Many in the league are anticipating the 2023 draft because it will mark the entry of one of the greatest prospects of this generation in Victor Wembanyama. But the French teenager isn’t the only potential star of the draft class. There are also other promising youngsters, including twins Amen and Ausar Thompson.
Considering how highly some pundits feel about them, it’s plausible that the Thompsons can go down in history as one of the best sets of twins to grace an NBA court. Who are the others? Let’s break it down below.
Dick and Tom Van Arsdale (drafted 1965)
The first-ever twins to play in the NBA, the Van Arsdales were 6-foot-5 wing players selected one pick apart in the 1965 draft, who finished their maiden season with NBA All-Rookie First Team selections. It’s hard to determine which of the brothers had the better career, as they are both three-time All-Stars, and their overall stats are pretty similar.
What Dick Van Arsdale has going for him is that he is the original Phoenix Suns star, even being given the moniker “Original Sun.” The franchise selected him in the 1968 expansion draft, taking him away from the New York Knicks.
As for Tom Van Arsdale, he also had an impressive NBA journey. Unfortunately, he is the highest-scoring player (14,232 career points) to never advance to the playoffs.
The Van Arsdale twins finished their playing careers on the same team, retiring as Suns members after the 1976-77 campaign.
Horace and Harvey Grant (drafted 1987 and 1988)
Although twins Horace and Harvey Grant didn’t enter the league simultaneously, Horace Grant was drafted 10th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1987, while Harvey Grant joined his brother in the NBA the following year.
Horace Grant was clearly the more successful of the two after starting for four championship teams and playing in the All-Star Game once. He spent 17 seasons in the Association, finishing with career averages of 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest.
Although Harvey Grant didn’t experience sustained success similar to his brother, one can argue that he had an equally impressive peak. For three seasons from 1991 to 1993, the forward posted 18.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game.
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It seems basketball genes run in the family because two of Harvey Grant’s sons also made it to the NBA.
Jason and Jarron Collins (drafted 2001)
The Collins may not have been as good as other sets of NBA twins skill-wise, but they might be one of the most influential. They set foot in the Association in 2001 after playing for four years at Stanford University.
From the get-go, Jason Collins was the more talented of the two. He was a No. 18 draft selection and played an essential role in the New Jersey Nets’ playoff runs in the early 2000s. However, he is widely known for becoming the first-ever male athlete in any of the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. (NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL) to publicly come out as gay.
On the other hand, Jarron Collins wasn’t that successful as a player. He has made his mark in the Association in the coaching arena. He has been an assistant coach since 2014, helping the Golden State Warriors win three championships.
Brook and Robin Lopez (drafted 2008)
Another Stanford set of twins makes the list. The siblings nearly became lottery picks in the 2008 NBA Draft, with Brook Lopez going at No. 10 and Robin Lopez missing the cut by just one spot. They have carved successful NBA careers, although their roles have differed significantly since their rookie years.
Brook Lopez has been a perennial starter. Of the 913 games he has suited up in, he came off the bench only 40 times. For around eight seasons, he used to be a go-to scorer (he is still the Brooklyn Nets’ franchise-leading scorer.) But his assignment has since evolved into a 3-and-D center that can still bang inside the paint when needed. Through his first 15 seasons in the league, he has been named an All-Star once and won one championship.
As for Robin Lopez, he started as a backup center before becoming a full-time starter for six seasons beginning in the 2012-13 campaign. With his career nearly ending, the mascot-beating big man has gradually become a benchwarmer. Even so, the Cleveland Cavaliers still highly appreciated his locker room presence.
Fans should enjoy watching the Lopezes while they can because every time they match up is must-watch TV.
Markieff and Marcus Morris (drafted 2011)
Among the sets of twins discussed here, the Morris twins are the most controversial players. Ever since entering the NBA in 2011 as the 13th and 14th overall picks, they have played with chips on their shoulders and regularly seem moments away from engaging in fights with opponents.
The Morrises’ career trajectories have been quite similar over the years. Both have been tasked with being role players who can fill any of the three frontcourt positions in either a starting or reserve function. Even their career averages and shooting splits are a bit identical.
Interestingly, the twins remain so close that they reportedly share a joint bank account. The setup has substantially benefited Markieff Morris, who has mostly played for the veteran minimum in recent years and won a title in 2020.
But Marcus Morris, who re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020 offseason for four years and $64 million, seems to have no problem with it.