The best team in the NBA so far this season is Milwaukee. The Bucks are 46-8. Interestingly, they feature identical twin centers, the veteran seven-footers out of Stanford Brook and Robin Lopez.
For awhile they were publicly agnostic on whether they were identical or fraternal twins. It’s not impossible for two extremely tall brothers not to be identical twins — Pau Gasol is listed at 7’0″ and his 3-year younger brother Marc is 6’11” — but it’s not too likely. I gather that now the Lopezes are assumed to be identical twins.
But the Lopez brothers are fairly different, whether innately or through choice. A 2015 NYT article said:
The Lopez twins, Brook, left, and Robin, are the N.B.A.’s version of Bizarro World.
By Benjamin Hoffman, July 5, 2015
Brook is the starter on the Bucks and has been considerably better over the course of their careers, averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds per game in the NBA. He favors a clean cut look and has the nickname Bropez.
Robin is the backup this year. Over his career he has averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds per game. In contrast to his brother, he usually partakes of a Che Guevara look (their father is Cuban, their mother is white American), and is a witty presence on social media, while his brother hasn’t much tried to be a fan favorite.
Brook has made $121 million in his 11 year NBA career, while Robin has had to get by on $79 million.
The previous pair of NBA identical twin big men out of Stanford, Jason and Jarron Collins, made history when the former announced he was gay.
There have been other pairs of identical twins in the NBA, such as Horace and Harvey Grant.
Horace, minutes older and years more mature, is masterful at working near the basket. The free-spirited Harvey prefers to play on the perimeter and shoot jump shots over more physical rivals. “It just happened that way,” said Horace. “I always wanted to play a center, a power forward. Harvey was more like a guard, a finesse player.”
Horace’s choice to defer to his twin’s desire to be the shooter of the pair worked out for him in the NBA. Even though he was skinny for an NBA power forward, he worked out very well when he wound up on the Chicago Bulls, playing third banana to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, winning 3 NBA titles, then winning another with the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers, led by Shaquille O’Neal and the late Kobe Bryant.
Most NBA players grow up being, by far, the best player on their high school teams, so it can be hard for them to adjust to being a role-player in the NBA. Identical twins in the NBA have the advantage of growing up competing against an NBA level talent who sleeps in the same bunk bed, and they learn that talent alone isn’t enough.