Charlotte Hornets big man Cody Zeller has gotten the better of his big brother so far in the NBA, with his team winning six of eight games against Tyler Zeller’s squad over the past two seasons.
But as the younger Zeller detailed Thursday in a column for The Players’ Tribune, their childhood matchups were a different story.
“A lot of people want to make the sibling rivalry a big thing ? some sort of bitter rivalry ? especially in the media,” Zeller wrote. “People always wonder, Do you guys talk trash to each other? Not as much as we did when we were in elementary school. My mom always says that our biggest rivalries happened not on the driveway, but on the Nerf hoop in our bedrooms.
“As kids, Tyler used to stand in front of the Nerf hoop and block every single one of my shots. I remember crying because Tyler was relentless with the blocks. There?s still a huge dent in the wall of our childhood house from an indoor basketball game that went a little too far.”
Boston Celtics fans wish the elder Zeller still could offer that kind of rim protection.
Some other highlights from Cody’s piece:
— “People are always shouting ‘Go Heels!’ at me from across the street and asking Tyler about being an Indiana Hoosier. Am I saying that I?ve signed Celtics jerseys with ‘Tyler Zeller’ when I?ve been approached by a fan who thinks I?m my brother? Not gonna say for sure. Is it true there are Hoosier hats out there with Tyler?s best attempt at my signature on them? Again, no comment.”
— “As Tyler?s brother, I know him best and I know that, actually, trash talk is the worst strategy. That?s something that wakes up the beast in him. He goes to another level. So I bother him by doing the opposite ? joking around. It?s the little brother prankster attitude that has the best chance of throwing him off.”
Read the full article at The Players’ Tribune >>
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images