Bronny, LeBron James make history as NBA’s first father-son duo, but they’re not alone in sports history

Written by on June 28, 2024

Bronny and LeBron James are poised to make history after the Los Angeles Lakers selected LeBron James’ eldest son, Bronny, with the 55th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft on Thursday. It would be the first time that a father-son duo has played on the same team in the NBA.

The James family’s achievement isn’t the first instance of fathers and sons teaming up in professional sports. There have been four father-son duos on the same  NFL, MLB and NHL teams, dating back to the 1920s .

Ted and Charlie Nesser (NFL’s Columbus Panhandles, 1921)

To this day, Ted Nesser, and his son, Charlie, remain the NFL’s only father-son duo to have played on the same team. They played together for the Columbus Panhandles on Sep. 25, 1921, against the Akron World’s Champions. The Nesser family had a storied history with the Panhandles, as six brothers — John, Paul, Phil, Ted, Frank and Al — all played for the team at various points of the early 20th century. The 38-year-old Ted was a 5-foot-10 center, while Charlie was a 19-year-old tailback at 6-2. The duo’s lone appearance also came in their final season of professional football. The Panhandles would last one more year in the NFL before being disbanded and then rebranded as the Columbus Tigers, which lasted from 1922 to 1926.

Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe (NHL’s Hartford Whalers 1979-1980) 

Gordie Howe had the pleasure of playing with two of his sons for the NHL’s Hartford Whalers, but it wasn’t the first time the trio shared the ice together. Mark and Marty Howe played together in the Ontario Hockey League’s Toronto Marlboros in the 1972-73 season, with Mark leading the team to the Memorial Cup Championship with 104 points—38 goals and 66 assists. Gordie made it a family affair when he decided to unretire and join his boys for the 1973 campaign on the World Hockey Association’s Houston Aeros. According to the Hockey Hall of Fame, “Mark scored his first professional goal exactly 27 years after his father scored his first NHL goal with the Detroit Red Wings.”

The three went on to join the NHL’s Hartford Whalers for the 1979-80 season. In his final season, Gordie racked up 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points. Mark would spend three more seasons with Hartford before moving on to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, while Marty spent the remaining five seasons of his professional hockey career with the Whalers.

Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. (MLB’s Seattle Mariners, 1990-1991)

The older Griffey was already a three-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion when he signed with the Mariners in 1990. That same year, his son, Ken Griffey Jr. was also playing in Seattle, entering his second season in the majors and was the MVP of the All-Star Game in his first All-Star appearance and also played with his father. That season, Ken Griffey Jr. scored 91 runs and 22 homers while keeping a batting average of .300 and an OPS of .847. His father—even at 40 years old—still had something left in the tank, batting .377, scoring 13 runs and drilling three homers in his 17th season. The duo is also remembered for becoming the first father-son duo to hit back-to-back homers, doing so on Sep. 14, 1990, against the California Angels.

Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr. (MLB’s Baltimore Orioles, 2001)

Finally, the Raines family made their own mark on the MLB, teaming up on the Baltimore Orioles for part of the 2001 season. Hall-of-Famer Tim Raines was in his penultimate season when he was traded from the Montreal Expos to the Orioles on Oct. 3, setting him up to join Tim Raines Jr., who had been drafted there in the sixth round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft. The duo shared the field for the first time on Oct. 4, 2001, when Tim Raines Sr. played left field while his son was in center. They had previously faced off against one another a few months prior in the Triple-A International League on rehabbing assignments, with Raines playing for the Ottawa Lynx and Raines Jr. playing for the Rochester Red Wings.

Father and sons both taken in the NBA Draft

LeBron and Bronny are not the only fathers and sons to have been drafted to the league. The two are joining a long list of predecessors that includes Greg and Cole Anthony, Mychal and Klay Thompson, Bill and Luke Walton, and Dell, Steph and Seth Curry, among others.

Here are fathers and sons who were both selected in the NBA Draft:

Son Year Father Year
Bronny James 2024 LeBron James 2003
Jett Howard 2023 Juwan Howard 1994
Trayce Jackson-Davis 2023 Dale Davis 1991
Johnny Davis 2022 Mark Davis 1985
Walker Kessler 2022 Chad Kessler 1987
Jabari Smith Jr. 2022 Jabari Smith Sr. 2000
Jabari Walker 2022 Samaki Walker 1996
Cole Anthony 2020 Greg Anthony 1991
Nico Mannion 2020 Pace Mannion 1983
KJ Martin 2020 Kenyon Martin 2000
Bol Bol 2019 Manute Bol 1985
Nicolas Claxton 2019 Charles Claxton 1994
Gary Trent Jr. 2018 Gary Trent 1995
Domantas Sabonis 2016 Arvydas Sabonis 1986
Jerian Grant 2015 Harvey Grant 1988
Larry Nance Jr. 2015 Larry Nance 1981
Justise Winslow 2015 Rickie Winslow 1987
Joe Young 2015 Michael Young 1984
Jerami Grant 2014 Harvey Grant 1988
Devyn Marble 2014 Roy Marble 1989
Jabari Parker 2014 Sonny Parker 1976
Glenn Robinson III 2014 Glenn Robinson 1994
Andrew Wiggins 2014 Mitchell Wiggins 1983
Tim Hardaway Jr. 2013 Tim Hardaway 1989
Erik Murphy 2013 Jay Murphy 1984
Glen Rice Jr. 2013 Glen Rice 1989
Austin Rivers 2012 Doc Rivers 1983
Jeffery Taylor 2012 Jeff Taylor 1982
Nolan Smith 2011 Derek Smith 1982
Klay Thompson 2011 Mychal Thompson 1978
Xavier Henry 2010 Carl Henry 1984
Andy Rautins 2010 Leo Rautins 1983
Stephen Curry 2009 Dell Curry 1986
Austin Daye 2009 Darren Daye 1983
Gerald Henderson 2009 Gerald Henderson 1978
A.J. Price 2009 Tony Price 1979
Patrick Ewing Jr. 2008 Patrick Ewing 1985
Kevin Love 2008 Stan Love 1971
Taurean Green 2007 Sidney Green 1983
Al Horford 2007 Tito Horford 1988
Ronnie Brewer 2006 Ron Brewer 1978
Sean May 2005 Scott May 1976
Jackson Vroman 2004 Brett Vroman 1978
Brian Cook 2003 Norm Cook 1976
Luke Walton 2003 Bill Walton 1974
Mike Dunleavy Jr. 2002 Mike Dunleavy 1976
Dajuan Wagner 2002 Milt Wagner 1986
Mike Bibby 1998 Henry Bibby 1972
Kobe Bryant 1996 Joe Bryant 1975
Jalen Rose 1994 Jimmy Walker 1967
Byron Houston 1992 Curtis Perry 1970
Danny Manning 1988 Ed Manning 1967

The post Bronny, LeBron James make history as NBA’s first father-son duo, but they’re not alone in sports history first appeared on CBS Sports.


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