Like NBA father, like NBA son

‘Brunson Burner’ ignites Knicks

Fred Jeter | 5/9/2024, 6 p.m.
Many fathers and sons have made their way to NBA rosters, including these with area/state ties.
Jalen and Rick Brunson

Many fathers and sons have made their way to NBA rosters, including these with area/state ties.

Terry and Ed Davis: Terry, among Virginia Union University’s all-time greats, played in NBA 1989 to 2001. Ed, who helped North Carolina to an NCAA crown, was in the NBA from 2010 to 2022.

Gerald Henderson and Gerald Jr: Gerald Sr. used a brilliant career at VCU as a stepping stone to an NBA career from 1979 to 1992, with three championships. Gerald Jr., after playing at Duke, was in the NBA from 2009 to 2017.

Rolando and Jeremy Lamb: This is a bit of a stretch but worthy of the list.

Rolando starred for VCU and was Seattle’s third round pick (56th overall) in 1985, but never played in the NBA. His son Jeremy, was Houston’s first-round pick in 2012 and played in the league until 2022.

Dell Curry and sons Steph and Seth: Out of Virginia Tech, Dell played in the NBA 1986 to 2002. Steph is with the Golden State Warriors while Seth (Liberty University) plays for Charlotte.

The NBA is proud of its second-generation, father-son combinations, with Jalen and Rick Brunson the most recent shining example. Jalen averaged 36 points in leading the New York Knicks past Philadelphia in the NBA East playoffs.

Brunson, a southpaw guard, like his dad was, tallied scores of 41, 24, 39, 47, 40 and, in Game 6, 41 more with 14 coming in the decisive fourth quarter. He also dished 12 assists.

All the while, Rick Brunson was on the Knicks’ bench as an assistant coach. Rick Brunson played nine seasons in the NBA, including two stints with the Knicks.

In eliminating the Sixers, the Knicks advanced to the second round of the playoffs against Indiana.

Brunson had three games against Philly with at least 35 points and 10 assists. The only other player to do so in an NBA series was Oscar Robertson, 51 years ago.

In scoring more than 40 points in each of the last three games, Brunson became the first Knick to do so since Bernard King 40 years ago.

The lefty’s trophy case is well stocked. Both in 2016 and ’18 he led Villanova to the NCAA title. After spending his first four NBA seasons with Dallas, he was traded to New York on July 12, 2022. He signed a four-year pact for $104 million.

It was something of a package deal. On June 2, 2022, father Rick signed to become a Knicks’ assistant (under Tom Thibodeau) after spending the previous three seasons as a coach at a New Jersey High School. Prior to that, he worked as the director of basketball operations at the University of Virginia.

Jalen averaged 24 points in his first season at Madison Square Garden and picked it up to 29 per game this go-round, earning All-Star status for the first time.

Now there’s one everyone is waiting for: A possible future father-son act involving Los Angeles Lakers icon LeBron James and his eldest son, Bronny.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Bronny is one of 78 invited to participate in the NBA Combine May 12-19 in Chicago. He has also entered his name in the NBA Draft, set for June 26-29 in Brooklyn.

At the same time, Bronny also put his name in the NCAA transfer portal and may relocate to another school for the 2024-25 season.

As a University of Southern California freshman this past season, the 19-year-old averaged 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

LeBron, 39, has adamantly stated he wants to play in the NBA with Bronny before retiring. James’ youngest son, 6-foot-6 Bryce, will be a 16-year-old junior this coming season at Sierra Canyon High in Los Angeles.