The NBA is a league that doesn't really cater to having sibling players. Because of the low amount of roster space, logic dictates that it should be extremely improbably for multiple members of the same family to have the talent necessary in order to make an NBA roster. Despite this, we've seen plenty of siblings throughout the league's history, including some who are particularly noteworthy.
Whether these familial duos were carried by just one brother, or both managed to have successful professional careers, they're some of the most recognizable players of their respective eras. Conversely, there have been certain siblings who barely made it into the league at all and were some of the most irrelevant players of their era. Both ends of the spectrum are represented just about equally, when it comes to NBA siblings.
Inevitably, it's highly unlikely that each sibling would be a superstar at the NBA-level. Usually, one of them is definitively better than the other, and the better talent in the family in quite obvious. Let's take a look at some sets of NBA siblings and see which brother had the better skills on the court.
Ranked below are 8 NBA bros who were better than their sibling, and 7 who never should have stepped on the court.
15 Brook Lopez (Better Than Robin Lopez)
While Robin Lopez is a good player in his own right, Brook is just one of the best front-court players of his era. He's unquestionably been the best player on the Nets' roster over the last decade or so, and now will now start the next chapter of his career with the Lakers during the upcoming season. He'll remain one of the best scoring big men in the league, and give L.A. the boost that they desperately need.
The other Lopez is still in the league, but is much more of a journeyman talent, although he can still contribute adequately on the court. Still, Brook is definitively the better player, and the one that will first come to mind when fans think of the Lopez family.
14 Mychel Thompson (Worse Than Klay Thompson)
Being the brother of one of the best shooters in NBA history, who plays on the most renowned team of the generation isn't an easy thing. However, Mychel's talent just couldn't carry his career the way it did for brother Klay. He spent just a single season (just 5 games) in the NBA with the Cavaliers, where he was a bench player who barely contributed anything at all for a team that went 21-45 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
While Klay just helped the Golden State Warriors earn another NBA Championship, Mychel is toiling away in the D-League for the Santa Cruz Warriors, which is a considerable step down from his brother's exploits. Mychel isn't likely to get another shot at NBA proficiency, and it's clear who the most talented member of this family is, when it comes to basketball.
13 Mark Price (Better Than Brent Price)
One of the most underrated point guards of his era, Mark edges out his brother Brent as the better NBA player. A staple of the Cavaliers' roster during the 80s and 90s, Mark was a proficient scorer and passer, and one year even averaged a double-double. He retired when he was in his early-30s, but was still able to put together an impressive resume, and performed as one of the best player's on Cleveland's roster for years.
Brother Brent was a journeyman talent who never established the same consistency with his production. Instead, he was mainly a bench player after the first few years of his career, and never achieved the same heights. Mark was clearly the better NBA player when it was all said and done.
12 Marquis Teague (Worse Than Jeff Teague)
His brother Jeff is one of the best point guards in the league right now, but Marquis was never able to establish a consistent career for himself, despite the fact that he was once one of the most highly coveted young players in the country. He's a former 1st-round draft pick out of Kentucky, but never showed the ability to play real NBA minutes, during short stints with the Bulls and Nets. After marginal production, he was released by Brooklyn, and hasn't played in the NBA since 2014.
After playing overseas for a bit, he's now in the D-League, where he's likely to spend the rest of his career. Jeff just was acquired by the Timberwolves after being one of the most in-demand players during the offseason, and is without question the better player. Marquis had a ton of potential, but he wasn't able to put it all together.
11 Jim Paxson (Better Than John Paxson)
While brother John got most of the recognition because of his association with the Jordan-era Bulls, Jim was probably the better overall player. A standout scorer for the Trail Blazers in the '80s, at the height of his career he was the bigger threat on the court. John was a solid point guard who could effectively run an offense, but was little in the way of being a dynamic player that could change the course of a game.
They both have merit to their game, but Jim's scoring ability gives him the edge. His later seasons in the league weren't as productive, but the prime of his career made up for it. Maybe it was John who got the last laugh however, as he ended up winning several NBA Championships with Michael Jordan's Bulls.
10 Derrick Gervin (Worse Than George Gervin)
There may not be a bigger disparity between any other set of siblings in NBA history. Derrick's brother was none other than George "The Iceman" Gervin, who was simply one of the best players of his era, and absolutely one of the most underrated players of all-time. In contrast, Derrick played just two nondescript seasons with the Nets in the late-'80s and early-'90s. Hardly on the same playing field.
And how could it be when George was one of the definitively great players of his era. A top-notch scorer, good rebounder, and just overall one of the best front-court players in the history of the league is tough competition for any brother to live up to. In Derrick's case, however, he may have been better off skipping out on his NBA aspirations entirely. Clearly, there was only one talent in the family worthy of longevity in the league.
9 Markieff Morris (Better Than Marcus Morris)
The Morris brothers are one of the most consistent pairs of brothers in league history. Both are quality players year-in and year-out. Markieff gets the edge between the pair, because he's simply been more consistent over the course of his entire career. It took Marcus a couple of seasons before he really hit his stride, while his brother has been a double-digit scorer and proficient rebounder for the last six seasons now.
Not to mention Markieff is an important contributor to a playoff team, which only further boosts his stock. The Pistons have a chance to be improved this year, so Marcus may end up doing the same thing, but right now, it's fair to say that Markieff is the more notable of the two. Ultimately, both of them are eventually going to retire with a very good resume to their name.
8 Zoran Dragic (Worse Than Goran Dragic)
7 Brent Barry (Better Than Jon And Drew Barry)
While both Brent and Jon Barry were just journeyman players during their time in the NBA, they were examples of how to do it right. They both had long careers playing for many different teams, and fulfilled their role with each one to a tee. Brent was a better scorer, and a slightly more impactful player, so he gets the nod here, but both were able to succeed despite their obvious limitations.
For the majority of his career, Brent was a double-digit scorer, and posted notable assist and rebounding averages as well. That's about all you can ask from a spot-starter and bench player. He's been a key figure on numerous playoff teams including the Kings and Spurs, always getting the job done when it matters most. He's definitely the best out of Hall of Famer Rick Barry's basketball-playing sons, which also included Drew Barry, who had an even less remarkable NBA career in the late-'90s and early-'00s.
6 Miles Plumlee (Worse Than Mason Plumlee)
There are few players in the league who represent the gawky kind of big-man that Plumlee has proven himself to be over the years. He's been on four different teams over his seven-year career, and there's a reason for that. He's a filler body at best, and he has no real value to any team other than taking up space.
His brother Mason has fared better, although he isn't a great player either. For a former 1st-round pick, Miles' career has been pretty bad, and he's not going to improve this far into his career. He's really just dead weight, and definitely the worse of the two Plumlee brothers in question, which indicates a pretty underwhelming career. The jury's still out, however, on youngest brother Marshall, who debuted for the Knicks last year as an undrafted rookie.
5 Dominique Wilkins (Better Than Gerald Wilkins)
Everyone knows that Dominique was one of the marquee players of his era, and equally one of the most prolific scorers. Some forget however that his brother Gerald was also a very good NBA player. He was a mainstay with the Knicks for years, before making appearances on a few other teams in the '90s. Still, Dominique was by far the better player.
He's one of, if not the absolute best player in the history of the Atlanta Hawks, and mesmerized basketball audiences with his dynamic play, which contributed to many highlight reels over his career. No doubt that Dominique was the better of the two, although Gerald was able to hold his own and prove that he was no slouch himself.
4 Luke Zeller (Worse Than Tyler And Cody Zeller)
While brothers Tyler and Cody haven't been All-Star caliber players during their time in the NBA, they at least proved that they could stay in the league. Luke was the odd man out, only player a single season, and it wasn't a good one. Most of his playing time came in the D-League, as well as various Summer League teams.
So while none of the Zeller brothers are great players, Luke was the only one who wasn't able to maintain an NBA career. The others carry forth the family name in the league right now, but they certainly amazing players. Ultimately for the Zeller family, it's best to recognize that two out of three isn't bad, especially when you're talking about a league like the NBA.
3 Horace Grant (Better Than Harvey Grant)
Both Grant brothers were highly-touted prospects coming out of college, but Horace is the one that had the most impact on the teams that he played for. A member of the Jordan-era Bulls, he was one of the key contributors to the team in MJ's early days, and went on to some effective seasons with the Magic as well. A good scorer and dominating rebounder, Grant is one the most underrated players of his era.
Harvey didn't have the kind of pedigree that Horace did, playing on the Bulls and Magic, but he still had a productive career that was almost as noteworthy when it was all said and done. In the end, Horace gets the nod here, but both were exemplary players of their time.
2 Taylor Griffin (Worse Than Blake Griffin)
Regardless of what you think about him, Blake Griffin has proven himself to be one of the most dynamic players in basketball. If nothing else, you can guarantee that he's going to get his share of highlight reel plays to his credit every season, and that he'll be the Clippers player who always gets the most attention. His brother Taylor's NBA career was just about a polar opposite of that, as he was only in the league for a year.
And it wasn't a memorable year by any stretch. Taylor did not possess his brother's ability on the court, and it showed early and often. As a result, he became a staple of the D-League for several years, and last played in Italy's Serie A2 league. At least he got to take in some nice scenery overseas.
1 Pau Gasol (Better Than Marc Gasol)
Marc still has a chance to catch up to his brother in terms of productivity, as he's one of the best fr0nt-court players in the sport right now, but Pau's legacy is simply greater right now. A phenomenal rebounder and a very good scorer at his peak, Gasol most notably contributed to the second era of great Kobe-led Lakers teams, and helped them win titles just as he was brought in to do.
As a result, he became one of the most notable European players to ever step on an NBA court. Marc is on a similar trajectory with the Grizzlies right now, but without the impact in the playoffs, he still comes up short at the moment when compared to his brother. Maybe that will change, but for now Pau reigns supreme in the Gasol family. No easy feat to be sure.
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