Growing up as kids, professional athletes are often looked up to as role models. Whether it's football, basketball, baseball, or even golf and tennis, the youth have athletes who they aspire to play like and learn from.
When it comes to basketball, they look at the way players dribble, shoot, play defense, dunk, pass, rebound, and more. Whether it was Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Allen Iverson, Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, these players put it all on the line every time they step foot on a court. Children admire their passion and love for the game and use those traits in their own game. Although most children look up to athletes in the NBA, some actually live with these role models.
Some players are following after their father by playing in the NBA. Some players that played in the NBA had the privelege of watching their fathers play professionally. So instead of watching television to see athletes play, they could watch their fathers courtside or in the comfort of their homes.
These players had the advantage of having somebody in their lives that has already accomplished what every basketball player hopes to accomplish in life and that's play in the NBA. Fathers can teach lessons to their sons and their children strive towards their goals. These players are better known as second-generation players.
Now, let's take a look at a few.
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15 John Paxson
Jim Paxson, Sr. only played in the NBA for two seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers and the Cincinnati Royals. He averaged 8 PPG and 4.5 RPG and made the playoffs with both teams.
His son John Paxson however had the advantage of playing with teammates by the name of Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan, if you ever heard of them. Paxson went on to be part of Jordan and Pippen's first three-peat.
14 Jae Crowder
Corey Crowder, father of Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder, played in the NBA for two seasons with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs averaging just a merely 2.0 PPG. Corey played much of his professional career overseas in France and Spain.
Jae Crowder is currently having a breakout year in his career with the Celtics, who are playing the best basketball they have played in years as Crowder is averaging career highs this season in every single category.
Crowder is like a new player this year and has helped the Celtics into becoming a young playoff team that could makes some noise if they stay healthy.
13 Mike Dunleavy Jr.
Mike Dunleavy Sr. played in the NBA as a player for 14 years with the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and the San Antonio Spurs. After his time as a player, Dunleavy then went on to coach for 23 years during which Dunleavy went to the playoffs seven times, including going to the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers as a rookie head coach.
Dunleavy's son shares his name and has had more success as a player then his father so far. Although Dunleavy currently plays for the Chicago Bulls, he has not played a game yet this season due to injury. Dunleavy had his best season with the Indiana Pacers in 2007 when he averaged 19 PPG.
12 Brent Barry
Brent Barry of course is the son the great Rick Barry who had a better career than all three of his sons (Brent, Jon, and Drew). Barry won championships in the ABA (1969) and the NBA (1975) with the Golden State Warriors, where he also won the NBA Finals MVP honors. Barry was also a 8-time NBA All-Star, 4-time ABA All-Star and had his number 24 jersey retired by the Warriors.
Brent played in the NBA for 14 seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics, San Antonio Spurs, and the Houston Rockets, and although he didn't have a great career like his father, he still was a great shooter and role player for his teams. Brent, like his father, came out with two NBA Championships with the Rockets and Spurs, and surprisingly won a dunk contest in 1996.
11 Wesley Matthews Jr.
Wesley Matthews Sr. played in the NBA for 10 years with the Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Chicago Bulls, and the San Antonio Spurs. Wes won back-to-back championships with the Lakers alongside James Worthy, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
His son Wesley Matthews Jr. is a deadly shooter for the Dallas Mavericks, although he spent most of his time with the Portland Trailblazers. Matthews averaged 16 PPG the last 2 seasons for the Trailblazers, and made 201 threes in the 2013-14 as well as 173 in the 2014-15 season, which ranked top 10 both seasons.
Matthews, unlike his father, has not made it past the second round of the playoffs in his career so far, which is probably his reasoning for joining the Mavericks. Depending on their seeding, the Mavericks could make some noise in the playoffs this year if they are healthy.
10 Jabari Parker
Robert Parker, aka "Sonny," played in the NBA for six years with the Golden State Warriors. Parker's best year came during the 1978-79 season, in which he averaged 15.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.7 APG, and had a total of 144 steals and 33 blocks.
Parker's son Jabari is in his second season in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks after being selected second overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. Parker had a good rookie season but only played in 25 games after he tore his ACL in December of last year. Parker has all of the makings of being a great NBA player if he can stay healthy.
9 Andrew Wiggins
Mitchell Wiggins, father of number one overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins, played in the NBA for six years with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, and the Philadelphia 76ers.
His son Andrew is living up to the expectations of a first overall pick. Last season, Wiggins averaged 16.9 PPG and 4.6 RPG while taking home Rookie of the Year honors. This season, all his stats have declined except for his points. Wiggins has proven he can score in this league, now let's see if he can develop the rest of his game like another Cleveland first overall pick.
8 Al Horford
Tito Horford played in the NBA for three season with the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards and was a really a bust, which explains why he didn't play in the league that long. Tito was basically a bench warmer. In three seasons, Tito played a total of 63 games. However, his son Al is making up for his father.
Al Horford for the Atlanta Hawks seems to keep getting better and better. Horford helped lead the Hawks to their best season in franchise history in 2014-15 as they won 60 games and earned the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. This season, the Hawks are in the playoff race despite losing key players like DeMarre Carroll and Pero Antic meaning Horford really needs to step up his game.
7 Klay Thompson
Mychal Thompson played in the NBA for 13 years with the Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Thompspn was picked number one overall by the Trailblazers in the 1978 NBA Draft. Thompson proved he could score, averaging double figures in points his first 10 years in the league. Thompson teamed up with three other number one draft picks in 1987 named Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy to help win back-to-back championships.
Klay Thompson has truly followed in his father's footsteps, being a scorer, defender and NBA Champion. Last season, Thompson averaged a career high in PPG with 21.7 and was selected to his first All-Star Game. Thompson went on to help the Warriors win their first championship since 1975. Klay may have proved he is a better shooter than Dad though, scoring 37 points last season in one quarter, which is an NBA record.
6 Kevin Love
Stan Love played in the NBA for four years with the Baltimore Bullets and Los Angeles Lakers and while Love played in 234 games, he never started a game in his entire career, including the playoffs.
Before Kevin Love came to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he had never reached the postseason before in his first six seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He finally made it to the playoffs, but only played four games thanks in part to a first round injury. Love is having a great career so far with the best yet to come. With the Cavs one of the favorite to go back to the NBA Final this year, let's hope Love can stay healthy.
5 Jalen Rose
Jimmy Walker, the father of Jalen Rose (although he left Rose's mother prior to birth), had a pretty good NBA career in his nine years in the league. Walker was drafted first overall in the 1967 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. While with the Pistons, Walker was a two-time All-Star and had his best season with them averaging 21.3 PPG during the 1971-72 season. Walker also played with the Houston Rockets and the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.
Rose had a pretty good 13 years in the NBA as well. Rose, unlike his father, never made it to an All-Star Game but still could score like his father. Rose was named the Most Improved Player in 2000, after turning his game around. Rose did lead the Indiana Pacers to the NBA Finals, but lost to the Kobe, Shaq, and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
4 Mike Bibby
Henry Bibby almost went undrafted in the 1972 NBA draft, but eventually got selected 58th overall by the New York Knicks. Bibby played in the league for nine seasons and won an NBA Championship during his rookie year. He also went to the NBA Finals two more times with the Philadelphia 76ers. Bibby also played with the New Orleans Jazz and the San Diego Clippers. After his years of playing in the league, Bibby decided to coach in the NBA for nine years as an assistant.
Mike Bibby was exactly the opposite of his father and was selected 2nd overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Vancouver Grizzles. Bibby played pretty well with the Grizzles his first three seasons, but did his damage with the Sacramento Kings. During his eight seasons with the Kings, they reached the playoffs six times, including the Western Conference Finals in 2002 where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games.
3 Stephen Curry
We all know Stephen Curry and his father Dell. Dell was selected 15th overall by the Utah Jazz in 1986. Dell, like his son, was a scorer. Dell rmains the Charlotte Hornets all-time leading scorer with 9,839 points, including winning the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1994.
Dell's son on the other, Stephen Curry, had the season of his career and is only getting better. Last year Curry won the NBA MVP award, won the 3-pt shooting contest, made his 2nd NBA All-Star team, and of course won his first NBA Championship. So far in his 6.5 seasons, Curry is has the NBA record for most three pointers made in a season (286), NBA record for most three pointers in the playoffs (98), the Warriors franchise record for three pointers made (1341), and the Warriors franchise record in three pointers made in a game (11). This season the Warriors are looking like the team to beat as a repeat performance looks completely possible.
2 Pete Maravich
Petar "Press" Maravich played professional basketball with the Youngstown Bears and the Pittsburgh Ironmen for two seasons before he decided he wanted to be a coach. Press would leave the playing to his son Pete, who did not let him down.
"Pistol" Pete Maravich was drafted 3rd overall in the 1970 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. During his rookie season, Maravich averaged 23.2 PPG. Maravich led the Hawks to the playoffs three straight years, but failed to go far each time. Maravich had his best season with the New Orleans Jazz during the 1976-77 season, in which he averaged 31.2 PPG, including dropping 68 points against the New York Knicks. Maravich was a five-time NBA All-Star and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
1 Kobe Bryant
Joe Bryant was drafted in 14th overall in 1975 by the Golden State Warriors and played in the NBA for eight years. Joe started to heat up at the end of his career, averaging double digits points his last three seasons however it was not enough to stick around. After his stint in the NBA, he went overseas to coach. Little did he know in 1978, that he would give birth to a little boy named Kobe Bean Bryant.
Bryant announced at the beginning of the 2015-16 season that this would be his last year and why not? There is not much more for him to do, unless he wants to be like the other old players in the league and ride the bench of a championship caliber team. Everybody knows the story of Kobe, how he was drafted by Charlotte Hornets 13th overall in 1996, but was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he remained his entire career, becoming an NBA legend along the way.
Kobe leaves behind quite a legacy as it's safe to say Bryant will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
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