We all remember that family of brothers in high school who were the uber athletes on campus. They usually starred in multiple sports and wore letterman jackets to school everyday. Almost always, though, once they got out of high school, and into the college or the professional ranks, one brother overshadowed the other. It must be difficult to be the lesser talented brother because despite being incredibly talented, it just doesn't matter because the brother is just better.
To make it to the professional ranks in the NBA, a player must be sensational at the sport, and they should be incredibly proud of themselves. If you are talented enough to make it even to Division I basketball, you must be a fairly impressive athlete. To have a sibling also make it to that level would be a dream, and an incredible experience to share with your sibling, but somewhere deep inside, there is always going to be a little feeling of resentment and animosity toward that person who has long taken your shine.
Today, we will recount the top 15 NBA players who were MUCH better than their siblings, and we will try to feel the pain of being great, but always being second best in the family.
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15 Austin Rivers (brother, Jeremiah)
Poor Jeremiah Rivers. Not only was his father a long time NBA player, but his brother Austin is now playing for the team their father coaches. Jeremiah is five years older than younger brother Austin. Jeremiah was a very good player for the Georgetown Hoyas and the Indiana Hoosiers during his college days. After college, Jeremiah played overseas for a season before injuries derailed his shot at an NBA career. Younger brother Austin, however, went to Duke University for one season before being selected 10th overall in the 2012 draft. Austin is now a solid role player with the LA Clippers, and has hopes of finding a starting spot in the league soon. Austin has recently started finding his place in the NBA as a 6th man and spark off the bench. Jeremiah, however, has not played professional ball since 2013. One wonders whether there is any tension between the two at family dinners.
14 Paul Millsap (brother, Elijah)
Elijah, who is two years younger than Paul, had been bouncing around the D-league since 2011 when he went underrated out of UAB. Last season, Elijah spent his time playing for European basketball powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv. Before joining Tel Aviv, Elijah spent time with five different D-league teams. Paul, on the other hand, is now an NBA veteran and has been an incredibly effective starter for the Atlanta Hawks for several years.
In 2015, Paul Millsap signed a three-year, $59 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Hawks, in the same season Paul was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Elijah has never been able to sign with an NBA team, but his desire and passion for the game can never be questioned. To be a life long D-league/International player takes passion and commitment, especially when your brother is raking in over $50 million in the NBA.
13 Jrue Holiday (brother, Justin)
Justin Holiday was never viewed in the same light as his brother, Jrue. Four years into his career, Jrue was an all-star, while four years into Justin's career, he was playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-league. Jrue has been stricken with some recent injury problems that have prevented him from taking the next step in his career, but he is looking to bounce back this season with the New Orleans Pelicans. All the Holiday children are basketball players, including younger sister Lauren, and youngest brother Aaron, who both play ball for UCLA. Justin is the eldest of the bunch, but it is Jrue who seemingly gets all the attention, and deservedly so. Coming out of high school, Jrue was ranked in the top five high school players by many publications, while Justin was happy to crack the top 100 of his class. Justin does have one thing he can hang over his brothers head though. In 2015, Justin was the 14th man on the Golden State Warriors roster, which means he is the proud owner of an NBA championship ring, and that is something he surely enjoys reminding Jrue about.
12 Carl Landry (brother, Marcus)
Only two years separate Marcus and Carl, with Carl being the elder of the two. As high school players, it was actually Marcus who was the better player. In fact, Carl was cut from his freshman team and didn't see minutes with the varsity team until his junior season. After high school, Carl went to junior college to try to make a name for himself and hopefully transfer to a Division I program. It worked out for him when he was able to transfer to Purdue. During his senior season with the Boilermakers, Landry led the team in both points and rebounds. After his stellar senior season, Carl was drafted in the second round of the 2007 Draft and has since played 12 seasons in the NBA, averaging over 10 points per game in 8 of those seasons, including the 2010 season when he averaged over 18 points per game.
Marcus, who was much more highly touted out of high school, spent four years at the University of Wisconsin and had a very respectable college career. Since graduating in 2009, Marcus has been bouncing between the D-league and international basketball organizations. Marcus' greatest accomplishment would probably have to be when he was named a D-league All-Star in 2013.
11 Goran Dragic (brother, Zoran)
This pair of Slovenian brothers are among the best international siblings in basketball history. Unfortunately for younger Zoran, the older Goran has received most of the attention from the NBA. In 2008, Goran was selected in the second round of the draft after spending three seasons overseas playing professional ball. Since joining the Phoenix Suns in 2008, Goran has had some impressive successes in the NBA, including being named to the All-NBA 3rd team in 2014 as well as being named the Most Improved Player that same season. In 2015, all the hard work paid off for Goran as he signed a five-year $90 million deal with the Miami Heat.
As for Zoran, he has spent all but a year of his 12-year professional career playing overseas with various clubs in various leagues. In 2014, Zoran signed a deal with the Phoenix Suns and was able to play alongside his brother Goran briefly. The brothers were traded together to the Miami Heat in 2015, but Zoran was soon released before bouncing around the D-league and landing in Europe once again.
10 Mark Price (brother, Brent)
Brent Price was a solid basketball player in his day, but you likely never knew that because his older brother Mark was one of the best point guards in the NBA during the time Brent was trying to get playing time in the league. Brent was drafted in the second round of the 1992 NBA draft and spent 10 years on the bench of many NBA teams. In 10 seasons, Brent was able to amass over 2,400 points, and 1,200 assists. Older brother Mark, however, was able to carve out quite a nice career for himself. Over his 12 seasons in the league, Mark was able to make it to four All-Star teams, and in 1993, he was named to the All-NBA First Team. Having his greatest successes with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that traded for him on draft day in 1986, Price had his number retired by the franchise.
Up until Kyrie Irving, Mark was the greatest point guard the Cavaliers ever had. Mark is currently the head coach at UNC Charlotte, while Brent lives in Enid, Oklahoma with his wife and their four children.
9 Bernard King (brother, Albert)
Many people view Bernard King as one of the more underrated players in NBA history, as his name is seldom mentioned when discussing the 1980s, but he was named to four All-NBA teams, as well as four All-Star games, and in 1985, he was the NBA scoring champion. The lack of appreciation for his talent seems to run in the family with the Kings. Bernard's younger brother, Albert, was also an NBA player, though not as accomplished as Bernard, but still a talented player nonetheless. Albert was drafted by the Nets in the 1981 Draft out of Maryland. Albert would end up spending 10 seasons in the NBA and finish with a respectable career average of 12 points per game.
Whatever spotlight the King family did get would usually go to big brother Bernard, including in 2006, when the basketball experts at TNT released their unofficial "Next 10" list, which counted the "next 10" on the NBA's 50 greatest players list.
8 Horace Grant (brother, Harvey)
Horace Grant is widely viewed as one of the great "role players" of all time. His twin brother Harvey is barely known among basketball fans. The two grew up Georgia, and attended Clemson together, at least for one season. Harvey was not receiving the amount of playing time at Clemson that he thought he deserved so after one season, he transferred to Oklahoma. Harvey was selected with the 12 pick in the 1988 draft, but his talents never materialized and he spent his 11-year career bouncing from team to team trying to stay on a roster. Horace, on the other hand, was selected with the 10th pick in the 1987 draft to the up-and-coming Chicago Bulls. With Michael Jordan leading the way, Horace won three NBA titles in his first six seasons. He would later add another title with the Shaq and Kobe-led Los Angeles Lakers in 2001.
Horace was the perfect veteran big man for many good teams throughout his 17 seasons, and will always be remembered for his mad scientist goggles as well as his tenacity as a top level defender.
7 George Gervin (brother, Derrick)
Derrick Gervin is 11 years younger than his iconic brother George "The Iceman" Gervin. Derrick was drafted in the 4th round of the 1985 draft, but was only able to last in the NBA for two seasons. He spent the other 14 years of his career pinballing from team to team and league to league around the world. Older brother George, however, was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, and in 1996, he was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. George was a nine-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA first team selection, and led the league in scoring on four separate occasions. George's career began in the ABA, the same league that started the three-point shot and the Slam Dunk Contest.
George spent his final NBA season with the Chicago Bulls during the 1986 season, and ironically, his final game was the iconic 63-point performance by Michael Jordan. Gervin recorded an assist and a personal foul in five minutes during that game.
6 Klay Thompson (brother, Mychel)
It is interesting how many fans believe Klay Thompson has been overshadowed by his teammate, and fellow splash brother, Steph Curry, (also on this list) yet somehow, Klay still overshadows his own brother, Mychel. Mychel is two years older than Klay, but Klay has created an incredible name for himself already. Mychel has spent the last six years playing ball in the NBA D-league, playing quite well in fact. But in that same amount of time, younger brother Klay has been on two All-NBA teams and two NBA All-Star teams, an NBA championship team, and is a three-point champion. Klay has also been part of team USA basketball for several years as well.
The Thompson family has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to athleticism. Klay and Mychel's father, Mychal Thompson, is a two-time NBA champion. There is also a third brother, Trayce Thompson, who is having a breakout season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It makes you wonder what it was like in the Thompson house during the summertime when all the kids would get together for some pick-up games.
5 George Mikan (brother, Ed)
George Mikan is responsible for most of what we know the game of basketball to be today. He was the original big man of the sport, as well as the man who introduced the three-point line into the NBA rule book. During his playing days, George was the first dominant big man to play the game of basketball. In 10 years, he won seven championships, two MVP awards, and three scoring titles, as well as a rebounding title. Many rule changes came about due to Mikan's dominance, including the goal tending rule and the widening of the lane to six feet. Mikan also had a younger brother with some basketball skills as well. Younger Ed Mikan was a talented 6'8" center, much in the mold of 6'10 George.
Ed would have a successful career at DuPaul University prior to spending six seasons in the NBA. His presence was never remotely close to what George was able to create, but Ed was a solid basketball player in his own right.
4 Dominique Wilkins (brother, Gerald)
Gerald Wilkins is the younger brother of NBA legend Dominique Wilkins. Many people have forgotten, or simply never knew, that Gerald was a quality NBA player for years. During the late 1980s, Gerald helped the young star Patrick Ewing lead the New York Knicks in their rebuilding time. Gerald was able to spend 14 seasons in the NBA, finishing his career with over 11,000 total points. Gerald was a quality role player, but his older brother was so much more than that. Dominique was one of the original superstars of the slam dunk era. Niq was the leader of a very talented Atlanta Hawks team during the 1980s.
During his prime, Dominique led the NBA in scoring in 1986 and was named to nine All-Star Games. "The Human Highlight Reel,"as he was dubbed, will be most remembered for his legendary Slam Dunk Contest battles with Michael Jordan in the 80s. Niq was enshrined in the NBA Hall of Fame in 2006.
3 Blake Griffin (brother, Taylor)
Separated by three years, the Griffin brothers were able to play together in both high school and college. The brothers led their high school team to two State Championships, and together at Oklahoma, they were able to get the Sooners into the Elite 8 of the 2009 NCAA tournament. After his senior season at OU in 2009, Blake was selected late in the second round by the Phoenix Suns. He lasted only one season in Phoenix before being waved by the team early on in his second season. Since then, Blake has been bouncing between the D-league and a few European leagues. His younger brother Blake... well, he is hard to miss. It seems every time you turn on the TV or go on the Internet, there is an ad with Blake Griffin in your face. Blake is one of the faces of the NBA today, and with his dunking ability, it is no wonder why.
Blake has teamed with superstar point guard Chris Paul to form one of the best pick and roll combinations the league has ever known. Blake and the Clippers will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing end to their season, which saw them go down to the Portland Trail Blazers in the playoffs after the injury bug hit many of the Clippers starters.
2 Steph Curry (brother, Seth)
Steph Curry has been underrated and overlooked most of his life, so don't feel too bad for his brother Seth. Seth attended Duke University before finding his way to the NBA. He was undrafted in 2013 and spent his first three seasons bouncing between the D-leauge and short-term NBA contracts. Finally, after proving he has what it takes to play in the league last season, Seth signed a two-year, $2.9 million contract this off-season with the Dallas Mavericks -- maybe that is news to you? What is not news is that Steph Curry is coming into next season as the back-to-back NBA MVP. Steph has overshadowed, not only his little brother, but he has overshadowed everyone in the NBA for the better part of two years now.
It wasn't until LeBron James and the Cavaliers snatched the NBA title from Curry and his Warriors that anyone was willing to debate who the best player in the game is. Steph is doing things never before seen on a basketball court, and to no fault of his own, Seth Curry is left being the unknown Curry.
1 Larry Bird (brother, Eddie)
Eddie grew up with the shadow of a top 10 NBA player in history as his brother. Not only that, but Eddie was 10 years younger than Larry Legend, so the shadow had plenty of time to grow large. Eddie and Larry seemed to have a good relationship despite the big gap in age. Growing up, Eddie did not like always being Larry's little brother, but as he grew and matured, he realized it was not the worst thing that could have happened to him. Eddie was quoted as saying. "It used to bother me, but not anymore, it's probably better to be his brother than not. It's opened a lot of doors for me." Eddie never did make it to the NBA, but he was able to spend a little time overseas and make some money playing the game he loved.
His big brother Larry, of course, is an all-time great and one of the 10 best basketball players to ever step on the court. Larry is now the president of operations for the Indiana Pacers, while his much younger brother Eddie is city park superintendent at Terre Haute in Indiana.
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