Jon, Brent, or Drew accomplished. Not only is Rick a legit terror for all defenders, he is an accomplished rebounder on a time when SG/SFs were never known for their board work. Amongst his spawns though, Brent accomplished the most. Not only did Brent have a better scoring average, he also won a title with the San Antonio Spurs. Brent’s accomplishment made him and his dad the second father and son combo to win a NBA title after Matt Guokas Sr. and Matt Guokas Jr. If there’s an edge to boast for Brent though, it’s that he won a Slam Dunk title since a high flyer… Rick Barry is not.


How can a father and son list end without the presence of Jellybean and the son he named after a Japanese steakhouse? Fact is… you just don’t. Kobe Bryant has broken a lot of records and racked up a choice amount of accolades and accomplishments to make a lot of players regardless of era jealous of what he has become. Haters will hate but to say that Kobe had a sucky career is just downright dumb. In fact, enumerating the number of trophies he collected is such a blatant chore. The only thing that’s hampering this connection from drawing the top spot is Joe’s career. Kobe Bryant stated in most of his interviews that growing up he idolized Mike D’Antoni because when Joe was touring Europe, he brought his family with him. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why Joe would rather settle for an overseas gig than in the NBA… and that’s why they finished second in the list. Up to this day, Jellybean is getting a lot of overseas coaching gigs (the last of which is coaching the ABL’s Chang Thailand Slammers). Kobe is doing this as well – but only through goodwill tours which is paying him ton loads of money.


The top duo on the list may have shocked you but here’s why I call this father and son combo the best ever. First up you have Dolph Schayes, arguably the most dominant big man in the era between the retirement of George Mikan and the emergence of the Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain rivalry. In a time when it’s almost ludicrous to nail 20 points and 10 rebounds per game… in consecutive seasons, this Hall of Famer is doing the dirty deeds on a nightly basis with minimal struggles. Then you cue in his son, Danny Schayes. While Danny is nowhere near his father’s legacy (as well as his numbers), the dude is a poster child of putting quantity over quality. Danny had near 8 points and 5 rebounds in 1138 games or 18 NBA seasons. Those numbers don’t just add up but as awesome but if you consider the tenure of Joe Bryant, as well as the career averages of Brent Barry, then I’m glad you saw my point. If you combine their games, they dish out 2134 games – or almost 600 games more than the games Kareem Abdul-Jabbar starred in. Combining quality and quantity is the kicker to this rank and this is to think that the focal point in this duo came from the days when steals and blocks were yet to get recorded.

Almost making the list are the tandems of Gerald and Damien Wilkins, Bob and Danny Ferry, and Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Game over!

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