As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we list notable athletes who aspired to be as successful as their fathers
By Klyde Manansala | Lead photo from Instagram
Five or seven years from now, we might witness a rare instance in the league of professional sports where a son gets to play with his father, as 13-year old LeBron James, Jr. (also known as Bronny) gears up for his inevitable debut in a league that his dad still dominates. But aside from Bronny and the King, there have been athletes who cheered for their father from the bleachers, and then went on to play the same sport they love.
Dell Curry and Stephen Curry
There’s no doubt that Dell and Steph share the same blood. Dell, who spent most of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, was well-known for the spark he provides every time comes off the bench and utilizes his three-point shooting. In 1994, Dell won the Sixth Man of the Year award, becoming one of his remarkable career milestones. Speaking of milestones, his son Steph has already gone a long way, reaching feats his father never did. Aside from winning two MVPs, Steph has already won three NBA championships as a Golden State Warrior and has proven himself to be the greatest three-point shooter of all time. The streaky shooter admired Dell so much that he also chose to don jersey #30 in his evolving career.
Archie Manning and Peyton Manning
Similar to Dell and Steph’s personal achievements, Peyton also built a more remarkable career than his father. Peyton won two NFL titles and was considered one of the top-tier athletes in the world of football. Archie and Peyton both dominated as quarterbacks. Although Archie’s stint in the NFL wasn’t as successful as his son, he actually did become a great football player for Ole Miss way back in his college days.
Mychal Thompson and Klay Thompson
Mychal made his NBA career a memorable one. The power forward was selected as the number one overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1978 draft class. He became a two-time NBA champion and also had the luxury to play for the two of the best teams in the league—San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers. His son, Klay, started to establish his growing career in the past four years, winning three NBA championships in the bay. The shooting guard is considered as one of the vital parts of the Golden State Warriors who just won back-to-back titles this year. Like Steph, Klay is known for his relentless catch and shoot three-point ability. Even though he’s a little overshadowed by superstar teammates like Kevin Durant and Steph, Klay remains a humble player and doesn’t let his ego destroy the relationship he’s built with his co-stars.
Bill Walton and Luke Walton
Before becoming a veteran sportscaster, Bill had aced his NBA career, winning two MVPs; one as the league’s best, and one where he stood out in the 1977 NBA Finals. Bill also took home two championship rings and won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1986. There’s no wonder why his son, Luke, threaded the same career path. Luke, on the other hand, only played for 10 years before becoming the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers today. Just like his pops, Luke also won back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010 along with Kobe Bryant. A year after his retirement, Luke tried his luck in coaching. He was one of the assistant coaches of the Golden State Warriors before he took the head coaching job for the struggling Lakers. Until now, Luke is expected to help the young Lakers roster to make their way to the playoffs.
Joe Bryant and Kobe Bryant
Joe’s character and influence both as a father and a player became a defining element in the life of his son Kobe Bean, whose formative years were all about basketball. Joe, during his stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, managed to play in the 1977 NBA Finals along with Hall of Famer Julius Erving. With Joe’s NBA career looming to its end, he moved to Italy along with his family to continue playing for a lower basketball league. A young Kobe began to play in the streets of Italy where he started to show off his ball dominance. After spending his high school career with Lower Merion in Philadelphia, Kobe decided to skip college basketball and joined the NBA draft—the rest was history. Kobe eventually won five titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, became an 18-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA Team, 12-time All-Defensive Team, and even scored 81 points in a single game. Kobe hung his jersey in 2016 when he dropped 60 points in his farewell game.