LeBron and Bronny James join list of top NBA father-son duos

ByESPN Staff ESPN logo
Friday, June 28, 2024

Some of the NBA's greatest talents were raised not too far from the league.

Though no father-son duo has ever played in the same NBA game, LeBron James has long expressed his desire to play in the NBA with his son, Bronny James. The elder James' wish came one step closer to being true on Thursday, when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Bronny as the No. 55 pick in the second round of the 2024 NBA draft.

The history of the league proves that talent doesn't often fall too far from the family tree. Here are some other father-son tandems that have reached the league.

Dell Curry, Stephen Curry, Seth Curry

One of the best 3-point shooters of his era, Dell Curry played 16 seasons in the NBA, winning the 1993-94 Sixth Man of the Year award.

Dell shot at least 40% from deep in nine seasons, including a league-high 47.6% in the 1998-99 season. He still holds records for the most games played and 2-point field goals made in Charlotte Hornets franchise history.

Curry often brought his two sons, Stephen Curry and Seth Curry, to shootarounds during his nine seasons in the association-- and they followed in their dad's footsteps, becoming elite 3-point shooters themselves. Since entering the league in 2013, Seth shot below 40% from the 3-point line in just one full season. In 14 NBA seasons and counting, Stephen has shot below 40% from deep only twice.

Stephen has also won four championships and earned 10 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA honors and two MVP awards with the Golden State Warriors. In 2022, he became the NBA's all-time leader in 3-point field goals made.

The brothers faced off in the 3-point shooting competition during NBA All-Star Weekend in 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Stephen finished second, while Seth didn't advance past the first round.

Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant's dad, Joe Bryant, spent eight seasons in the NBA. Originally drafted by the Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Joe before the season started.

He spent four seasons with the 76ers, appearing in the 1977 NBA Finals, and three seasons with the San Diego Clippers. He played his final NBA season with the Houston Rockets before playing overseas in France and Italy, where Kobe spent a majority of his childhood.

After Kobe was drafted No. 13 by the Charlotte Hornets in 1996, the Lakers immediately traded for him. He spent 20 seasons in Los Angeles, winning five championships and earning 18 All-Star appearances and 11 first-team All-NBA honors.

Rick Barry, Brent Barry

One of the rare players to participate in both the NBA and ABA, Rick Barry was a 12-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA member and one-time champion. Barry averaged at least 20 points per game in 12 of 14 seasons, including a career-high 35 points in the 1966-67 season.

Just like his dad, Brent Barry played 14 seasons, but he won two championships with the San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 24 minutes per game during the Spurs' title run in 2005, then 11.8 in the 2007 run.

Mychal Thompson, Klay Thompson

In 1978, Mychal Thompson became the first foreign-born player to be selected No. 1 overall. He spent eight seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded to theSpurs and then once more to the Lakers.

Mychal won back-to-back championships with the Lakers in 1988 and 1989, serving as a backup to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He retired in 1991.

His son, Klay Thompson, has spenthis entire career with the Warriors, winning four championships and earning five All-Star appearances. Klay is among the top 10 in 3-point field goals made all time, while his dad made one 3-pointer in his NBA career.

The Thompsons are among five father-son duos to each win an NBA championship.

Tim Hardaway, Tim Hardaway Jr.

The king of the killer crossover, Tim Hardaway made five All-Star appearances and won All-NBA honors in his Hall of Fame career. He averaged at least 20 points per game in five of 13 seasons and was part of the Warriors' "Run TMC" trio of the early 1990s.

That high-powered scoring transferred to his son, Tim Hardaway Jr., who averaged double-digit points in 9 of his first 10 NBA seasons.

Bill Walton, Luke Walton

A decorated college player, Bill Walton found similar success in the NBA.

He won two championships in 10 seasons and averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds and 3.4 blocks during the Blazers' title run in 1977. The elder Walton was also a key player off the bench with the Boston Celtics in their 1985-86 championship season.

Luke Walton also played 10 seasons and won back-to-back championships in a reserve role with the Lakers.

Gary Payton,Gary Payton II

Gary Payton's 17-year playing career included nine NBA All-Star and All-NBA appearances each plus a Defensive Player of the Year Award. He appeared in 23 games during the Miami Heat's 2006 championship run, playing 24.3 minutes per game.

Though Gary Payton II hasn't been named an All-Star or All-NBA, he has inherited his father's defensive prowess and won a championship. Gary II was injured in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals and missed the conference finals during the Warriors' 2022 title run. But he returned in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, averaging 18.5 minutes per game in the series.

Arvydas Sabonis,Domantas Sabonis

Playing seven seasons in the NBA, Arvydas Sabonis displayed his unique skill set for a big man. He is considered one of the greatest passing centers and was an important part of the late 1990s/early 2000s Trail Blazers.

His passing skills were handed down to Domantas Sabonis, a three-time All-Star and one-time All-NBA honoree. Last season, he averaged 19.4 points, as well as a league-high 13.7 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game.