There have been over 50 combinations of brothers who have played in the NBA together, and by my count, the league currently employs eight sets of them today.
The NBA’s most famous sibling tandem is Pau and Marc Gasol, who on Sunday will etch their name in history as the first set of brothers to start together in an All Star Game. It started back in 1970 when the Van Arsdale brothers—Dick and Tom—became the first set of brothers to play in league’s midseason classic.
We’ve power ranked the top NBA brothers in an eight-seed bracket. Now we won’t play the bracket out, we’ll let you decide that in the comments section. We’re just laying out the matchup’s how we think they’d be seeded.
As you’ll notice, some notable NBA brothers aren’t on the list. For instance, Stephen and Seth Curry have both played in the NBA but Seth is currently in the NBA D-League. The same goes for the Teague, Antetokounmpo, and Griffin brothers. We’ve left them off and limited it to current players in the NBA only.
Let’s tip it off.
8. The Dragic Brothers
Zoran Dragic, Phoenix Suns: 25 years old, 6’5″, 200 pounds
Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns: 28 years old, 6’3″, 190 pounds
They may be the eighth and final seed in this ranking but never discount the craftiness and skill of the international player. Goran Dragic has proved himself to be an all-star caliber player while younger brother Zoran waits in the wings on the Phoenix Suns bench.
Zoran’s international career is nothing to overlook though as he’s two-time Slovenian league champion and 2011 Finals MVP. Like the Gasol’s this year, the Dragic’s aided in making history in a January 2nd game when both Goran and Zoran, Markieff and Marcus Morris all played on the court together briefly in a fourth quarter.
I would expect a lot of shifty bounce passes and between the legs dribbles from these international siblings. Unfortunately, their size and lack of consistent shooting will probably do them in in this type of tournament.
7. The Zeller Brothers
Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets: 22 years old, 7’0″, 240 pounds
Tyler Zeller, Boston Celtics: 25 years old, 7’1″, 253 pounds
If we were power ranking the most awkward looking brothers in the NBA then the Zeller’s would easily be No. 1. I’m telling you, these guys look like they were cast in the movie Hoosiers, which is ironic because they’re from Indiana.
Though younger, Cody is the more dynamic player having started 35 games for the Charlotte Hornets this season.
Unfortunately for these brothers it’s going to take a woefully awful shooting game from their opponent if they have any hope to move on. Because let’s be frank, I have zero confidence that they can shoot, pass, body, or rebound with anyone else on this list.
6. The Holiday Brothers
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans: 24 years old, 6’4″, 205 pounds
Justin Holiday, Golden State Warriors: 25 years old, 6’6″, 185 pounds
Jrue and Justin Holiday are probably the least well-known brothers in the NBA. While most everyone knows Jrue Holiday, they don’t know the Warriors’ Justin Holiday. Or if they do know Justin Holiday they don’t that Jrue and Justin Holiday are actually brothers.
It’s that level of anonymity that could make this duo a very dangerous one in a 2-on-2 format. Both guys are savvy ball handlers while Justin can flat-out ring it up from three-point range.
It would take a miracle performance, almost like a literal David vs. Goliath, to make a deep run in this tourney, but I don’t doubt that Justin and Jrue Holiday would be the ones to do it.
5. The Plumlee Brothers
Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn Nets: 24 years old, 6’11”, 235 pounds
Miles Plumlee, Phoenix Suns: 26 years old, 6’11”, 255 pounds
While their combined success in the NBA thus far doesn’t warrant higher than a five seed, the Plumlee brother’s size and athleticism combination would be terribly difficult to beat in a 2-on-2 game.
Mason has been the better of the two brothers during their short NBA careers’ but Miles has proved more than serviceable in Phoenix this season. Mason has also seen his career reach new territories this season, seeing extended playing time due to multiple injuries across Brooklyn’s front line.
If Mason comes out and somehow wins the NBA Dunk Contest on Saturday night I might have to seriously reconsider where I slot these former-Duke Blue Devils.
4. The Millsap Brothers
Elijah Millsap, Utah Jazz: 27 years old, 6’6″, 215 pounds
Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks: 30 years old, 6’8″, 253 pounds
This pairing of brothers stays afloat mainly because of older brother Paul. And it’s Paul’s tenacity and motor on the court that would make these brothers extremely difficult to beat. Paul has always been one of the more underrated players in the league, and as a two-time All Star he’s starting to get the recognition he deserves.
Younger brother Elijah Millsap is a name most people dart over to Google just to make sure he’s Paul’s brother before engaging in a conversation. However, Elijah can hoop.
His skill often goes overlooked in a standard 5-on-5 game, but in a game of 2-on-2 him and Paul possess the type of game that makes you underestimate them before the tip only to reappear down 8-0 just like that.
3. The Morris Twins
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns: 25 years old, 6’9″, 235 pounds
Marcus Morris, Phoenix Suns: 25 years old, 6’10”, 245 pounds
The Morris twins are what I like to call “real ballers for real.” Essentially, they’ve been by each others side since coming out of the womb and share a chemistry on the court that results in nifty back cuts and fierce alley-oops.
While neither does anything exceptionally well, together, you can bet this will be one of the more unbeatable duo’s in a 2-on-2 game. With skill sets that make them dangerous inside and out, athleticism to blow past you, and a propensity for never playing defense; you can bet that this is the most 2-on-2 ready squad in this field.
2. The Lopez Twins
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets: 26 years old, 7’0″, 275 pounds
Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers: 26 years old, 7’0″, 255 pounds
Have fun dealing with this duo of seven-footers in a game of 2-on-2. With Brook’s ability as an offensive post weapon, and Robin’s defensive prowess blocking shots and agitating shooters, it’ll be tough to trade baskets with these two.
Twins are all the rage, so you can rest assured knowing these identical hoopers have been hustling cats on the blacktop since they were six-foot-tall fourth graders. I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t lost either.
‘The grind’ is a term that comes to mind when I imagine how it would feel to play Brook and Robin Lopez. They would just grind you down until you’re too tired to even compete anymore. You have to think, with their size and versatility the Lopez twins have to be the best possible shot at taking down the No. 1 seed.
1. The Gasol Brothers
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies: 30 years old, 7’1″, 265 pounds
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls: 34 years old, 7’0″, 250 pounds
Pau could play by himself against any of these other brother pairings and likely win. Add in the accolades of younger brother Marc, and you have an international duo so deadly it should be on George W.’s “Axis of Evil.”
What makes these so dangerous is their ability to play the inside-outside game. Pau has one of the best face-up jumpers in the game, while Marc is hands down the best passing big man in the NBA today. He also has the ability to shoot the ball from the free throw line extended, giving this duo not one, but two, dead-eye mid-range shooters.
Not to mention, once they start backing you down in the post it’s essentially game over. The only way I can think to beat these two in a game of 2-on-2 is to have you and your brother magically turn into Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant and just shoot them out of the gym.
Plus, we all know Pau has the one of the best Twitter games in the NBA so unless you want your name shamed all over everyone’s timeline you better go out and beat them.
(Featured Image courtesy of Christopher Johnson)