Dancing With Noah

Just messing around, getting triple doubles

2013 NBA Fathers & Sons Two-on-Two Tournament

As I sit down to write this introduction, I can tell you with the utmost honesty that I never intended to create an imaginary bracket during March Madness. I actually considered pushing this out into the off-season, but some ideas grab hold and refuse to let go and that’s what’s occurred here.

The premise is this: In NBA history, there have been some 50-odd father/son combos including a few dads that spawned more than one NBA-playing son (looking at you Rick Barry and Jim Paxson Sr). I started wondering what would happen if those father/son combos laced up the kicks for a good old fashioned two-on-two tournament. There are a lot of questions you have to ask yourself when embarking on an endeavor like this, but I decided to keep it simple: 32 teams, single elimination tournament.

The participants: Due to death, mortality and the plain impossibility of a real-life father/son tournament, the whole thing has to be played out in the minds and imaginations of actual, living human beings. I’ve invited a couple long-time friends of mine: Hamilton (@rh_asme) and Bug (@bugfoster515 – he doesn’t really know how to tweet though, so don’t bother following him) and new friend: Jacob Greenberg (@jacobjbg) from www.TheDiss.com.

The approach: We started with a list of 51 NBA fathers and sons plus Tim Hardaway and his son, current Michigan Wolverine, Tim Hardaway Jr. The list also includes Rick/Brent Barry and Rick/Jon Barry, but not Rick/Drew Barry. Likewise, the Paxson family actually has three players and rotates in sons Jim Jr. and John. The task at hand was to whittle this list of 52 down to 32 which was more difficult than one would think. I’ve followed the league since the late 80s and have always been a fan of the history. I consider myself to be relatively well-versed in players who’ve come and gone, but the list of dads led to a lot of basketball-reference and Wikipedia lookups. Hamilton, Bug and I each ranked the top-32 teams. This was a completely subjective process so if you feel that say, Brian Cook and his father Norm should’ve made the top-32 and you think we’re nuts for leaving them out, we acknowledge that you know something about Norm Cook that the stats (27 career games, 2.4 career ppg) didn’t tell us. And this was the case at times (see the David Vaughns). Once ranked, I did a simple aggregate to arrive at a final rank which indicated the overall seeds you’ll see below. For teams that weren’t ranked, I assigned them a completely arbitrary rank of 37 just to balance the overall aggregates. The table below includes all 52 father/son combos, the individual rankings and the final aggregate for each father/son:

Father Pos Son(s) Pos Bug Rank Milton Rank DWN Rank Agg Rank
Joe Bryant F Kobe Bryant SG 2 1 1 1.3
Rick Barry F Brent Barry Gs 3 2 2 2.3
Jimmy Walker G Jalen Rose G/F 6 4 5 5.0
Mychal Thompson F/C Klay Thompson Gs/Fs 1 13 3 5.7
Bill Walton C Luke Walton SF 5 6 6 5.7
Dolph Schayes C Danny Schayes C 4 11 4 6.3
Rick Barry F Jon Barry G 7 3 11 7.0
Patrick Ewing C Patrick Ewing, Jr. SF/PF 9 7 7 7.7
George Mikan C Larry Mikan F 8 9 9 8.7
Dell Curry G/F Stephen Curry G 12 8 8 9.3
Gerald Wilkins (aka Doug E. Fresh) G/F Damien Wilkins G/F 10 14 16 13.3
Doc Rivers PG Austin Rivers SG 11 15 15 13.7
Tim Hardaway PG Tim Hardaway Jr. SG 17 12 14 14.3
Stan Love F Kevin Love F 14 10 19 14.3
Derek Smith G/F Nolan Smith G 13 19 13 15.0
Press Maravich G Pete Maravich G 15 5 27 15.7
Ron Brewer (aka Boot) G Ronnie Brewer G/F 18 18 12 16.0
Gerald Henderson PG Gerald Henderson, Jr. SG 20 22 17 19.7
Mike Dunleavy, Sr. PG Mike Dunleavy, Jr. SF 16 25 22 21.0
Ernie Vandeweghe G/F Kiki Vandeweghe F 29 25 10 21.3
Henry Bibby PG Mike Bibby PG 27 16 21 21.3
John Lucas II PG John Lucas III PG 28 21 18 22.3
Jim Paxson, Sr. F Jim Paxson, John Paxson Gs 22 17 30 23.0
Tito Horford C Al Horford F/C 23 24 24 23.7
Bob Ferry C/F Danny Ferry PF 19 27 26 24.0
Walt Szczerbiak F Wally Szczerbiak SF 30 23 23 25.3
Ed Manning F Danny Manning F 21 31 28 26.7
Wes Matthews G Wesley Matthews SG 24 24 37 28.3
Wayne Chapman G/F Rex Chapman SG 26 30 31 29.0
Walt Piatkowski F Eric Piatkowski SF 25 26 37 29.3
Terry Davis F Ed Davis F 32 28 29 29.7
David Vaughn, Jr. C David Vaughn III F 37 20 32 29.7
Scott May F Sean May PF 37 29 25 30.3
Leroy Ellis C LeRon Ellis C 37 37 20 31.3
Darren Daye G/F Austin Daye F 31 37 37 35.0
Milt Wagner G Dajuan Wagner PG 37 32 37 35.3
Wali Jones G Askia Jones F 37 37 37 37.0
Rod Higgins F/C Cory Higgins G 37 37 37 37.0
Sidney Green PF Taurean Green PG 37 37 37 37.0
George Karl G Coby Karl G/F 37 37 37 37.0
Butch van Breda Kolff G/F Jan van Breda Kolff G/F 37 37 37 37.0
Earle Higgins F Sean Higgins SF 37 37 37 37.0
Al McGuire G/F Allie McGuire G 37 37 37 37.0
Bill Hosket, Sr. C Bill Hosket, Jr. F/C 37 37 37 37.0
Al Salvadori F Kevin Salvadori C 37 37 37 37.0
Jeff Taylor PG Jeffery Taylor SF 37 37 37 37.0
Walker Russell SG Walker Russell, Jr. PG 37 37 37 37.0
Norm Cook F Brian Cook PF 37 37 37 37.0
Rich Dumas G Richard Dumas SF 37 37 37 37.0
Matt Guokas, Sr. F Matt Guokas, Jr. SG 37 37 37 37.0
Leo Rautins F Andy Rautins G 37 37 37 37.0
Tony Price G A. J. Price G 37 37 37 37.0


Again, the process of ranking the father/son combos was more challenging than I thought it would be. Along the way, I learned some random information about dads (Nolan Smith’s dad Derek died of a heart attack at the age of 34, Ernie Vandeweghe [father to Kiki] was a pro basketball player, an Air Force pilot and a physician, Gerald Wilkins’s nickname was Doug E. Fresh), but mostly learned that guys like the aforementioned Derek Smith and LeRoy Ellis were strong pros that were either overshadowed by bigger names who came along at the same time or were just forgotten over time.

Jacob’s Rankings: Per my email instructions, Jacob selected 32 teams to be included in the tournament, ambivalent of ranking/seeding. The result was a handful of teams on Jacob’s list that didn’t appear on anyone else’s and thus wouldn’t have impacted the overall seeding at all with the exception of the Mays (Scott and Sean). Depending on how the Mays would’ve been ranked and how Jacob would’ve ranked some of the lower teams (the Piatkowski’s, Davis’s, Vaughn’s or Chapman’s), things may have turned out a bit differently, but for the sake of our exercise, I won’t make any changes here. Just know that The Diss is well-represented and involved.

After all that methodology talk, let’s move onto the brackets and the first round matchups:

Fathers & Sons 2-on-2 tournament - 03-19-13

Stay tuned for a deeper analysis of the first round matchups, recaps, father/son dynamics, teamwork challenges and so much more in the follow-up edition to the NBA Father-Son Two-on-Two Tournament. And if you’re familiar with any of the dads on the list (aside from the obvious Ewings, Waltons, Barrys, etc) and have stories or specific details, let us know.

3 responses to “2013 NBA Fathers & Sons Two-on-Two Tournament

  1. Pingback: The 10-man rotation, starring Memphis’ life without Marc Gasol | YO Status ->YO Status ->

  2. Pingback: Round 3: NBA Fathers & Sons 2-on-2 | Dancing With Noah

  3. Pingback: Final Four: Fathers & Sons 2-on-2 Tournament | Dancing With Noah

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