Despite Blake Griffin’s NBA stardom, he wasn’t the only family member with hoop dreams. His older brother Taylor Griffin was also gifted enough to earn a scholarship for a high-level college team. Their paths split at that point, although Taylor still performed well enough to have a short career in the NBA and abroad. Blake has obviously done more, but how many siblings can say they both played pro basketball?
Blake Griffin’s older brother proves athleticism runs in the family
Blake is an athletic marvel. But the person who first inspired him often goes under-recognized. Taylor is Blake’s older brother by two years, and he showed Blake how to play basketball. Both siblings were homeschooled by their mother, Gail, until Blake finished eighth grade and Taylor finished the equivalent of his sophomore year in high school. But that didn’t stop either sibling from playing team sports.
Taylor started playing basketball in elementary school, and Blake quickly began to imitate his big bro. “As a kid and being three years younger, I just thought that’s how it was supposed to go,” Blake said in an interview with FOX Sports. “That’s kind of what got me going when I really started getting serious about basketball, I just kind of copied everything he did. I owe a lot of where I’m at to him.”
Basketball quickly became a family operation for the Griffins. Taylor and Blake played at Oklahoma Christian school, the same school where their father, Tommy — who played basketball and ran track in high school — was also the head coach. The team won state championships every year Blake was in high school. This included Taylor’s junior and senior seasons.
Taylor was considered the better player at that point. But things began to change once Blake joined his brother at Oklahoma. While Blake led the way for a memorable March Madness campaign, Taylor stayed in school for four years and never averaged more than 10 points a game.
Just getting to the NBA is a success for Taylor Griffin
Taylor was drafted 48th overall by the Phoenix Suns in the same 2009 draft where Blake was selected first. The one time he and Blake faced off against each other was during that year’s edition of Summer League, details ESPN. Taylor only played 32 minutes for the Suns in the regular season, spending most of the year with team’s D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.
After the Suns waived him in 2010, he bounced back and forth between the D-League and lower European leagues. Taylor played for Belgacom Liège Basket in Belgium for a few months before returning to the U.S. to try out with the Charlotte Bobcats.
One of the last cuts, Taylor settled with the Dakota Wizards. The Warriors bought the team and moved them to Santa Cruz. There, he had the highlight of his career, winning the D-League Championship in 2015. But Taylor didn’t do much after that, according to Clips Nation.
A short stint with Italy’s Pallacanestro Trapani signaled the end of his career. Since then, Taylor has helped his brother run his off-court ventures. You can read all about them on his LinkedIn page.
How many siblings have played in the NBA?
Taylor’s short-lived career is the latest example of sibling duos making it to the NBA. There have been approximately 70 sets of brothers to play in the league, according to NBA.com. Marc and Paul Gasol are the best of all time. While Steph and Seth Curry are the best of the contemporaries.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers made history last November when three sets of brothers, including Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Justin and Aaron Holiday, and Robin and Brook Lopez. They all played and scored in the same game for the first time ever.
Taylor’s output is such that he and Blake can’t be near the top of these lists, but it is still a point of familial pride that they both played pro basketball at the highest level.