Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzky are some of the greatest sports legends in American history.
To their children, they are even more: legendary dads.
And what about those kids? What are they up to? Did they follow in their fathers' footsteps...or better...or worse?
Or, egad, are they not even into sports?
Here's a Bleacher Report Father's Day exclusive that checks out what these "kids" are up to.
Wayne Gretzky, “The Great One,” is considered by most to be the greatest player in NHL history. He won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers (’84, ’85, ’87, ’88) and appeared in 18 All-Star games for three different teams (Oilers, Kings, Rangers).
Gretzky is the all-time NHL leader in goals, assists and, thus, points as well. He is the only player to record 200 points in one season, and he did that four times (’81-’82, ’83-’84, ’84-’85, ’85-’86).
Gretzky’s accomplishments are so innumerable, check them for yourself here.
Wayne and wife Janet Jones have five children: Emma (2003), Tristan (2000), Trevor (1992), Ty (1990) and Paulina (1988).
Paulina is a pop singer and dabbles on the greens apparently.
After one year playing hockey at Shattuck-St.Mary’s High School in Minnesota, a school “at the forefront of youth hockey,” Ty packed up and returned to sunny California.
In fact, Wayne Gretzky’s move to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988 had much to do with both Ty and Trevor’s straying from the family “business.”
They do like golf, though, don't they, the Gretzkys.
Both Ty and Trevor are “Califonia boys.”
Trevor started out on the Gretzky path—he was a goalie as a youngster—but the American adolescent’s first true love was, gasp, baseball.
In a very interesting article from the National Post, Wayne Gretzky is quoted from an ESPN interview: “[Trevor’s] grown up in the Southwest, and he’s never really had a desire to skate… If you can’t skate, you can’t play in the NHL. It’s pretty simple.”
One of Trevor’s first memories is of going to a Yankee game when his dad was playing for the New York Rangers. He was hooked.
At Oaks Christian High School, Trevor played both baseball and, until being injured, football.
In the 2011 MLB Draft last week, the young Gretzky was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the seventh round (219th).
But it looks like he’s going to work on his skills in college first—Trevor has “signed a letter of intent to play baseball under head coach Tony Gwynn—the former San Diego Padres Hall of Famer—at San Diego State." (National Post)
Career Highlight: In an April game earlier this year, Trevor hit for the cycle, went 5-for-5 and knocked in nine RBI. (LA Times).
Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player ever.
He possesses six championship rings with the Chicago Bulls and six corresponding NBA Finals MVPs. That’s unheard of.
Jordan is the all-time leader in career points per game (30.1) and player efficiency rating. He’s led the league in everything from field goals to points to steals to free throws made and minutes played.
Michael Jordan and his ex-wife Juanita have three children: Jeffrey (1988), Marcus (1990) and Jasmine (1992).
After playing both football and basketball in high school, Jeff Jordan followed in his father’s footsteps and went on to play hoops at the college level. He played three years as a guard for the Illinois Fighting Illini before finishing his last season at the University of Central Florida in 2011.
That will be the end of the basketball line for Jeff. His NCAA numbers were less than stellar: Just 140 points in 94 games, appearing in only two for UCF.
Career Highlights: Jeff Jordan received a scholarship to play for Illinois. In his final two games (for UCF), he scored 30 points. Further back, though, he and brother Marcus took their high school team to the championship and their best record ever.
Marcus Jordan just completed his second season as a guard for the Central Florida Knights.
He’s not bad. Will he make the NBA? That’s another question. It is by no means a surety and borderline unlikely, but it is possible, and he still has a couple of years to make it happen.
In Marcus’ sophomore campaign, his per-game averages went like this: 15.2 points (ninth in C-USA), 3.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 40 percent from the floor. Pretty respectable.
Career Highlight: In the first game of the 2010-11 season, Jordan scored his highest career point total: 28 points.
Another “greatest,” Muhammad Ali, arguably the best—and definitely the most famous—boxer of all time, has nine children: Maryum (1968), Jamillah (1970), Rasheda (1970), Muhammad Ali, Jr (1972), Miya (1972), Khaliah (n/a), Hana (1976), Laila (1977) and Assad Amin (adopted,1991, the lucky stiff).
Laila “She Bee Stingin’” Ali is undoubtedly the most well known of Muhammad’s children. She followed dad’s fancy footsteps into the ring.
The story goes that pop did not want Laila to box, but “Laila explained to her father that she was going to box whether he liked it or not.” Right-hook!
Laila also graduated from Santa Monica College with a business degree, has a skin-care line and supposedly will be releasing a music album in the near future.
Career Highlights: Laila’s boxing record is a big-time 24-0, with 21 knockouts. She was the IBA (’02), WIBA (’02) and IWBF (’05) super-middleweight champion.
Strength, grace, outspokenness and smarts. The acorn did not fall far from the tree.
She's also easy on the eyes (outside the ring, that is).
“The Intimidator” is a NASCAR legend, perhaps the biggest. He won the Winston Cup seven times (’80, ’86, ’87, ’90, ’91, ’93, ’94), tied for most all time with other NASCAR legend Richard Petty.
Earnhardt Sr. had four children: Kerry Dale (1969), Kelley (1972), Ralph Dale, Jr. (1974) and Taylor Nicole (1988).
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has been one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR over the past decade, since the first days he put pedal to medal. And before that even, “Junior” grew up in the public eye, and he charmed fans from the start.
When Earnhardt died in the final turn of the Daytona 500 in 2001, NASCAR nation mourned with 26-year-old Junior.
Dale Jr. is currently in sixth place in the 2011 Race for the Chase.
Career Highlights: Junior has 23 wins and 77 top-10s, including the 2004 Daytona 500.
Kerry Earnhardt also raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He has seven races to his credit, but nothing to show for it, not finishing four of those times.
Kerry also raced in the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
Today, he is an advisor to Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Career Highlights: Won the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 pole in 2005 (Truck Series)
A touching moment between dad and daughter.
Pele is easily one of the most renowned footballers in world history. He played forward for the Brazilian Santos Futebol Clube, then put “soccer” on the map in the United States as a member of the New York Cosmos.
His skills were also out of the stratosphere. Pele was named either “Athlete of the Century” or “Football Player of the Century” or “[Insert here] of the Century” by eight different media outlets, among other honors.
Pele has five children: Kelly (1967), Edson (1970), Jennifer (1978) and twins Joshua and Celeste (1996— almost 30 years after his first).
Pele’s birthname is Edison "Edson" Arantes do Nascimento. His son, Edson Cholbi Nascimento, played goalkeeper for four different Brazilian squads: Santos, Portuguesa Santista, Sao Caetano and Ponte Preta.
He has bounced back, though, and today is the assistant coach of the Santos Futebol Clube, the team his dad played for, for 18 years.
Career Highlight: Santos was runner-up in the 1995 Serie A.
Yogi Berra has the most World Series rings in baseball history: 10. The greatest living Yankee also won three MVPs, including back-to-back ones in 1954 and 1955.
He has three children: Larry (1949), Tim (1951) and Dale (1956).
Larry Berra took a stab at the minor leagues, but never really had the baseball tools. He played in about 20 games for three different teams, then hung it up.
Career Highlight: Lasted 15 games with the Marion Mets.
Tim Berra played college football for UMass, and still holds the school record for all-purpose yards gained in a single game (357 in 1973). Marcel Shipp was a Minuteman, by the way.
Career Highlight: Tim was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1974 (Round 17, 421st). He played in 14 games for the Colts that year as a punt and kick returner.
Of all three sons, Dale inherited most of his dad’s athletic skill.
He was a standout high school ball player (and hockey and football) and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1975 with the 20th pick. Two years later, he was playing at Three River.
Dale eked out 11 pro seasons playing for the Pirates, New York Yankees and Houston Astros, finishing with 49 home runs and a .236 average.
The youngest Berra’s career was marred by drug scandal when he was compelled to testify at the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985 with regard to his and teammates’ cocaine use.
Career Highlight: Dale Berra played 44 games for the 1979 world-champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He wasn’t on the postseason roster, but he scored a ring nonetheless.
Jerry Rice was recently voted the No. 1 player in NFL history, per the NFL Network.
In his 16-year career, Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler and named first-team All-Pro 10 times. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, all-purpose yards, playoff games and touchdowns. It doesn’t get better than that.
Rice has three children: Jacqui, who just graduated Georgetown University, has done some music recording and is planning on attending law school; Jada, who is in high school; and Jerry Rice, Jr., who played football in high school and was accepted by the UCLA Bruins as a walk-on in 2009.
He hasn’t played in any games, though, and it doesn’t look like he is on a path to the NFL.
Career Highlight: Making the UCLA football team.
Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play Major League Baseball, and he was one of the best to play the game.
In 10 challenging seasons, Robinson won Rookie of the Year, an MVP award and a World Series ring. He could hit for power or with pinpoint aim. He could hit you hard or elude you with lightning speed. He stole home 19 times, you know.
Robinson’s No. 42 is retired for all baseball teams in recognition of the errs of baseball past and Jackie’s struggle to set things right.
He had three children: Jackie Jr. (1946), Sharon (1950) and David (1952).
Jackie Jr. was wounded in the Vietnam War and struggled with drug addiction on and off throughout the course of his short life. He died in a car accident at the age of 24.
Sharon Robinson is an author who has celebrated her father’s life and determination. She was at one time the “director of educational programming for the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball."
David Robinson is a conscientious entrepreneur.
Major League Baseball is a major client, and you can find SUF’s coffee at several ballparks today.
Pete Rose is baseball’s all-time hits leader: 4,256. He also has played in the most games and has the most at-bats, plate appearances and times on base.
Rose was banned from the game and made permanently ineligible for the Hall of Fame after it was discovered that, as manager of the Cincinnati Reds, he was gambling on baseball, including his own team.
Pete Rose has four children: Fawn (1964), Pete, Jr. (1969), Tyler (1984) and Cara (1989).
Cara is an actress who goes by the stage name Chea Courtney .
Career Highlight: Portrayed “Sarah McBride” on Melrose Place.
Pete Rose, Jr. just could never make it in the big leagues, poor fella. He spent 21 years playing in the minors and independent leagues, after being drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1988.
Currently, Rose Jr. manages the Chicago White Sox’ Advanced Rookie League team.
Career Highlight: In 1997, Pete Rose Jr. made it to the majors. He played in 11 games for the Reds, had two hits, two runs and struck out nine times in 14 at-bats.
Joe Montana was ranked the fourth-best player in NFL history by the NFL Network. He is the No. 1 quarterback on the list and has four Super Bowl rings and three Super Bowl MVPs.
Montana has four children: Alexandra (1985), Elizabeth (1986), Nate (1989) and Nicholas (1992).
Elizabeth studied at Notre Dame and at one time explored a career in modeling.
It looks like she should have continued exploring.
Nate Montana is a quarterback for the Division I-AA (FCS) Montana Grizzlies. He has not yet played for them, having transferred from Notre Dame where he was the third-string quarterback.
Nate is a senior, but he redshirted a year at Pasadena City College. Time will tell how he does over the next two years, but it is unlikely Nate will make it to the pros.
Career Highlight: Nate Montana has played in one college football game for Notre Dame: he was 9-for-18 with 116 yards.
Nick Montana is a backup quarterback for the Division-I Washington Huskies, but don’t let that fool you. He’s pretty good and was just redshirting his freshman year (2010).
There are definite NFL possibilities here, as Nick was ranked anywhere from the 13th-to-22nd best high school QB in the nation following his senior year.
It will be interesting to see how the youngest Montana develops, possibly into a premier professional athlete.
Career Highlight: Nick went 27-1 as the starter and passed for 33 and 34 TDs in his junior and senior years.
Terry Gene Bollea (Hulk Hogan) is the greatest wrestler of all time and the only wrestler to “defeat” Andre the Giant at the behemoth’s peak. Hogan was a 13-time world champion.
He has two children: Brooke (1988) and Nick (1990).
Brooke was a cheerleader for her Clearwater, Florida high school and graduated early.
Career Highlights: Achieved notoriety in Hogan Knows Best. Multiple albums cut.
For a time, Nick was active in motorsports and competed in the Formula Drift series, but his accomplishments were limited.
His racing career was cut short due to multiple off-the-track car accidents, one so severe that his passenger, John Graziano, sustained brain injuries that will require life-long nursing home care.
Career Highlight: Achieved notoriety in Hogan Knows Best. Finished third in a 2007 NOPI drift race.
Jack Nicklaus is arguably the best golfer to hit the links. It is his hallowed record—18 majors won—that Tiger Woods has been chasing all his life.
Nicklaus had 73 wins on tour, second most all-time behind Sam Snead.
Jack has five children (and 21 grandchildren): Jack II (1961), Steve (1963), Nancy (1965), Gary (1969) and Michael (1973).
Jack Nicklaus II played golf for the North Carolina Tar Heels and had some success as an amateur golfer before an unsuccessful pro career.
Today, Nicklaus II works for Nicklaus Design and has helped his dad design over 100 golf courses in his time there.
Career Highlight: In 1985, Jack Nicklaus II won the North-South Amateur Championship.
Steve Nicklaus was a wide receiver for the Florida State Seminoles—he had 11 yards on 11 receptions for his career. While it is obvious Steve plays golf, there is no record of him playing competitively.
Career Highlight: 11 yards receiving.
He is also a course architect at Nicklaus Design.
Career Highlight: Gary finished second in the 2000 BellSouth Classic for a $300K paycheck.
Roberto Clemente was born in Puerto Rico and became one of the greatest Latin players to ever grace the baseball diamond. He achieved a number of “firsts” for Hispanic ballplayers: World Series champion as a starter, MVP, World Series MVP and Hall of Famer. He was a 12-time All-Star who finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.
Tragically, at the age of 38, Clemente’s life was cut short in an airplane crash on New Year’s Eve in 1973. He was en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Who knows how much more he would have contributed, not just to the game and his stat line, but to humanity.
Clemente had three children: Roberto Jr. (1965), Luis (1966) and Enrique (?).
Roberto Clemente Jr. was inspired to play baseball following his father’s death. It was not meant to be. Clemente Jr. managed through three unspectacular minor-league seasons after signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1984, but was never brought up. He retired due to injury.
Today, Clemente Jr. is a sports announcer and continues his dad’s charitable legacy. In that he has succeeded.
Career Highlight: Batted over .300 in his second season with the Charleston Rainbows.
Photo: Roberto Clemente Jr. with Edgar Martinez
Enrique Clemente pitched in five games for a Pirates minor league affiliate. He finished with a career 0-1 record.
Career Highlight: Two strikeouts in 11 innings.
Photo: sports.webshots.com (Enrique is on your right)
If it ain’t Ali, it’s Sugar Ray: the greatest boxer of all time.
“’You are the king, the master, my idol,’ Ali was fond of saying to Robinson.” (NY Times)
Robinson finished with a 175-19-6 record and an unconscious 109 knockouts. He won over 80 amateur fights as well.
The fact is Sugar Ray Robinson is considered the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history by more official rankings than any other: ESPN, Bleacher Report, The Ring, Associated Press and others.
Robinson had two children: Ronnie (1938) and Ray Robinson II (1949).
Sugar Ray steered his kids away from boxing. The result with son No. 1: Ronnie Robinson became a premier Roller Derby skater. Before you laugh, he was, um, one of the best, or as they say in the roller derby business, a “top-flight jammer.”
Ronnie skated and coached for over three decades (1958-1992).
Career Highlight: In 2004, Ronnie Robinson was posthumously inducted into the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame.
Ray Robinson II is an author, producer and program developer. For more than two decades, he has been involved in youth-risk projects in San Francisco, New York and as a member of President Bush’s Points of Light Foundation.
Robinson Jr. co-wrote Pound for Pound, a biography of his dad.
Man O’ War sired hundreds of foals, most notably, War Admiral (1934).
War Admiral would go on to win the Triple Crown and is ranked the 13th greatest racehorse of the 20th century. He was 21-3-1.
Career Highlight: Triple Crown (1937). The video is War Admiral’s Kentucky Derby win from that year.
Horses are a little different than people. For example, Man o’ War’s “grandson,” Seabiscuit (1933), was born before his “son,” War Admiral (1934)—though I guess that is possible with homo sapiens too, just not so quickly.
I thought it would be fair, and interesting considering the recent popular-culture revival regarding this horse, to include a slide on “the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.” (imdb.com)
Seabiscuit would finish with a 33-15-3 record and earn the 25th spot in BloodHorse’s top 100.
Career Highlights: In 1938, Horse of the Year Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in a head-to-head race called the “Race of the Century,” video of which is presented here.
However it is argued, there is one fact that must be tossed into the quibble: Maradona is the people’s choice. He was voted Player of the Century by the people in a 2000 FIFA online election. The Times called him the greatest World Cup player of all time, thanks in part to the “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 quarter-finals against England.
Maradona has three children: Diego (1986), Dalma (1987) and Giannina (1989).
Dalma is an actress.
Giannina Maradona is married to Atletico Madrid’s Sergio “Kun” Aguero.
They recently had a baby boy, Benjamin.
Photo: noticias24.com (l.-r. Claudia Villafane, Dalma, Diego and Giannina)
Between 1984 and 1991, Maradona played for Italian team Napoli and got his hanky-panky on a bit.
He had an affair with Christina Sinagra, an Italian model. She bore a child, Diego Sinagra.
For years Maradona denied that Deigo was his and “refused DNA tests.” But in 1993, the Italian courts caught up to him and ruled Maradona was the father.
Despite this, Sinagra fiercely defends his father’s football reputation, “Qualifying for the World Cup is his victory. My father deserved it as well as the rest of the nation.” (futbolita.com)
Diego is a footballer for Italian team U.S. Arzanese and also plays beach soccer.
Career Highlight: In 2009, Diego’s beach soccer team won the title.
Gordie Howe was an NHL All Star 23 times, won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, was a six-time MVP and six-time scoring leader.
Howe played 32 years of professionally competitive hockey in the WHA and NHL and so holds the record for most games played. He retired at the age of 52. Wow.
Howe had four boys: Gordon (?), Marty (1954), Mark (1955), and Murray (?). Gordon and Murray are medical doctors.
Marty Howe was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens but went to the WHA and played for the Houston Aeros for four years, then the New England and Hartford Whalers—all alongside his dad.
Marty played another five years after Gordie retired.
Career Highlight: Marty Howe (and Gordie) was a member of the 1974 and 1975 WHA Champion Houston Aeros.
Mark Howe played pro hockey for 22 years. Ordinary NHLers may be awed by this, but Gordie thought it was wimpy (not really).
Gordie, Marty and Mark all played for the same teams between 1973 and 1979. While Marty went on to play just five more, Mark would go on for another 15—with the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings.
Mark made six NHL All-Star teams.
Career Highlight: Member of the 1974 and 1975 WHA Champion Houston Aeros. Mark recorded 107 points for the WHA’s New England Whalers in 1978-79.
Dr. J revolutionized the way basketball is played. As a member of the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets, he floored fans with his athletic, innovative play.
Dr. J was a showman. He “was a wizard with the ball, performing feats never before seen: midair spins and whirls punctuated by powerful slam dunks.” (nba.com)
How about this: “No one has ever controlled and conquered the air above pro basketball like Julius Erving, the incomparable Dr. J," wrote Pete Axthelm in Newsweek (espn.com).
Erving was the best player in the ABA and part of the impetus for the 1976 ABA-NBA merger.
Erving has six children: Cory (1981-2000), Julius III, Jazmin, Cheo (adopted), Jules and Alexandra Stevenson (1981).
Julius Erving III is an R&B promoter. He is a Vice President at Sanctuary Group, a firm that “represents such artists as Nelly, Tweet and D12.”
Jazmin Erving was co-captain of her high school basketball team, but did “not want to play basketball after her senior year” (philly.com)
Jazmin went into modeling after school and continues today. According to her Twitter account, she is a “Mother. COO. Boss Lady.”
In 1999, Alexandra Stevenson made a splash at Wimbledon, reaching the semifinals in her debut.
Controversy accompanied her march through the early rounds.
The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel published Alexandra’s birth certificate, which showed Julius Erving as the father.
A superb ESPN Outside the Lines article recounts the story:
“Basketball icon meets female sportswriter, has extramarital affair, gets sportswriter pregnant, misses childbirth due to game against Pacers, asks for separate lives, reads about the child 18 years later in the newspaper, has a broken heart, wishes for a way to reconcile, spends nine years thinking about it, can't pull the trigger.”
It was difficult for Alexandra: “She put her dad on a shelf and left him there for a quarter-century. Just because the rest of the world is preoccupied with Julius Erving doesn't mean she's had to be. She says she has never Googled him…”
But the story ends well. In 2008, Alexandra forgave her father and they met. They have a relationship today.
Career Highlights: In 2002, Stevenson reached her highest ranking: 18. She has one WTA doubles title.
Secretariat was voted the No. 2 racehorse of the 20th century but is possibly more well known than Man o’ War. The ranking is definitely debatable, too.
Man o’ War failed to win the Triple Crown; Secretariat won it in 1973. Man o’ War was Horse of the Year once; Secretariat twice.
Secretariat had over 600 offspring, the lucky son of a dam. Of those foals, Lady’s Secret (1982) and Risen Star (1985) were two of the most successful.
Lady’s Secret compiled a 25-9-3 record over five years, including a win at the 1986 Breeders’ Cup. She is ranked 76th all-time.
Career Highlight: Lady’s Secret was the 1986 Horse of the Year.
The winner of the Olympic decathlon is traditionally called the World’s Greatest Athlete.
In 1976, American Bruce Jenner won the decathlon gold at the XXI Olympic Games in Montreal.
Jenner has six children and four stepchildren: Burt (1978), Casey (1980), Brandon (1981), Brody (1983), Kendall Nicole (1995), Kylie Kristen (1997), Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian and Rob Kardashian.
All are television personalities thanks to the reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Let's finish this slideshow by closing out with the Kardashians...
Happy Father's Day!
Casey Jenner is on the left. She is a "loving mother every day, and a California girl all my life" according to her Twitter account.
Burt Jenner is in the middle.
Check out his YouTube channel.
By the way, it's: Top row, from left: Kourtney Kardashian, Bruce Jenner, Casey Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Linda Thompson. Second row: Kim Kardashian, Chrystie Jenner, Burt Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kris Jenner. Third row: Khloé Kardashian, the family publicist Jill Fritzo, Brandon Jenner, Brody Jenner, Rob Kardashian. (NY Times)
Khloe Kardashian is an actress, author and entrepreneur (clothing boutiques, jewelry, fragrances). I think she is an advocate for the ethical treatment of animals.
Khloe is married to L.A. Lakers forward Lamar Odom. Everybody knows that.