Growing up as the child of a famous professional athlete is truly a double edged sword. On one hand, you live a pretty charmed life. As the child of a wealthy and powerful person, you have access to things like great schools, vacations, and can afford to be trained in any field you show the slightest interest in. On the other hand, it is hard for anyone to have parents that are rarely around, and if your dad is a professional basketball player, chances are he's on the road and very busy most of the year, and so won't have the time to really make a big impact on your life. Many fathers try to accommodate for this by really spoiling and spending a lot of time with their kids while they are around, but this can have the opposite of the desired effect.
In the history of the NBA, there have been many successful players who were the sons of former basketball players. Players like Steph Curry and Kevin Love had dads who were NBA players, and they were able to have normal enough childhoods that they too were able to become professional basketball players. However, for every Steph Curry, there's a long list of guys with All-Star dads who really screwed up their lives. I feel some pity for these kids; they didn't ask to be born into famous families, and they either couldn't handle the spotlight and acted out, or they were severely neglected or abused by their basketball playing dads. Let's take a look at 15 of the children of NBA stars who are more or less talentless:
15 15. Connor Bird
Some of the kids on this list seem like generally good people, but were simply unable to live up to the legacy of their famous fathers, which is fair enough. While it's disappointing to see anyone not fulfill their potential, not everyone is cut out for greatness, and there's no shame in willingly embracing a normal life. Connor Bird is a straight-up a**hole, though, and has been embarrassing his dad—Larry Bird, inarguably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time—by screwing up at every available opportunity. In 2013, during a fight with his girlfriend, he chucked his cellphone at her and then tried and failed to run her over with his car. A couple years before that, he got arrested for underaged drinking and for acting drunk and obnoxious in public. Get it together, man.
14 14. EJ Johnson
Given that we were just talking about Larry Bird's disappointing son, it makes sense to now talk about the son of one of Bird's career rival, Magic Johnson. This one is open to interpretation, because some people would not consider EJ Johnson to be talentless at all. He's extremely good at marketing himself, as seen by his prominence in his own regard now—not just as the son of Magic Johnson—as well as his more than 600,000 followers on Instagram. He's also ambitious, articulate, and obviously brave, as he came out as gay a few years ago, and now pushes gender boundaries. Magic Johnson has said in interviews that he fully respects and supports his son, which is great, but he's still a reality TV star whose main skill is getting attention, so it's safe to call him talentless compared to his supernaturally skilled dad.
13 13. Marcus Jordan
The fact that Marcus Jordan—who, like his dad, devoted his life to basketball—was unable to make it to the NBA shows just how hard it is to become a professional basketball player at the highest level. Think about it. Marcus shares a lot of the same genes as his father, who is the undisputed greatest player in NBA history. Marcus also had access to tips and lessons from his dad growing up, not to mention the most expensive and elite training and coaches that money could buy. He played for a few years at UCF before giving up, and he ended up getting his school in a lot of trouble. UCF had a sponsorship with Adidas, which meant players could only wear Adidas shoes, but Marcus Jordan insisted on wearing Air Jordans, in order to respect his father. Adidas ended up terminating their sponsorship deal with UCF based on this, losing the school $3 million. That just goes to show how living in someone's shadow can have ill effects.
12 12. Ron Artest III
Ron Artest III seems like a weird guy, but that's totally forgivable, because his dad—Metta World Peace—is probably the weirdest guy in basketball since Dennis Rodman. World Peace is one of the better defensive players in recent years, and he won a championship with the Lakers in 2010, but he has also been involved in huge brawls, has destroyed photography equipment, and spent time in jail for domestic abuse. Ron Artest III showed no interest in basketball in his younger years, likely not wanting to be like his dad. He was more into things like modelling. However, when he turned 15, he decided he did want to play basketball after all, and his natural ability allowed him to shine immediately. He's now a fairly lauded prospect, but we can only wonder how good he would have been if he'd realized he liked basketball when he was younger, as most kids do. Like his dad, he doesn't seem to have his head on straight.
11 11. LiAngelo Ball
LiAngelo Ball does not belong on this list in the sense that his dad obviously doesn't qualify as a legendary NBA player, though older brother Lonzo is clearly talented, awful shooting aside. LaVar Ball was a pretty good college basketball player who never played in the NBA, who is ridiculously good at drawing media attention and promoting himself and his stupid brand. LiAngelo Ball does belong on this list because he seems dumb as hell. Many of the advantages that he has gained in his life have been through his father, but he has done a really poor job of capitalizing on those advantages and constantly makes mistakes. An example of a mistake was when he got caught shoplifting in China for some reason, even though his family is rich as hell, and had to be saved by President Donald Trump, who is another man who has largely benefited from nepotism and being good at self-promotion.
10 10. Tiaura Iverson
To be fair, life probably hasn't been so easy for Tiaura Iverson, much as it hasn't been easy for her dad, Allen. Allen Iverson will be remembered as one of the most skilled and most entertaining point guards in the history of the NBA, but after his career ended, he ran into that familiar trouble, spending way beyond his means, gambling, supporting hangers-on, and wasting his money until he found himself unable to make child support payments. As such, it isn't surprising that Tiaura had to try to find her own way, establishing herself as a minor internet celebrity, with an Instagram account with tens of thousands of followers. There's certainly nothing that requires much talent in doing makeup tutorials and shopping haul videos like she does, but good on her for making her own go at things in spite of her dad's recent troubles.
9 9. Shawn Kemp Jr.
Shawn Kemp Sr. was a very good NBA player, who played for 14 seasons and was known for his huge dunks. For a lot of guys (and girls) on this list, it makes sense that they haven't had the same kind of success as their dads because they simply haven't been as interested in basketball. It's almost worse when the son of an NBA legend does dedicate themselves to basketball, because there's not really an excuse for not making it to the NBA with that kind of a leg up on the competition. Shawn Kemp has had at least seven children with six different women, and one of them is Shawn Kemp Jr., who is 26-years-old and spent some time playing NCAA basketball before packing it in.
8 8. Tyrone Nesby Jr.
Doesn't there seem to be an unfair amount of additional pressure placed on a child given the name of their successful dad? It makes it so that there is absolutely no escaping the fact that you come from a prominent bloodline, even if you wanted to live a simple life away from media attention. Tyrone Nesby was nothing like an NBA legend, but he was a serviceable player who spent a few years playing for the Clippers and the Wizards, sometimes averaging double digit point totals, before spending some time playing professionally in Europe and in minor leagues in the States. His son, Tyrone Nesby Jr., has tried to follow in his dad's footsteps and is currently in his last year of high school basketball, but there hasn't been much interest in him from colleges so far.
7 7. Elisa Johnson
There is enough pressure and media attention on the children of NBA stars as it is, as this list so far have shown. However, of course, the pressure is amplified by the magnitude of the star, and so the kids of Magic Johnson—who is perhaps in the top five most famous basketball players of all time—have been under more scrutiny than anyone. Add to that the fact that Magic Johnson is one of the most famous people in the world with the HIV virus, and it's easy to see why his kids are comfortable under a microscope. Elisa Johnson became famous from appearances on reality TV, and has become a social media influencer, with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers. It's not clear what exactly she does in her day-to-day life, though. Like her brother EJ, she's a classic example of someone who is famous for being famous.
6 6. Jeffrey Jordan
It's kind of cute isn't it, photos of Jeffrey Jordan with his tongue out, like his dad and his dad's dad used to do. On Twitter and Instagram, Jeffrey Jordan calls himself "Heir Jordan" which is a pretty funny pun on his dad's nickname "Air Jordan" and the fact that he has inherited wealth and fame from his dad without really having to do much on his own. Jeffrey Jordan is the older of the two Jordan boys, and he got a lot of attention when he was a younger basketball player, with some of his high school games being broadcasted on national TV. He played some college ball but eventually gave it up and got a job working for Nike, no doubt due to his dad's ties to the company.
5 5. K.J. Malone
It's time to talk about the Malones again. It seems like Karl Malone has been around forever, but he's still only 54, and so while it's true that he has made mistakes in his past, there's surely no shortage of time for him to correct his relationship with his many children. Karl Malone first had kids when he was only 17-year-old, although it wasn't until almost two decades later that he claimed paternity of the kids. He also knocked up a 13-year-old, and has constantly fought to avoid paying child support. His most successful child (that carries his surname, that is) may be K.J. Malone, an offensive tackle that weighs more than 300 pounds! K.J. is likely not going to make it as a pro athlete either though, as he's in his last year playing college football without any real sign of making the pros.
4 4. Trey Jason Kidd
Trey Jason Kidd has been in the media quite a bit, starting when it became clear that Jason Kidd, his father, had been abusing his mother. Jason Kidd—who has always seemed to be a hot head—had to take anger management classes and get counselling. Apparently, in their fights, he broke her ribs and smashed her head against the inside of a car. A few years later, after they'd gotten divorced and he'd married a former model, he got busted for driving drunk. What's wrong with this guy? Anyway, it's no wonder that Trey didn't pursue basketball, as his dad obviously wasn't a good role model. Based on his social media presences, he seems like a normal, unambitious 19-year-old.
3 3. Kylee Malone
Karl Malone is known as being probably the best power forward in the history of the NBA. He formed a remarkable duo with John Stockton that used a lot of pick-and-rolls to dominate opponents for years. While his career was largely smooth sailing on the court, he screwed up often as a dad. He's apparently the father of NFL player Demetress Bell, but hasn't addressed it publicly either way, and Bell says Malone told them that it's too late now for them to have a father-son relationship. He's also the father of WNBA player Cheryl Ford, college football player KJ Malone, and three daughters. The daughters seem largely unaccomplished, considering the wealthy background they grew up in. Kylee Malone has a lot of social media accounts, but the 25-year-old doesn't seem to have done anything notable compared to her more talented siblings.
2 2. Shawn Bradley’s Kids
This is one of my least favourite photos that I've ever laid eyes on. Look at those terrible boots Shawn Bradley is wearing. Look at that dorky self-satisfaction on his face from having so many kids and a motorcycle. Look at those boys and their matching sweater vests. It's an unpleasant scene overall, and it's made worse when you remember that Bradley is like 7'6"—one of the tallest guys to ever play in the NBA—and so that motorcycle must be absolutely massive as well. One of Bradley's kids, Charity, has made a name for herself as a volleyball player, no doubt based on the impressive height she inherited. Aside from her, though, the rest of the kids are large but not particularly skilled from the sounds of it.
1 1. Daryl Ford
There do not seem to be any photos online of Daryl Ford, because he hasn't done anything notable with his life so far. However, as you can see from the photo above, he's also a child of Karl Malone's. As we've realized over the years, the Mailman has a true aversion to being a father figure. He fathered twins back in 1981—when he was 17 years old—years before he began playing professional basketball and became one of the most successful NBA players of all time. Finally, in 1998, he visited his son Daryl, whose twin sister, Cheryl, had a solid WNBA career. While Karl was off earning millions, his children's mother raised the kids alone. Daryl was quoted as saying: "It's going to be some hard feelings for a while. But eventually, we'll get over it and let bygones be bygones" which seems to make it clear that he still carries resentment around against his dad.
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