The NBA trails only baseball when it comes to dominant families throughout the history of the sport. More often than not, when a professional athlete has a child, that child will inherit some of the athleticism showcased by the parents. So with this understanding, it is no wonder why so many retired basketball players have children now in the league. Not only does the child of an NBA player inherit the genes of their parents, but they also get to grow up in the smartest basketball environment there is; inside an NBA organization. With these two advantages, NBA offsprings are more likely to be the next generation of NBA talent.
With those stated advantages come some perceived disadvantages. There is the simple fact that until you become as good as your rival family member, you will always be questioned or doubted. Also, you will be graded against your sibling, or parent as you go through your career. Although it may be easier for a child cultivated in an NBA environment to make it into the league, it is hard to live up to the looming shadows cast by family members.
It is rare that the child of an all-time great goes on to become an all-time great as well. Today we will reveal the top 15 NBA players who failed to live up to their family legacy and fell short of being the alpha male in the family.
15. Glen Rice Jr.
Glen Rice Jr. had a tough challenge ahead of him the day he was born with his father’s name. Papa Rice was one of the best shooters of his time while in the NBA, as well as being one of the greatest college players to ever shoot a basketball; Rice Sr. was the 1989 College Player of the Year, and NCAA National Champion.
Once Sr. got into the NBA he became an All-Star caliber player during his years with the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets. In 2000, Sr. helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA Championship, and his legacy was cemented. About a decade later Rice Jr. began his career in 2012 as a second round selection by the Philadelphia 76ers. Rice Jr. spent parts of two seasons with the Washington Wizards before being sent to the D-League in 2015. Glen Jr. is still toiling in the D-League, looking for his shot on an NBA roster, and the potential to chase down a little bit of pops’ legacy.
14. Glenn Robinson III
Another player cursed with the same name of a past legend, Glenn Robinson III was stuck being the pup of “The Big Dog” Glenn Robinson. Daddy Robinson was a beast during his college days. As a junior at Purdue, he unanimously won the choice for NCAA Player of the Year. That season he led the Boilermakers to the Elite 8, averaging 30 points, and 11 rebounds per game. The elder Robinson set the bar high for his son, being selected no.1 overall in the 1994 NBA Draft. Needless to say his father’s accomplishments didn’t make things easy for Glen III.
Little Glenn has been in the league for three seasons, and he still holds a spot with the Indiana Pacers, but his playing time appears to be smaller every year. The original “Big Dog” had a successful NBA career despite being viewed by some as a minor bust. He was able to win an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2005, and was a two time All-Star in 2000, and 2001.
13. David Stockton
Being the son of a Hall of Famer must be nerve racking, when you are trying to find a spot on an NBA roster. It must be especially tough to be the son of the all-time assist and steals king John Stockton. It is a testament to David Stockton that he has been able to last in the NBA D-league as long as he has already, as he is under six feet tall.
David had his one and only sniff at the NBA in 2014 when the Sacramento Kings gave him a chance in three games, where he averaged 11 minutes, 3.0 points, and 3.0 assists per game. Those numbers look silly when put next to his father, who during his entire 19 year career averaged 13 points, 10.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. Perhaps David will one day get another shot at the league, but for now he will just have to settle being John Stockton’s son.
12. Coby Karl
If there is one thing that Coby Karl has lived up to as a Karl, it is his persistence. Now 33 years old Coby is coaching in the NBA D-league, trying to earn himself a coaching spot with the Lakers. Young Karl bounced between the D-League and overseas professional leagues for almost a decade before hanging it up as a player in 2015.
Coby may have realized his best chance to live up to the true spirit of the Karl name is to have an impact as a coach. Coby’s father George is regarded as one of the top 10 coaches of his generation. George led the Seattle SuperSonics to the NBA Finals in 1996, where they were defeated by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. One of George’s many accolades was being named the NBA Coach of the Year in 2013. Coby has some work to do before he gets to the NBA, and with some luck he may be able to get there, but he may forever be remembered as the son of George Karl.
11. Patrick Ewing Jr.
Patrick Ewing Sr. is one of the all-time great centers in NBA history, and on top of that he has grown into one of the best coaches for big men in the game today. With all that, you would imagine his son would be a highly talented big man himself, but unfortunately for Ewing Jr. he never grew into the monster frame he was predicted to have inherited from his dad.
Jr. would only grow to 6’8″, and ultimately had to mold his game as a perimeter player, as opposed to being a force in the paint, like his father. Things have not yet panned out for the son of the Knicks’ all-time leader in points, and at 32 years old it appears the window for greatness has been closed for him. He does however share the desire for the game just like his father did, as Jr. is currently playing in Greece. It seems the cards were stacked against Jr. from the beginning as his father’s accolades were too much for Pat Jr. to surpass.