By Drew Packham, NBA.com
LAS VEGAS — For many, Sin City is all fun and games.
But for five sets of brothers, Summer League is a chance to reconnect.
Those brothers – Marcus and Markieff Morris, Austin and Jeremiah Rivers, Tyler and Luke Zeller, Klay and Mychel Thompson, and Cory and Devoe Joseph — are all on different teams, which means the siblings often have to make an extra effort to watch and support their brothers.
Devoe Joseph, who is trying to find a spot in the league, played for Toronto, where he and his brother Cory (who is in his second season with the Spurs) grew up.
“We’re pretty close, so this is like a little family vacation for us,” Devoe said. “He’s up there in the stands now. It’s nice having someone you know, someone that makes you feel more comfortable and can help me know what to expect. It was special.”
Jeremiah Rivers – older brother of Austin by four years — was a part of the Knicks’ summer league team, averaging 3.5 points in four games while trying to earn an invitation to a training camp. The chance to spend the week with family was a bonus.
“We’re spread all over the globe,” said Jeremiah, who played in Serbia before having surgery on both ankles in February. “So for everyone to come out – my brother, dad, mom, sister — It’s just good to share this as a family.”
Jeremiah says he’s been to all of Austin’s games, offering feedback to the Hornets’ draft pick (10th overall) in the 2012 draft. Jeremiah says the family is “low key” in Vegas, going out to dinner together, ordering room service, watching movies and just “reconnecting with my biggest supporters.”
“That’s why we’ve been successful in a lot of ways, because at the end of the day, you know you can rely on your family,” Jeremiah said. “There are a lot of people that want you to fail. But for us we know our family loves us and we know that we love playing basketball.”
On the court, the Morris brothers – both lottery picks in 2011 – have had the most success so far in Las Vegas, combining to average 27.3 points and 15.7 rebounds, led by Markieff’s 19.3 points and 10.7 rebounds for the Suns. Marcus finished his summer league averaging 8.0 and 5.0 in three games for the Rockets.
[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story failed to mention the Thompson brothers.]