In the world of sports, whether it's the NBA, the NFL, or the MLB, , having a popular athlete as your father is a sure-fire way to gain some level of success. After all, nothing beats being coached by your own parent. That's doubly true if your father is one of the best sports players of his generation or all-time. In the history of US Sports, there have been many of these father-son duos already.

However, there have been only a select few that became extremely successful in their respective sports. Oftentimes, it's the son that takes his father's teachings and runs a mile with it. Let's look at some of the best and most successful father-son duos in US Sports history.

5 best father-son duos in NBA history, ranked

Honorable Mentions

Before we kick off this list, though, let's list off a few father-son duos that almost made the cut, or have some interesting factoids related to them.

  • Gary Trent Sr. and Gary Trent Jr.
    • Both father and son were traded from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Toronto Raptors 41 games into an NBA season, one of the most bizarre coincidences in history.
  • Melvin and Devin Booker
  • Larry Nance and Larry Nance Jr. both played for the Cleveland Cavaliers at some point.
  • Joe and Kobe Bryant
  • Mitchell and Andrew Wiggins, the latest father-son duo to win an NBA title
  • Doc and Austin Rivers, the first father-son duo to be in a team as a coach and a player.

5. The Hardaways (Tim and Tim Jr.)

Arguably the most exciting father-son duo to watch in the NBA, the Hardaways are the first entry on this list. For the most part, though, their placement on this list is carried by the elder Tim Hardaway.

Hardaway Sr. was part of the legendary “Run TMC” Warriors teams alongside Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond. The trio was one of the most entertaining ensembles in the league. In an NBA era dominated by a slower pace, Hardaway Sr. led an exciting, fast-break oriented attack on offense.

The younger Hardaway, on the other hand, has been on the upswing as of late. After a few seasons of languishing on the New York Knicks, Tim Jr. was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. There, he developed into an underrated scoring threat that helped complement rising star Luka Doncic's game. His absence due to injury was sorely missed by the Mavs during their run to the Western Conference Finals last season.

4. The Sabonis (Arvydas and Domantas)

Arvydas Sabonis' NBA journey is one filled with what-ifs and injuries. The Lithuanian big man was one of the most dominant forces in the league when he was healthy. His combination of size, skill, touch, and court vision was simply unmatched in his era. Unfortunately, injuries and old age slowed him down significantly.

At the very least, though, his son is carrying on his legacy in a big way. After a few ho-hum seasons in the league, Domantas Sabonis had his breakout NBA season in Indiana. The center, who plays almost like his father with his finesse and touch, turned into an All-Star by Year 4. It's very possible that by the end of it all, Domantas will surpass his father's legacy.

3. The Paytons (Gary Payton and Gary Payton II)

Gary Payton II, Gary Payton, Warriors

The saying “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree” fits the father son duo of Gary Payton and Gary Payton II perfectly to a T. In an era dominated by offensive juggernauts and monster scorers, the elder Payton helped instill the killer mindset he had on defense on his son.

The tale of the elder Payton has been told many times, but it's a story worth mentioning every time. Gary Payton Sr. is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, defenders from the guard position in the NBA. He earned the nickname “The Glove” because he seemed to catch any pass that was coming his way. Of course, his legendary trash talk game was just as good as his lockdown defense.

On the other hand, Gary Payton II's path to NBA relevancy is a lot different from his father. While the senior Payton was a second overall pick, Payton II was undrafted and without a team for the most part of his NBA career. In 2021, though, Payton II broke out as one of the fiercest defenders in the NBA, taking after his father's defensive tenacity. He helped lead the Warriors to the 2022 championship, becoming the fifth father-son duo to win the title in the NBA. (via Gary Payton on Twitter)

2. The Thompsons (Mychal and Klay)

Klay Thompson's best and most recognizable trait in the NBA is his ability to get hot at a moment's notice. Blink, and the Warriors star can give you 15 points in under 2 minutes. That scorching-hot scoring, though, runs in the Thompson bloodline.

Mychal Thompson was one of the most underrated scorers of his generation. A former lottery pick of the Blazers, the elder Thompson lit up the league in his second year, scoring over 20 points per game. As he grew older, Thompson settled into a backup role, eventually winning two rings with Lakers.

Klay, on the other hand, had a slower rise to the top of the league. Alongside Warriors teammate Stephen Curry (more on him later), Thompson formed arguably the best shooting duo in the NBA. His incredible efficiency from the outside made him a vital cog in the Warriors' four rings.

1. The Currys (Dell, Stephen, Seth)

Warriors, Dell Curry, Stephen Curry, Seth Curry

Was there ever any doubt which father-son duo would be the best in NBA history?

Dell Curry was one of the most underrated snipers in the 90s. The then-Charlotte Hornets guard shot the lights out from the outside in his playing days in the NBA, serving as the sixth man for many of those earlier teams. At point, he even held most of the major all-time records for the Hornets' franchise!

Of course, Dell would end up having two sons who would go on to play in the NBA. There used to be a time where the only notable thing about Seth Curry was his relation to his brother (more on him in a minute). Over the years, though, Seth became one of the best knock-down shooters in the league: to the point where he even outdid his brother in terms of three-point percentage.

You may have heard of the “other” Curry brother a lot more than Seth, though. The oldest Curry brother is one of the most influential players in the NBA today. Stephen Curry's shooting touch from anywhere on the court revolutionized the game in so many ways. His four rings and countless NBA three-point records are a testament to how dominant he has been in his career.