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Prodigal sons appear in every aspect of life. But the ones who have fathers in entertainment and sports are particularly vulnerable to comparisons.

After all, if you are one of Michael Jordan’s two basketball-playing sons, you’d have to practically reinvent the game in order to surpass your father. But there are some sons who have a fair chance to ride in their own lane due to their own talents.

Let’s take a look at some fathers and sons who, in time, might become equals – or more.


Son: Sigmund Esco Jackson, Jr.; records hip-hop as Dealz

It’s hard to surpass the legacy of the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons, so Jackie Jackson’s son Dealz has wisely decided on a hip-hop career. In case his recording career doesn’t work out, the L.A.-based rapper does have another gig he enjoys – repairing and rebuilding motorcycles. In fact, he’s riding one of his favorite Harleys in Aaliyah’s “One In A Million” video. The 33-year-old has just released a new single, “That’s How I Feel,” with his dad and Uncle Jermaine on background vocals. You can check him out on his MySpace page.


Son: Diggy Simmons

The Simmons family doesn’t play when it comes to getting paid. After several popular seasons of “Run’s House,” they’ve created even more opportunities for checks to roll in. Run’s daughters Angela and Vanessa have their own shoe line; his oldest son, Joseph Jr., signed to Latchkey Records, and there are probably plans for the two younger siblings as well. But it’s teenager Daniel “Diggy” Simmons who has just been signed to Atlantic Records and who seems to be the breakout star of the family. He’s already appeared on BET with his father and brother in a rap cipher and may be doing a collabo with Justin Bieber as he works on his first album.



He’s named after his father and followed right in his footsteps. Quincy D. Jones III, 42, is a well-respected rap producer who was one of the folks responsible for the evolution of West Coast hip-hop. He worked with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and many of L.A.’s most prolific hip-hop musicians. But just like his dad, he branched out into R&B and pop and then moved onto movies and TV, scoring films like “Menace II Society” and doing music for TV shows like “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “In The House.” Now, Jones is a film producer, creating the “Beef” series and producing documentaries on both his father and Li’l Wayne.


Son: Kobe Bryant

It’s a rarity, but some sons are able to absorb the teachings of their fathers and go on to even more success. Joe Bryant was an NBA player for eight years, but his son, Kobe, has far surpassed his father’s basketball career. The three-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant is now considered one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time. Well, they say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and it’s obvious that whatever lessons his father taught him about basketball, Kobe thoroughly paid attention.


Son: Mario Van Peebles

The senior Van Peebles became a 70s icon and father to the independent film movement through his movie, “Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song.” His young son, Mario, was on the set and in the film with his legendary father. From there, Mario went on to act and direct, appearing in “New Jack City” and directing a movie “BADASSSS!” about the making of “Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song.” Talk …..

….. about a father and son coming full circle. He’s recently appeared on “Damages” and directed an episode of the FX hit, “Sons of Anarchy.”


Son: Jaden Smith

It’s going to be difficult for Jaden Smith to match his father’s success, so it’s good that he’s starting young. The 12-year-old star of the hit “The Karate Kid” remake can already boast that he has not one, but two $100 million dollar movies under his belt. Both “The Pursuit of Happyness,” his debut, and “The Karate Kid” were big box-office hits. So maybe it’s not such a stretch to believe that young Smith is well on his way. We’re guessing it helps to have the tutelage of the biggest Hollywood box office draw ever right in your own home.

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