Study reveals the highest-paid father/son pairs in NBA history
- Late Kobe Bryant and his father, Joe, take the top spot as the highest-paid NBA father and son.
- The Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry and Klay Thompson take second and third with their respective fathers.
- The star-studded top ten features the likes of Scottie Pippen, Gary Payton, and Jalen Brunson.
Research has revealed the father/son combinations to have played in the NBA with the highest combined season earnings.
The study conducted by casino experts, Casinoarabi.io, analyzed the salary statistics of the close to 100 father/son duos to have appeared in the NBA. For all retired players (all of the fathers and a few sons) the most profitable season was selected. For players still in the NBA, their 2022/23 season earnings were analyzed, this being almost invariably their highest-paid.
- Joe and Kobe Bryant
The father-son duo taking the top spot is the beloved late Laker, Kobe Bryant, and his father, Joe. Kobe’s father played for the 76ers, Rockets, and (then San Diego) Clippers before finishing his European career. In the 1980/81 season, Joe picked up $4.3 million ($16 million today) playing for the Clippers. His son, hall of famer and all-round admired icon, whose NBA career spanned 20 years with the Lakers, was paid $30.5 million for the 2013/14 season. Adjusted for inflation, these salaries combine to $55.7 million in 2023.
- Dell and Steph Curry
In the second spot comes Dell Curry and two-time MVP son, Steph. Dell, whose NBA career spanned five teams, received $3.6 million ($6.9 million today) for the 1997/98 season with the Charlotte Hornets. Steph’s 2022/23 salary at Golden State Warriors came in at $48 million. When combined, these salaries equate to $55 million today.
- Mychal and Klay Thompson
In tow to his ‘splash bro’, Klay Thompson and his father Mychal make third on the list. Mychal, whose career featured stints at the Trail Blazers, Spurs, and finally the Lakers, earned $1.8 million in the 1991/92 season ($4 million today) with the LA franchise. Klay bagged $40.6 million playing alongside Curry for the Warriors in the 2022/23 season. These salaries make a combined $44.6 million today.
- Arvydas and Domantas Sabonis
In fourth place comes Lithuanian father and son, Arvydas and Domantas Sabonis. Arvydas’s predominantly Europe-based career featured two stints at the Portland Trail Blazers. He received just over $11 million in the 2000/01 season. Domantas of the Sacramento Kings picked up $21 million for the most recent NBA season. These salaries combine to $41 million in 2023.
- Tim Hardaway Sr. & Jr.
The name-sharing father and son duo, the Hardaways, take the fifth spot in the list. Tim Sr. played for five separate NBA sides during his career, which featured five all-star appearances. His five-year stint with the Miami Heat included the 2000/01 season in which he was paid $12 million. Tim Jr. finished the 2022/23 season with the Dallas Mavericks having earned $19.6 million, giving the Hardaways a combined salary equivalent to $40.8 million today.
- Mitchell and Andrew Wiggins
The third current Warrior on the list, Andrew Wiggins, and his father make sixth in the list. Mitchell earned a reasonable $335,000 playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the season of 1991/92, having been signed as a free agent from Houston Rockets. Boosted by the salary of his son, Andrew, who Golden State paid $33.6 million for the 2022/23 season, the Wiggins’ total wage sits at $33.4 million.
- Scottie and Scotty Pippen
In seventh comes the acclaimed wingman to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and his son. The elder Pippen, 6x NBA champion and 7x all-star player, Scottie, earned $20 million for his 2002/3 season ($33.4 million today) with the Trail Blazers after his famously underpaid stint at the Chicago Bulls. Son Scotty’s two-way contract with the Lakers for the 2022/23 season saw him receive just over $500,000. In 2023, these salaries make a combined $33.9 million.
- Gary Payton and Gary Payton II
Yet another Warrior occupies the list as Gary Payton II and his father take the eighth spot. A 17-year career featured an NBA championship and nine All-Star appearances for Payton Sr. In the 2000/01 season, he was paid just over $12 million by the Seattle Supersonics (now OKC Thunder). Payton II’s career has featured two stints playing for Golden State Warriors, the latter of which brought him a salary of $8.3 million for the 2022/23 season. Combined, these wages equate to $29.85 million today.
- Harvey and Jerami Grant
In ninth come Harvey and Jerami Grant. Not only is Harvey a former NBA player, but his identical twin, Horace, is a four-time champion. Harvey’s most profitable season came in 1997/98 when the Washington Wizards paid $4.7 million for his services. Currently a Portland Trail Blazer, Jerami’s 2022/23 season earnings sit at $21 million. When combined, the Grants earned a season total of $29.8 million.
- Rick and Jalen Brunson
In the tenth spot comes Rick and Jalen Brunson. Father Rick played nine seasons in the NBA, including 2005/06 with the Seattle Supersonics, where he earned $1 million. His 26-year-old son Jalen currently plays for the Knicks where he bagged $28 million last season. With this, the Brunsons take the final top ten place with a combined season earnings of $29.3 million.
|Father and Son||Father’s Salary then/now||Son’s Salary then/now||Earnings Combined (now)|
|Joe & Kobe Bryant||$4,339,791/$16,017,568||$30,453,000/$39,756,605||$55,774,174|
|Dell & Steph Curry||$3,660,000/$6,395,233||$48,070,014||$55,005,247|
|Mychal & Klay Thompson||$1,807,000/$4,034,930||$40,600,080||$44,635,010|
|Arvydas & Domantas Sabonis||$11,250,000/$19,868,924||$21,100,000||$40,968,924|
|Tim Hardaway Sr. & Jr.||$12,000,000/$21,193,519||$19,602,273||$40,795,792|
|Mitchell & Andrew Wiggins||$335,000/$748,036||$33,616,770||$34,364,806|
|Scottie & Scotty Pippen||$19,727,875/$33,350,043||$508,891||$33,858,934|
|Gary Payton I & II||$12,000,000/$21,546,744||$8,300,000||$29,846,744|
|Harvey & Jerami Grant||$4,671,875/$8,852,606||$20,955,000||$29,807,606|
|Rick & Jalen Brunson||$1,029,873/$1,603,749||$27,733,332||$29,337,081|
A spokesperson from Casinoarabi.io spoke on the findings: “Basketball is clearly a sport that runs through the veins, as it’s remarkable how many father-son duos have made it to the highest level of the game throughout history. With players like Bronny James, one of many, looking to step into the sneakers of his own father, I’m sure we’ll be seeing updated versions of this top ten in the future, likely with wages even higher. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to find out the most highly valued duos to have stepped on the NBA court in history.”
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