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Kobe Bryant's Uncle - Chubby Cox

Chubby Cox

Credit: University of San Francisco Athletics

Kobe Bryant's dad, Joe Bryant, is relatively well known. It makes sense that NBA fans would be aware of Joe Bryant since he is the father of a Top 10 Player in NBA History, and Joe Bryant himself had a decent eight-season NBA career. However, there is another family member of Kobe that was also in the NBA that rarely gets talked about, his uncle, Chubby Cox.

And yes. That is his real name. Don't laugh (or do, it's funny).

Chubby Cox's real name was "John Arthur Cox III," which sounds better (and more appropriate). Besides the fact that it was his nickname, there is no found reason why he 'seems' to officially be known as "Chubby." Wikipedia and Basketball-Reference also refer to Cox by "Chubby Cox." Even if "Chubby" was just Cox's nickname, it still is not the most glamorous nickname.

Disregarding his name, Chubby Cox is not as talked about compared to his niece and brother-in-law because he was not in the league for that long. He only played seven games in the NBA, but that does not mean that he was a bad player.


NCAA Career (1973-78)

Before joining the NBA, Cox played Shooting Guard for the Villanova Wildcats from 1973-75. With complete honesty, his two seasons at Villanova were dreadful. In the first season, the team would go 7-19, and in the following season, 9-18. Besides the team's record, Cox did not play that well. He averaged:

9.0 Points and 4.7 Rebounds

36.5 FG% and 56.9 FT%

(Minutes Unknown)

If your Shooting Guard is only scoring nine points per game while shooting extremely inefficiently from the field and free-throw line, it is not surprising that the team had a negative regular-season record. What's crazy is that even though Cox played badly, he was probably the Wildcats' best Guard...

After two seasons with the Wildcats, Chubby Cox would transfer to the San Francisco Dons. This was a fantastic choice as in the season he joined the Dons (1976-77), they would go 29-2 (93.5 W/L%) and were the first seed in the West Coast Athletic Conference. The team would not lose to a SINGLE team within the conference (14-0).

5/11 of the 1976-77 Dons players would end up playing in the NBA, one of those players being 1x All-Star and 3x Champion, Bill Cartwright. To emphasize how good this team was even further, the average PPG for the Dons was 93.7 while the average OPPG was 77.6, a 16.1 POINT difference!

As for Cox, he would play a lot better while on the Dons. In the 1976-77 season, he averaged:

9.4 Points, 2.7 Rebounds, 5.4 Assists

48.1 FG% and 79.7 FT%

28.6 Minutes

Cox was much more efficient and slightly scored more points. Assists were not counted when Cox was at Wildcats, so I'm not sure if he improved regarding assists.