Imagine coming from a family with God gifted athletic ability. Now, I’m not talking about your brother who won a few intramural championship t-shirts in college and you, who plays in a recreational flag football league on Tuesday nights. I’m talking about having multiple members of your kin make it as a successful professional athlete.
For instance, currently in the NBA we have Steph and Seth Curry, Marc and Pau Gasol, Brook and Robin Lopez, and Marcus and Markieff Morris just to name a few.
It’s a brotherhood.
That’s what Dorell and Delon Wright share. But these brotherhoods are two-fold; in basketball and blood.
Now, you may imagine some intense backyard one-on-one matchups growing up but Dorell, almost six and a half years Delon’s elder, says it was more about mentoring and helping his younger brother grow as a player than any fierce competition between the brothers.
“You know, I’m six years older so it wasn’t a lot of competing. More so helping him and teaching him the game,” Dorell said. “But when we did compete, he’d be sure to let me know that I was sorry.”
They say life or experience is the best teacher, which is true, but in Delon’s case, you could say Dorell was the best teacher of them all.
“He would never take it easy on me so that’s why I picked up on just being crafty and figuring out ways to score because he wouldn’t just let me shoot over him or get a layup so things like that I picked up on and was able to just keep it within my game,” Delon said.
Dorell was known as a shooter who could help spread the floor in his 12-year NBA career. Standing at 6’9″, he had the ability to guard multiple positions, a 3-and-D skillset, if you will. For Delon, he’s much more skilled. And that’s no shot at Dorell, but Delon is as well-rounded as they come. He can truly do it all, yet he certainly has one specialty; defense.
“Yeah, he’s always been a defensive player. My dad was actually the one who taught him where to put his hands and how to get those deflections and steals and how he’s so sneaky, invading guys in to get those steals. He’s always taken that approach but one thing I can say that helped him get better and becoming crafty on defense was playing with us when he was in high school and college against all my friends that were either NBA players or overseas guys,” Dorell said of Delon’s defensive ability. “He really didn’t get a chance to shoot but to stay on the court, he had to do all the little things; get steals, get offensive rebounds, just being annoying and nagging on defense. I really think some of those moments are some of the reason why he’s such a good defender now and takes so much pride in it.”
As I said above, experience is the best teacher and Dorell helped give Delon that experience. Playing against some of the best athletes in the world, specifically having to defend them, that’s the best experience possible for a young hooper.
“So, one of his close friends would actually pick me first over the NBA guys. It wasn’t because of my skill, it was because he knew I would sneak and get the loose balls and stuff like that so that’s when I knew I started to feel that confidence within me and they threw me out there at a young age to guard the best players. They’d kill me but it made me better,” Delon said of competing against NBA players growing up.
For Delon, his defensive effort has done wonders for the Mavericks so far this season. Whether that’s in the starting lineup or as a reserve, his toughness and defensive pride has shined in his first year in Dallas. “Nobody really likes to be scored on, especially me. I’m not the guy to go back and forth with you one-on-one so if I can get some stops on you, that does wonders for me. That’s just something I’ve always been about.”
Watching from a far, Dorell had no hesitations or worries about little bro wearing Dallas across his chest after Delon joined the Mavericks in a sign-and-trade with Memphis this offseason.
“Man, it was great. When he first told me, I was like man, that’s a great opportunity,” Dorell said of Delon joining the Mavericks. “I tried to let him know the upside on being able to grow with a good, young team and being one of those teams that can sneak into the playoffs.”
“He was all in once he thought about it and I was happy for him to make that decision because I already knew what type of organization he was going to, what type of coaching staff he’d be coached by and playing for a great owner so there was a lot of pluses with Dallas reaching out to him so I was so happy he reached a deal with those guys.”
The Mavericks currently sit at 5-2 and second in the Western Conference. Though it’s early, and let me preface that again; it’s early but like a lot of Mavs fans out there, Dorell is optimistic about this Dallas team.
“I see them being a playoff team. I see them continuing to surprise a lot of people. They’ve got a lot of good, young talent with Luka and KP. I’m a big fan of those guys. I think they’ll go as far as those guys will take them. With having a deep team like they have and a guy like Coach Carlisle who is great with X’s and O’s, guys have to continue coming in with their hard hat and lock down, focusing on getting wins.”
Having a support system in life is huge. It’s almost essential. Having a big brother like Dorell who is now Delon’s biggest cheerleader as well as still being that mentor and lifeline, you can imagine that means everything to Delon.
But, most importantly, who wins one-on-one today? “He’d get me nowadays,” Dorell joked.
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