Best Brothers in NBA History: Can the Thompson brothers join the elite?

Pau and Marc Gasol
Photo : Marca / Icon Sport

There have been many cases during the rich NBA history of pair of brothers making it to the league. Some of them played together and won NBA championships. The 2023 NBA Draft, will feature another pair of brothers, the twins Amen and Ausar Thompson. They are projected to be selected high in the draft and will most likely have long and successful NBA careers.

In this article, we will look back at the most successful pars of brothers in NBA history.

The Best Brothers in NBA History

Pau and Marc Gasol

The Spanish legends are the most successful brothers in NBA history and probably in the game of basketball in general. They both have won the NBA championships and numerous medals representing Spain in the European and World Championships as well as the Olympics. They never played together on an NBA team but become the first brothers to be starters on an All-Star game in 2015.

Pau became the highest European player to be drafted when the Atlanta Hawks selected him with the third overall pick at the 2001 NBA Draft. Pau was dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies on draft night, which ended up as a perfect move for them as he won the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year award.

His brother Marc was selected with the 48th pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and was included in the trade package that sent him to the Grizzlies and Pau to the Lakers.

Pau went on to become a key part of the Lakers teams that won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. He played perfectly in a tandem with Kobe Bryant and got his jersey retired by the Lakers earlier this year.

Marc spent the majority of his career in Memphis and won the Defensive Player of the Yera award in 2013. In 2019, he moved to Toronto and won the NBA championship in his only season with the Raptors.

Steph and Seth Curry

Steph Curry made it to the NBA as the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft selected by the Golden State Warriors. Fourteen years later, he is one of the greatest and most influential basketball players of all time. He led the Warriors to 4 NBA championships, won back-to-back MVP awards in 2015 and 2016, and won the NBA Finals award in 2022. Meanwhile, Steph became the best three-point shooter in NBA history, and some of his records would probably stay forever.

Seth went undrafted in 2013 despite the fact that he was the starting point guard for Duke University. Seth made his NBA debut in 2013 with the Memphis Grizzlies and was in and out of the NBA for the next couple of seasons. In 2016, he signed with the Dallas Mavericks and, since then, has been a solid NBA player. He is currently with the Brooklyn Nets.

Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Giannis and Thanasis are playing together with the Milwaukee Bucks and won the 2021 NBA championships, becoming the only brothers to win the title together. Giannis was drafted 15th overall by the Bucks in 2013. He quickly became one of the best players in the league, which culminated in winning back-to-back MVP awards in 2019 and 2020. In 2020, he became only the third player in NBA history to win the MVP and the Defensive Player of the Year award in the same season, joining Bill Russell and Michael Jordan.

His four years older brother, Thanasis, was drafted by the New York Knicks as the 51st pick at the 2014 NBA Draft. He had a short sting with the Knicks in 2016 and signed for the Bucks in 2019. He is not even close to the level of his brother Giannis.

Their younger brother Kostas was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 60th pick in 2018. He played a total of 22 games for the Mavericks in Lakers from 2019 to 2021. he spent the last season with the Turkish team Fenerbahce.

Dominique and Gerald Wilkens

Dominique Wilkins is one of the best dunkers the NBA has ever seen, and at the same time, he is one of the best players in NBA history that has never won a ring. Dominique was the third overall pick at the 1982 draft selected by the Utah Jazz, but he did not want to play for them and was tarded to Atlanta. He spent 12 seasons with the Hawks and holds the franchise records for minutes played, points scored, rebounds, and many more. After leaving Atlanta, he had short stints with the Clippers and the Celtics before he spent some time in Europe with Panathinaikos and Foritudo Bologna, becoming the highest-paid player ever in Europe.

Gerland had a solid 14-year career in the NBA. In his prime, Gerald played for the Cavaliers and Knicks and was self-proclaimed as the Jordan stopper. We all know how that ended up.

Lonzo and Lamelo Ball

Lonzo and Lamelo Ball
Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Lonzo and Lamelo Ball still have not been long enough in the league to be mentioned among the best pairs of brothers that ever played, but there are the most popular ones at the moment.

The Ball brothers were stars even before making it to the NBA. Lonzo was drafted second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017. The Lakers had sky-high expectations of him, especially after LeBron James joined the team. Lonzo was still not ready to take on all the pressure, and the trade to New Orleans was great for him.

With the Pelicans, he established himself as a solid NBA point guard. In 2021, Lonzo signed with the Chicago Bulls, but unfortunately, he missed the entire 2022-23 season with a knee injury.

Lamelo was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets as the third pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He won the Rookie of the Year award and, in 2022, made his first ALl-Star appearance.

The third brother from the Ball family, LiAngelo, signed a couple of contracts with the Pistons and the Hornets but never played a single minute in the NBA.

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