In 2022, LeBron James admitted his legendary basketball career will end at some point in the not-so-distant future when he said he’d be very interested in playing his final season alongside his son Bronny, who had already started to make a name for himself as a high schooler.
Only time will tell if that vision comes to fruition, but Bronny seems well on his way to making the leap to the NBA at some point based on the skill set that saw him get recruited by a number of high-profile college basketball programs before deciding to take his talents to USC.
If he does manage to make it to the big time, he’ll be added to the list of the dozens of NBA players who managed to follow in their father’s footsteps by earning a roster spot in the most prestigious basketball league on the planet.
If Bronny ends up getting signed to an NBA team, you could argue he and LeBron could instantly be considered the most talented father-son duo in the history of the league based entirely on what his father has managed to achieve over a 20-plus season career where he’s cemented himself as one of the best basketball players to ever live.
Bronny will also be fighting a borderline Sisyphean battle if he’s hoping he can even come close to matching his dad’s legacy, as it’s very, very hard to imagine he’ll be able to make a similar mark on the league when everything was said and done.
However, there’s always a chance he’ll be able to ensure he and LeBron are in the conversation when it comes to the best father-son duo the NBA has ever seen—which includes some other noteworthy candidates.
Which father-son duo fared the best in the NBA?
This can be a fairly tricky question to definitively answer based on an issue I alluded to in the intro; there are plenty of cases where the person who played first set a virtually unsurpassable bar (as seems to be the case with LeBron) as well as others where the dad had a fairly unremarkable career but mentored a son who put his achievements to shame.
We also have plenty of examples to choose from, as there have been 96 former NBA players who’ve seen their offspring take the same path in life (they’ve actually produced a grand total of 102 players thanks to the dads that have sent multiple kids to the league—none more prolific than Rick Berry, who was succeeded by Jon, Brent, and Drew).
There are some fairly lopsided combinations on the talent front thanks to the likes of Patrick Ewing and Patrick Ewing Jr., Joe and Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen and Scotty Pippen Jr., and John and David Stockton.
However, there are also a handful of combos featuring a slightly more even distribution of talent.
That includes a few of the fathers and sons who can both brag about winning at least one NBA title as a player, especially:
- Bill Walton and Luke Walton
- Mychal Thompson and Klay Thompson
- Gary Payton and Gary Payton II
The offspring of Payton and Thompson have spent the bulk of their NBA careers with the Golden State Warriors, which is also the case with the son of a former player who may be part of the answer to the question at hand: Dell Curry.
Curry spent the bulk of his 16 seasons in the NBA coming off of the bench, but the fact that he played for as long as he did is a testament to what he brought to the table in the 1,083 games he played for five different teams.
He may never end up enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, but the same can’t be said for Steph Curry, a man who is indisputably the deadliest three-point shooter in NBA history and will undoubtedly be enshrined in Springfield on the first ballot after his playing days come to an end.
Dell also deserves some bonus points here, as Seth Curry may not be able to hold a candle to his brother but is still a very solid player in his own right.
I’d subsequently argue Dell and Steph Curry are the most talented father-son combo across the board based on what they were each able to achieve in the NBA—although LeBron and Bronnny could end up taking the crown depending on how everything pans out.