Do you think that when Isaiah Thomas’s dad decided to name him after Isiah Thomas (prompted by a bet), he ever thought his son would actually grow up to make it to the NBA? It’s a nice story, but it always leads me to double- and triple-check how to spell the name of the active player in Boston.
The Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas is the one with two A’s, thanks to his mom wanting to make the name more biblical, after she already let her husband get away with naming her baby after an NBA player. Isiah, on the other hand, is a Hall of Famer who played for the Pistons, screwed up the Knicks, and has a history of sexual harassment.
The confusion between the two got us thinking: Who are the two most successful athletes to share a name? Some candidates, although we’re probably missing a few:
The Roy Williamses:
- Five-time Pro Bowl safety for the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals.
- Wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears.
- Head coach of UNC men’s basketball.
The Adam Joneses:
- Center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles.
- Cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Billy Beane and Billy Bean:
- Billy Beane: Baseball executive for the Oakland A’s; inspiration for Moneyball.
- Billy Bean: Only living openly gay MLB player; current executive for Major League Baseball.
- Note: Beane and Bean played together for a minor-league team with a guy named Pete Rice.
The Brandon Marshalls:
- Wide receiver for the New York Jets.
- Linebacker for the Denver Broncos.
Bojan Bogdanović and Bogdan Bogdanović:
- NBA player; not Bogdan Bogdanović.
- Basketball player; not Bojan Bogdanović.
Mousa Dembele and Moussa Dembele:
- Mousa: Midfielder for Tottenham.
- Moussa: Center forward for Celtic.
Stephen Jackson and Steven Jackson:
- Stephen: Former NBA player.
- Steven: Former NFL running back.