The Legend of Zeller


To compare them to the Flying Wallendas would be a high-wire act on your part, for the balancing courage of these particular brothers is unparalleled. You’d be striking yourself out if you wanted to compare them to the DiMaggio, Alou, or Molina brothers. To compare them to the Manning brothers would be akin to comparing Steph Curry’s jump shot to that of Kendrick Perkins’.

Sprouting from the fertile landscape of the Tipton Till Plains of central Indiana, the Zellers are an other-worldly breed of basketball winners. The oldest of the trio, Luke, was a star at Notre Dame before playing for the Suns. As much as I want to write that Luke set the league on fire during this season, the idea of Luke committing any crime, especially something nefarious as arson, is too much for my imagination. If you look at how the Suns fared in games with and without Luke in the lineup, they posted a 19-47 record without the 6’11” center on the floor and a 6-10 record with without. Extrapolating these numbers tells that Zeller was worth about six (6) additional wins to the Suns that season. If he were on the Heat, per se, the Heat’s record would’ve shot up from 66 wins to 72, where they would’ve tied the 1995-96 Bulls for most wins in a season. You could argue that Luke Zeller is just a winner and quite fathomably the difference between LeBron and Jordan.

After Luke, Tyler was born. Tyler decided to leave the state of Indiana for the opportunity to pass Marvin Williams as the greatest North Carolina Tar Heel of all-time. Tyler’s determination to win with gritty hustle could not be out-worked, as the country boy led the Tar Heels to a National Championship in his first year on campus. When he declared for the draft after paying full retribution for North Carolina’s full-ride scholarship, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to replace JeBron Lames with the will-power and savvy of the middle child. You know who else were middle children? Ronald Reagan and Jesus. That’s no coincidence and I don’t need your Illuminati theories in the comments.

After two stunning seasons in Cleveland, the Cavs decided to trade Tyler to the Boston Celtics for a pick that turn end up being Thon Maker. In Tyler’s first season with the Celtics, he’s posting absurdly efficient stats. To highlight the stats is Zeller’s TRB per 36 rating of 9.6, a stat that shows how well Zeller rebounds in the time he plays. Extrapolating Zeller’s TRB per 36 with Celtics legend Robert Parrish’s NBA-record of 1611 games played, Zeller would have over 1500 career rebounds, placing him 6th all-time, just past Karl Malone and the aforementioned Parrish.

Just as the Zeller parents said to themselves as their older sons left for school, “That leaves us with just Cody.” Cody is by far the best of the bunch and his going fourth overall in the esteemed 2013 NBA Draft — and when you account for the fact that he’s eleven picks more promising than the Big F***ing Giannis — speaks volumes of his prowess in the paint. I know I spoke of the criminality of comparing the Zellers to the Mannings, but in this set of brothers, Cody Zeller is Peyton Manning, but only in respect to their concurrent issue of limiting turnovers.

In his time at Indiana, Zeller’s personality wasn’t the only part of him considered All-American, as he led his team to a deep run in the NCAA Tournament despite having no supporting cast whatsoever, hence the designation of going top-four in the draft, something Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade never managed. To bring stats, something Cody would never do because caring about stats is the most selfish thing a player could do, Cody’s TS% of .524 is greater than the career figures of NBA legends Rick Barry, Allen Iverson and Ralph Sampson. Morevoer, Cody’s DBPM (defensive box plus/minus) figure of 2.2 is equal to the career totals of defensive phenoms Alonzo Mourning and Scottie Pippen.

It’s no secret to find out that Tyler and Cody Zeller are well on their way to the Hall of Fame and Luke would’ve been if the Phoenix Suns cared more about winning than stats. What else could you expect from such an American family?

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