Domantas Sabonis Dad: Arvydas Sabonis + Domas Hoops Career in the NBA
“Like father, like son” sounds just as good in sports as it does in everyday life. The Mannings are the most widespread example, of cours. Then there’s Vladimir Guerrero and Vlad Jr. in baseball. Basketball has also had several notable father-son combos that keep the family business alive.
There are the Curries, the Barrys and the Thompsons. However, it’s time for the Sabonises to have some love.
Domantas Sabonis is a Sacramento Kings star. His father, Arvydas Sabonis, is one of the most underrated basketball players of all time.
Arvydas Sabonis, the father of Domatnas Sabonis
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Hailing from Kaunas, Lithuania, Arvydas started playing basketball at the age of 13 and became a prodigy at the age of 15. He quickly rose through the European professional ranks, starting his career with Zalgiris in his home country. His age, size, and skill have prompted many NBA scouts to take notice.
Sabonis’ path to the NBA is as unique as anyone. The Atlanta Hawks selected him in the fourth round of the 1985 NBA Draft, but the league overruled the pick because he was under 21. The Portland Trail Blazers took a chance on the big man in the next draft, but this time the Soviet Union barred Sabonis from playing in the NBA because they wanted to preserve his amateur status for the Summer Olympics. of 1988 in Seoul. We were still six years away from allowing NBA players to compete in world games, but professional players from other leagues were allowed.
Thus, the Lithuanian hoop spent the late 80s and early 90s playing for Real Madrid in Spain. The 7-foot-3, 292-pound center has won almost every individual award possible, as well as two Spanish Cup titles and a FIBA European League championship. Finally, in 1995, he made his NBA debut with the Blazers at the age of 30. Altogether he plays seven NBA seasons and averaged 12 points and 7.3 rebounds. He first called it quits after the 2000-01 season, but after sitting out the following year, he returned for another attempt in the 2002-03 campaign. He officially retired at the end of that season.
Arvdyas’ career is notable for his incredible achievements, and he was rightly inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. However, the biggest question surrounding his career is how it would have fared had he played in the NBA in his prime. I say he would have been up there with the greatest centers of that era like Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal. I guess we’ll never know.
We know the Hall of Fame hoop skills were passed down to his son Domantis, who is enjoying a strong NBA career himself.
The NBA career of Domantas Sabonis
Domantas, or Domas for short, was born in Portland while his father was playing for the Trail Blazers, and like his father, he made his professional basketball debut as a teenager. Young Sabonis made waves playing in Spain for a few years before returning to the Pacific Northwest to play college basketball for the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Domas played two seasons for Mark Few and established himself as one of the top prospects in the 2016 NBA draft. He was selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic that year, but was traded to the Thunder from Oklahoma City on draft night. He played a year with the Thunder before being part of the trade package that brought Indiana Pacers star Paul George to OKC.
Fortunately for Sabonis, his NBA career would take off with the Pacers. He began to establish himself as one of the best frontline players in the league, and in the 2019-20 season, his third in Indianapolis, he made the NBA All-Star team. He would also repeat his All-Star status in 2021.
However, in an effort to rebuild and move the franchise in a different direction, the Pacers traded the double All-Star to the Sacramento Kings in February 2022. He’s been a double-double machine so far on his new team.
Whether it’s the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets or Euroleague, the Sabonis name carries weight. It’s relieving to see one shine in the NBA at its peak. I’m sure some backyard games with his dad had something to do with all his success.