Sometimes in life, the talent within one family is evenly distributed among siblings. Think of the Williams’ Sisters, the Klitschko Brothers, or the Kardashians. All members of those families made their mark one way or another and while one may slightly be better than the other(s); there’s no dead weight that’s holding back the family (except for Rob Kardashian).
However, other times there comes along a family that clearly has one sibling that is head and shoulders above his or her other sibling(s). We don’t know what exactly the parents did, but they allowed one of their kids to hit every branch on the talent tree while the other was left to just ride the coattails. For example in the NFL there are the Rodgers brothers, Aaron and Jordan, and the Palmer brothers, Carson and Jordan. (Side note: If you have a son named Jordan, throw away all his football gear and tell him to pick up a basketball).
Other infamous families where one sibling is clearly more talented and/or successful than the other are the Bushes, the Cansecos, and obviously, the Gretzkys.
The NBA is certainly not immune to skewed talent between brothers. Not every set of basketball brothers can be the Gasols so here we are presenting the 8 NBA players who outshined their older brother and 7 who lived in the shadow.
16 Surpassed: Brandon Rush
15 Lived In Shadow: Sam Vincent
14 Surpassed: Derek Fisher
Even the most die-hard basketball fans may not have been aware that Derek Fisher had a brother that played in the NBA and you’ll soon see why he is not talked about much. Duane Washington is 10 years older than Fisher and his NBA career lasted 19 games in the late 1980s. His NBA career might have lasted longer but we’ll never know as Washington was suspended for two years for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. After playing in the CBA, USBLA, Europe and South America; his pro career ended in 2000 right when Fisher started winning championships with the Lakers.
13 Lived In Shadow: Robin Lopez
12 Surpassed: Aaron Gordon
At this point in his career, Aaron Gordon is more athlete than basketball player; but what an incredible athlete he is. He and Zack LaVine put on an epic battle at the Dunk Contest last season and the Orlando Magic are constructing their team with him as the centerpiece. Even if he never lives up to being the #4 player selected in his draft, just staying out of trouble will be more than his older brother, Drew, ever did. Drew was a four-star recruit who played his first two college seasons at UCLA. But midway through his second season he was suspended by the coach for being “opinionated.”
11 Lived In Shadow: Zoran Dragic
I promise you I didn’t just make up “Zoran Dragic.” Zoran played overseas for 10 seasons before joining older brother Goran in Phoenix. The two were even a packaged deal as they were dealt together to the Miami Heat in 2015. However, Zoran would last only 16 games in the NBA before being released and he has headed back to Europe to continue his pro career. Goran is leading the resurgent and surprising Miami Heat as they contend for a playoff spot and signed an $86 million contract with the team two years ago. Widely considered one of the best active players to never make an All-Star team, Goran did make an All-NBA team in 2013-14 and also won Most Improved Player during that season.
10 Surpassed: Dick Van Arsdale
9 Horable Mention: The Plumlees
It’s no coincidence that the Plumlees land at the middle of this list as the best Plumlee brother has been the middle Plumlee brother, Mason. After Duke got served with 21 feet of Plumlee, oldest brother Miles was the first to join the NBA. He’s been a journeyman player and is on is 4th team in 5 years, but he’s doing something right as he just signed a $50 million contract this past offseason.
Middle brother, Mason, joined the association a year after Miles and he’s now on his third team, but has been a starter on each one. He made the All-Rookie first team in 2013-14 and is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, and assists per game this season.
8 Lived In Shadow: Albert King
7 Surpassed: Cody Zeller
6 Lived In Shadow: Harvey Grant
These bespectacled brothers were identical twins but Horace was nine minutes older. Horace was also the bigger, better, and more famous brother as he was the third wheel during the Bulls first three-peat during the 1990s. While Horace was playing alongside the likes of Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, and T-Mac; Horace toiled away on nondescript teams in Washington and Portland. The highlight of Harvey’s career might have been the fact that he was once traded for Rasheed Wallace which enabled Wallace to help create the “Jail Blazers” in Portland. However, there is one thing that little brother Harvey does hold over Horace; Harvey has two sons in the NBA while Uncle Horace didn’t send any of his seven kids to the association.
5 Surpassed: Klay Thompson
4 Lived In Shadow: Seth Curry
3 Surpassed: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Did you know there are four Antetokounmpo kids? You know about Giannis as he’s one of the brightest stars in the game and was a recent starter in the NBA All-Star game. It’s amazing how the Greek Freak’s game has grown considering he didn’t start playing basketball competitively until he was 15. He signed a $100 million contract extension this past season and will make one dollar for every single way his name has been mispronounced.
2 Lived In Shadow: Gerald Wilkins
1 Surpassed: Blake Griffin
For a time people thought that Blake and Taylor Griffin were twins while they played together at Oklahoma. The two share a surname and some DNA but that’s where the similarities end between the two. Blake would be a #1 overall selection, become a 5-time All-Star, and make the Clippers franchise relevant for the first time since…ever. Taylor would indeed play in the NBA (who knew?) as he suited up for eight games with the Phoenix Suns. Since then, he was bounced between the D-League, a Belgian pro league, and last played in an Italian League in 2016.
To the best of our knowledge, Taylor has never broken a bone by punching a friend outside a restaurant but news is slow to trickle in from overseas.
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