Twins different players on the court
By Brian Pitts
It’s not unheard-of for twin brothers to make the NBA together and to play on the same team. But Caleb and Cody Martin starting their NBA careers in the same organization might be unprecedented.
They’ve always played on the same team, going all the way back to the Brock Gym basketball league. They played together at South Davie Middle, then at Davie, then at Oak Hill Military Academy, then at N.C. State, then at Nevada and then last season as rookies for the Charlotte Hornets.
As close as Cody and Caleb are off the court, they bring different styles to the court. They might be virtually identical in terms of size and athleticism, they might have the same intangibles, but they’re different in others ways. That explains why it’s easy for them to be on the court at the same time.
“With us being on the same team, we’re going to be known as the twins,” Caleb said. “I know what I can do individually and Cody knows what he brings to the table individually. When people really watch us play and dissect our games, they notice the differences. If people want to group us together, I’m used to it.”
Cody said: “I think that’s what makes us really intriguing in knowing that we bring a variety of different things to the table. I think we both understand that when we get out there and play our games with confidence, people can see the difference. That’s why when we’re both on the floor, we’re able to coexist because he has a different style of play, and I have a different style of play.”
Hornets coach James Borrego said: “You look at them, they look identical and most people in general lump them together. They play the same way, (people think) they’re the same person, but they’re really not. The more I’ve gotten to know them, their games and personalities are different. They each need their individual attention and their own development program as well. We’ve done better with that over the course of the season.
“There’s a real trust between the three of us. I have my own relationship with both of them. We’re just thrilled to have them in our program. They’re fantastic kids. They’re about the right things. They affect winning, they’re about winning and they want to get better.”
In the summer of 2019, Cody was drafted 36th overall. Caleb was not drafted even though, as a Nevada senior, he ranked third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring (19.2 ppg) and first in 3-point field goals (107). But Caleb fought his way to a free-agent contract and spent most of his rookie year in the G League. When the stretch drive of the 2019-20 season arrived, both twins were getting significant minutes for the Hornets. For the season, Cody’s offensive rating (104.5) was a tad higher than Caleb’s (103.2). In the defensive efficiency category, Cody again had a slight edge (102.4 to 107.7) over his brother.
Cody said: “In a way, we both bring similar things to the table, but also bring completely different things at the same time. I think that’s why when we’re both on the floor, we have a lot of energy and we bring a different kind of dynamic when we’re out there.”