The Antetokounmpo brothers and Lopez twins aim to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA championship together down in the bubble.
When the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship on June 13, 2019, a player who’d never been a part of the organization also made history. That’s because Pau Gasol’s little brother, Marc Gasol, happened to be Toronto’s starting center. Having won two titles as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Pau and Marc Gasol became the first brothers in NBA history to each win a title.
Many aren’t aware of how many brother combos have unsuccessfully attempted this feat. John Paxson won three NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls in the early ’90s; most people don’t know he had a brother named Jim who also played in the league. Paxson’s Chicago teammate, Horace Grant, had a twin brother named Harvey who played in the NBA and never won a title.
Hall of Famer Rick Barry had three sons who played in the NBA, Jon, Brent and Drew. Only Brent was fortunate enough to win a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005 and 2007. This year, the Milwaukee Bucks have two sets of brothers on the same team; Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, and Brook and Robin Lopez. If they’re able to win it all, it will be the first time brothers playing for the same team have ever won an NBA championship.
To be fair, another team that received an invitation to the NBA’s Orlando bubble has a pair of brothers on the roster. Justin and Aaron Holiday both play for the Indiana Pacers. However, there aren’t any experts predicting an Indiana championship this season, especially given the absence of Victor Oladipo.
This isn’t the first season in which brothers have played for the same team. Avid NBA fans remember when Marcus and Markieff Morris both played for the Phoenix Suns. However, winning a championship wasn’t in the realm of possibility for the franchise at the time.
This year’s Bucks are different with a legitimate chance to pull it off. Giannis is the reigning MVP and Brook is a former All-Star who has redefined his game to become a legitimate 3-point threat. With Thanasis being valued for his athleticism and Robin embracing his role as a defensive stopper, this is the best chance any pair of brothers have had to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy together.
In the interest of full disclosure, what the Antetokounmpo brothers and Lopez twins are trying to accomplish has been done before, just not in basketball. When the 2018 New England Patriots beat the LA Rams in Super Bowl LIII, free safety Devin McCourty and cornerback Jason McCourty became the first set of twins to play in and win a Super Bowl together. Brothers Jose and Bengie Molina were both part of the 2002 World Series-winning Anaheim Angels. And finally, who could forget when WCW’s Booker T and Stevie Ray won the World Tag Team Championship as the infamous Harlem Heat duo?
Milwaukee was one of the best three teams in the league with the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Toronto Raptors, who eliminated Milwaukee from last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, lost their best player to free agency in the offseason.
Coincidentally, the player who left in free agency, Kawhi Leonard, is part of one of two teams most likely to be Milwaukee’s NBA Finals opponent. The LA Clippers feature the star duo of Leonard and Paul George, while the Lakers feature LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Bucks were able to come out victorious in two early-season match-ups with the Clippers. They split a pair of games against the Lakers, with the home team coming out victorious both times. While nothing is guaranteed, the odds of at least getting to the Finals are in Milwaukee’s favor, and they’ve shown they can be very competitive with the best in the west once they get there.
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA championship was 1971. That year they were led by a second-year player by the name of Lew Alcindor, who went on to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the ultimate floor general, Oscar Robertson. Besides that lone championship, the city of Milwaukee has never won a major sports title.
Of course, the Packers are one of the most successful franchises in the history of sports, but Green Bay is a two-hour drive away. This year’s Bucks has the chance to give the city of Milwaukee something it’s been craving for a very long time, a champion. If they’re able to pull it off, the Antetokounmpo brothers and the Lopez twins will have helped them make history in more ways than one.