In this feature – NBA Players By the Numbers – we look at star NBA players’ measurements in various areas. Folks think about how tall basketball players are, especially relative to the general population. So, we’ll start there.
And we’ll also take a look at wingspans, vertical leaping ability, shoe sizes, hand sizes, and the most popular NBA jerseys. There’s a lot to take in here, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Just scroll down to see it all, or tap on one of the menu links if you’re most interested in a particular category.
NBA Players’ Heights
Being tall is not a bad thing, and this goes triply in the sport of basketball. Sure, you’ve got the greats like Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues and Isaiah Thomas, who can weave their way through a defense and thread the needle for a quick assist, but being tall is the most part, what helps a player dominate in the NBA. Height is an important factor for several reasons.
Being taller means being closer to the rim, which means less force to apply to get the ball in the basket. This makes for much easier lay-ups/dunks and slightly easier, more accurate shots in general.
Height also plays a big role in defense. Coupled with a large wingspan, an excess height can turn a player into a defensive powerhouse. Players can block and tip shots from much further away, and their impressive stature can block a shooter’s field of view, skewing the next shot or pass. The only drawback to an increased height is the loss of agility that can sometimes come with it.
Of course, there are outliers like LeBron and “The Greek Freak,” who have honed their skills to be expert ball-handlers and shooters, but for the most part, the tallest players are the classic centers. They are perfect for feeding a slam dunk or taking up space in the lane, but they are usually not the person to handle the ball.
The three tallest players currently in the NBA are Tacko Fall (7’6), who plays for the Boston Celtics; Kristaps Porzingis (7’3), who plays for the Dallas Mavericks; and Boban Marjanovic (7’3), who plays for the Dallas Mavericks as well.
How tall is LeBron James?
LeBron James is listed as being 6’9”, but according to the NBA’s new height measurement rules, which involve measuring players without their shoes, LeBron is 6’8.5.”
How tall is Michael Jordan?
Michael Jordan’s listed height is 6’6″ tall. While programs list Jordan at 6’6″, many in the league thought he was considerably closer to 6’4″ tall.
Stephen Curry’s Height
How tall is Steph Curry? Stephen Curry is 6’3″ tall, making him one inch shorter than his father, former NBA player Dale Curry. You have to think there were some serious one-on-one battles in their driveway.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, The Greek Freak, Height
How tall is the Greek Freak? Giannis is 6’11”, putting him above LeBron, KD, and his brothers Kostas and Thanasis, both NBA players. Talk about strong genes!
Jayson Tatum’s Height
Jayson Tatum is 6’8”, but he is dwarfed compared to Tacko Fall, his teammate and the official tallest player in the NBA (7’6”).
How tall is Luka Doncic?
Luka Doncic is currently listed as 6’7”, but his height has been seemingly indeterminable for years, as he has been described by teammates and coaches as anywhere from 6’6” to 6’9”.
How tall is Kawhi Leonard?
Kawhi Leonard is 6’7” tall, and he uses that to his advantage every game. Leonard was seen as a strong defensive player, using his height and monstrous wingspan for rebounding and blocking, but he quickly became an offensive force to be reckoned with.
Anthony Davis’ Height
Anthony Davis is 6’10” tall, compared to his 5’8” twin sister, who seems to have gotten the shorter end of the gene pool.
Joel Embiid’s Height
How tall is Joel Embiid? Joel Embiid is 7’0” tall, making him the tallest 76er on the roster, two inches above Ben Simmons.
How tall is Kevin Durant?
Kevin Durant is listed as 6’10” tall, but since he is almost 7’ tall with shoes on, many players perceive him as taller.
Ben Simmons’ Height
Ben Simmons is 6’10” tall, sitting just two inches underneath Joel Embiid
Kyrie Irving Height
Kyrie Irving is 6’2” tall, putting him just an inch below Curry and Westbrook, the classic point guards of the league
How tall is Russell Westbrook Height?
Russel Westbrook is 6’3” tall, which makes him the second shortest player on the Rockets’ 2020 roster behind Christ Clemons
How tall is Zion Williamson?
Zion Williamson is 6’6” tall but coupled with his explosive power and quickness. He becomes a threat on all fronts. He distinguished himself as more than just a dunker in the 2019 season, and he does not look to be slowing down at all for the 2020 season.
NBA Players’ Wingspans
Wingspan works hand-in-hand with a player’s height, contributing to both offensive and defensive maneuverability. On defense, having a broader wingspan can increase your chance for blocks and deflections, and it can also allow players to rebound more easily, like Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is 6’3” tall, but he has a wingspan of 6’8”, allowing him to reach for rebounds from further away and contend with even the biggest NBA players.
Wingspan also helps when the big guys aren’t the fastest with their lateral movement, helping them prevent point guards from driving into the lane. A longer wingspan can give a player like Kevin Durant the extra area of coverage he needs to make a steal or block a shot on a much quicker Russell Westbrook type.
Wingspan also gives the person with the ball a little bit more room to maneuver. With a guy like Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has a monstrous wingspan (7’3”), he can drive to the basket keeping the ball above most of the defensive turmoil in the lane, and it also allows him to extend his other arm and make room to shoot, distancing himself from the defense.
Currently, the three longest wingspans in the NBA are Tacko Fall, at 8’2” long, Mo Bamba, at 7’10”, and Rudy Gobert, at 7’9” (broke the record for most dunks in a single season in 2019-2020). The longest wingspan of all time is held by Manute Bol, at 8’6” long.
According to a study in 2011, only two NBA players had wingspans shorter than their height: Yao Ming (since retired) and J.J. Redick. Ming is 7’6″ tall with a wingspan of 7’5″. Redick is 6’4″ tall and has a wingspan of 6’3″. One might conclude from this that long arms play a big role in basketball success.
What is LeBron James’ Wingspan?
LeBron James’s wingspan is 7’0”, just an inch longer than Michael Jordan’s. But LeBron’s new teammate, Anthony Davis, has him beat by a good half-foot at a 7’6” long wingspan.
Michael Jordan’s Wingspan
What is Michael Jordan’s wingspan? Michael Jordan’s wingspan is 6’11”, which may seem incredible long. But, compare it to Scotty Pippen’s, whose wingspan is 7’3”.
What is Stephen Curry’s Wingspan?
Steph Curry’s wingspan is 6’4”, the same as Kyrie Irving’s.
What is Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Wingspan?
Giannis Antetokounmpo has a wingspan of 7’3”, which, when combined with his height, helps make him a dynamic rebounder, postman, and defensive player. This “tall and long” type of player can be crucial to a team. It’s seen in players like Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis.
Jayson Tatum’s Wingspan
Jayson Tatum has 6’11”. The average wingspan for a 6’6″ player in the NBA is 6’10”. At 6’8″ tall, Tatum has a fairly typical height-to-wingspan ratio for an NBA player.
Luka Doncic’s Wingspan
What is Luka Doncic’s wingspan? Luka Doncic has a wingspan of 7’2”, and he is an elite passer, working as a point guard or a forward with the size to play power forward.
What is Kawhi Leonard’s Wingspan?
Kawhi Leonard has a wingspan of 7’3”, the same as the Greek Freak, and a similar bracket of defensive powerhouse/offensive threat. His wingspan helps him generate steals, blocked passes, and blocked dribbling lanes. Leonard has an 11.5% increase in his wingspan from his height, the greatest increase of all the NBA all-stars.
Anthony Davis’ Wingspan
Anthony Davis holds a wingspan of 7’6”, higher than Kawhi and the Greek Freak and higher than his teammate LeBron. He, too, falls in the bracket of an elite defender with a broad reach that will slow even the fastest players.
Joel Embiid’s Wingspan
Joel Embiid holds a wingspan of 7’6”, the same as Anthony Davis. Even though he is only two inches taller than Ben Simmons, his wingspan is 6” greater, demonstrating why he is the true center of the team.
What is Kevin Durant’s Wingspan?
Kevin Durant holds a wingspan of 7’5”, and boy, does he use it. A monster on offense and defense, Durant utilizes his long wingspan to keep the ball from defenders, giving himself room to drive or pull up for the shot.
What is Ben Simmons’ Wingspan?
Ben Simmons has a wingspan of 7’0”, matching his size of 6’10” for a very even build, allowing for more fluid and coordinated movement on the court.
Kyrie Irving’s Wingspan
Kyrie Irving has a wingspan of 6’4”, but like Curry, he does not let his shortened wingspan slow him down. An excellent point guard and ball maneuverer, Irving can do it all, keeping the ball close to his person the whole time and moving with lighting efficiency.
What is Russell Westbrook’s Wingspan?
Russel Westbrook has a wingspan of 6’8”, five inches longer than his height. This longer-than-average height-to-wingspan increase makes Westbrook a threat for rebounding on offense as well, which is unusual for a point guard.
Zion Williamson’s Wingspan
Zion Williamson has a wingspan of 6’10”, putting him near LeBron with a vast wingspan. His wingspan advantage is apparent in his aggressive playstyle, same as LeBron, with a strong ability to drive and score but not afraid to pull up for the shot.
You might like Zion Williamson FAQs & Quotes.
NBA Players’ Vertical Leap Measurements
A player’s vertical leap is crucial to their play style. A higher vertical jump can allow a person to dunk or get much closer to the basket, increasing the percentage of making a shot. In Michael Jordan’s historic free-throw line dunk, one can really see that covering the whole fifteen feet to the basket in one leap.
Of course, the vertical jump is just as important after the shot, coupling with a player’s wingspan to try and get to the ball as fast as possible. A higher vertical jump means being able to reach the ball right after its initial ricochet.
Vertical jumps also play a tremendous role in defense (unless, of course, there’s a pump fake). The vertical leap height can determine whether or not a player blocks a shot, whether they can intercept a high pass, and whether the player can stop the other team from getting a rebound. Jumping is one of the fundamentals of basketball, and there is no way around that truth.
How high can LeBron James jump?
What is LeBron James’s vertical leap? LeBron James can jump up to 44 inches, giving him the ability to throw down some of the most insane slam dunks the NBA has ever seen. This ability makes LeBron a nightmare to guard.
Michael Jordan’s Vertical Leap
Michael Jordan has LeBron beat on the jump front with a vertical leap of 46 inches. Only Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain and Darrel “Dr. Dunkenstein” Griffith have outshined that with leaps of 48 inches. Jordan’s leap height is what earned him the “Air Jordan” nickname.
Stephen Curry’s Vertical Leap
Steph Curry boasts a vertical of 36 inches, about 8 inches higher than the NBA average. Curry does not drive in the lane too often, but when he does, he knows exactly how to time his jump to thread his way through the defense and make for an easy layup.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Vertical Leap
Giannis Antetokounmpo holds a vertical leap of 40 inches, demonstrating why he can throw down such powerful dunks and put-backs on offense and why he has so many blocks on defense. He’s a big, fast guy who can jump, and the league recognizes that.
Jayson Tatum’s Vertical Leap
Jayson Tatum has a vertical leap of 32.5 inches. He can corral defensive rebounds. He is not afraid to get physical, and he can operate as a scorer from all levels of the court.
What is Luka Doncic’s Vertical Leap?
Luka Doncic boasts an impressive 42-inch vertical. This, combined with his powerful frame and 6’7” height, allows him to dominate players on the court. He can throw the ball from anywhere on the court with his precision passing, and he is similar to LeBron because he is a threat on all fronts.
What is Kawhi Leonard’s Vertical Leap?
Kawhi Leonard holds a vertical jump of 32.5 inches, the same as Jayson Tatum. Like Tatum, Leonard’s frame and height allow him to rebound and play defense aggressively while still being a threat as a shooter.
Check out our Kawhi Leonard Profile.
Anthony Davis Vertical Leap
Anthony Davis holds a vertical of 35.5 inches. Combine this with his frame, wingspan, and height, and you’ve got one hell of a player. Davis is a major offensive threat and should be a facet of the Lakers’ defense this 2020.
What is Joel Embiid’s Vertical Leap?
Joel Embiid boasts a vertical jump of 37 inches. His impressive height and wingspan make him the perfect center, coupled with the ability to jump that high. He is a defensive powerhouse, providing stability for the defense in the center of the court and being a terribly impressive force to reckon with on offense.
How high can Kevin Durant jump?
Kevin Durant has a vertical leap jump ability of 33.5 inches, which is less than Steph Curry’s, but once you factor in his height and wingspan, you are left with an impressive force on offense and defense.
Ben Simmons’ Vertical Jump
Ben Simmons has a vertical jump of 41.5 inches, making him the best jumper of any player taller than 6’9”.
Kyrie Irving’s Vertical Leap
Kyrie Irving has a vertical jump of 34 inches, but what really sets him apart is his ability to read the court and find the perfect passes and plays to create. His explosive speed and jump height still make him a driving threat on offense, too.
How high can Russell Westbrook jump?
Russel Westbrook has a vertical of 36.5 Inches. Even though Westbrook is far from the tallest player in the league, he can still throw down in a crowded lane. This is due to his vertical and his wingspan, which really makes Westbrook an agile threat on offense and a strong rebounder on defense.
What is Zion Williamson’s vertical leap?
Zion Williamson boasts an impressive vertical of 45 inches. This monstrous leap potential, coupled with his powerful frame and large wingspan, makes Zion a terror to behold on the court. His leap of 45 inches also set the vertical leap record at Duke University.
NBA Players’ Shoe Sizes
While shoe size is not a determining factor in an athlete’s skill or power on the court, it is still interesting to see the size of the shoes that some of the 7-foot giants of the NBA are wearing. The average NBA player holds a shoe size of about 13 or 14, but you also have the outliers like Shaq, who wore size 22 shoes, nearly fifteen inches long and five inches wide!
The three players in the NBA with the all-time highest shoe size are Yao Ming, who wore size 18 shoes; Bob Lanier, who wore size 22 shoes; and Shaquille O’Neal, who also had size 22 shoes.
How big are LeBron James’s shoes?
LeBron James wears size 15 shoes, and his current shoe brand is the Nike LeBron 17.
What is Michael Jordan’s Shoe Size?
Michael Jordan wears size 13 shoes, which is funny because his hands are abnormally large. Guess he didn’t get the full set. Jordan’s brand of shoes, “Air Jordan,” came from his dunking nickname and has maintained popularity over the years.
Stephen Curry’s Shoe Size
Steph Curry wears size 13.5 shoes, and he wears his “Curry One” Under Armour shoes for game time.
Check out our Steph Curry Profile.
The Greek Freak’s Shoe Size
Giannis Antetokounmpo wears size 16 shoes, and he just earned his first shoe deal after being named league MVP to create the Nike Greek Freak 1.
Jayson Tatum Shoe Size
Jayson Tatum wears size 14 shoes. He recently signed with the Jordan Brand, so this season he will be wearing the Air Jordan 34s.
What is Luka Doncic’s Shoe Size?
Luke Doncic wears size 16 shoes, and recently he too signed with the Jordan Brand to wear the Jordan 34s and the Jordan Jumpman Diamonds.
Kawhi Leonard’s Shoe Size
Kawhi Leonard wears size 14 shoes as well, and he signed a deal with New Balance Shoes to produce multiple shoes over the next few years.
Anthony Davis Shoe Size
Anthony Davis wears size 17 shoes. He is signed with Nike for multiple years to be sporting the swoosh for the next several seasons.
What size shoes does Joel Embiid wear?
Joel Embiid wears size 17 shoes. He recently signed a multi-year deal with Under Armour, and his first signature brand of shoe, the Under Armour Embiid 1, is set to come out in the fall of 2020.
Kevin Durant’s Shoe Size
Kevin Durant wears size 18 shoes. He is signed with Nike for multiple years, and so far, they have created the Nike KD.
Ben Simmons Shoe Size
Ben Simmons wears size 14 shoes and signed with Nike almost immediately after being drafted and earned a nice 5-year, 20-million-dollar contract.
What shoe size does Kyrie Irving wear?
Kyrie Irving wears size 12 shoes. He signed with Nike to produce shoes; recently, Nike coupled with Nickelodeon to release the SpongeBob Squarepants x Kyrie shoes. His current shoes are the Nike Kyrie 6s.
Russell Westbrook’s Shoe Size
Russell Westbrook wears size 15 shoes. He agreed to a ten-year contract extension with Nike so that he will be rocking the swoosh through the 2025-2026 season in one of the most lucrative shoe endorsements for a Nike basketball athlete to date.
What is Zion Williamson’s Shoe Size?
Zion Williamson wears size 15 shoes. He signed with the Jordan Brand (Nike) for $75 million before ever playing an NBA game in one of the largest rookie deals in all NBA history.
NBA Players’ Hand Sizes
Hand size is an interesting factor in the sport of basketball. On the one hand (pun intended), not having massive hands will not set a player back in any form, but on the other hand, having large hands can allow players to palm the ball more easily. Easier palming means it is easier to control the ball in passing, shooting, and handling.
When asked to reflect on the one thing he would change about his basketball career, Kobe Bryant acknowledged that he’d make his hands bigger. He referenced the size of Michael Jordan’s hands.
Jordan had massive hands and could easily palm the ball, making some of his great dunks seem effortless. Some of the best dunkers in history, like Wilt Chamberlain, have massive hands, which, when coupled with a strong vertical and natural athleticism, make the perfect build for a historical dunker.
Hand size in the NBA is measured from the base of the palm to the top of the middle finger, and hand span is measured from the pinky to the tip of the thumb with the hand outstretched. It is given in the form of length/span. The largest hands in all of NBA history are as follows: Giannis Antetokounmpo, at 9.85/12 inches; then Shaquille O’Neal, at 10.25/12 inches; and lastly, Boban Marjanovic at 10.75/12 inches.
One Drawback to Big Hands in Basketball
If Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal are any indications, having big hands might make it more difficult to shoot free throws. Wilt’s career free-throw shooting percentage was just 51.1%. Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t much better at 52.7 percent. The average NBA player’s free throw shooting percentage is about 75 percent. In college basketball, for men’s hoops, the average falls to about 69 percent. Steph Curry has the best free throw percentage of all time with .9056.
LeBron James’ Hand Size
LeBron James’s hands are 9/9.25 inches, which is less than average for somebody at his height. And Kyrie Irving, who is five inches shorter than LeBron, has a hand span bigger than LeBron’s.
What is Michael Jordan’s Hand Size?
Michael Jordan’s hands are 9.75/11.375 inches; Jordan’s hands were much larger than average and allowed him to easily palm the ball for dunks, passing, and ball handling.
Stephen Curry Hand Size
Unfortunately, Steph Curry’s hands have never been officially measured for the NBA. However, as any plain watcher can see, Curry’s hands appear to be very average in size. Curry understands that he can’t palm the ball or go for power passes, so he moves with a more fluid dynamic, playing to his strengths.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, The Greek Freak, Hand Size
Giannis Antetokounmpo has the third-largest set of hands that the league has ever seen at 9.85/12 inches.
Jayson Tatum Hand Size
Jayson Tatum has no official hand measurements available. But, due to the ball semi-regularly slipping out of Tatum’s hands in-game, especially as he drives to the rim, One might infer that he has less than-average hand size.
Luka Doncic Hand Size
Luke Doncic has no official hand size listed for the NBA, but due to his exceptional size and how the ball rarely slips from his hands, one can assume he has above-average-sized hands.
What is Kawhi Leonard’s Hand Size?
Kawhi Leonard’s hands are 9.75/11.25 inches, which is very large. Kawhi comes at #9 in the total size list of NBA players’ hands, just before Wilt Chamberlain, the dunk machine.
Anthony Davis Hand Size
Anthony Davis’s hands are smaller than average for a man his size at 9/8.5 inches. While this means he is physically unable to palm a basketball (a legitimate concern as he was preparing to get drafted), he has not let it hinder his basketball career in any way, utilizing his size and wingspan to dominate the court.
Joel Embiid Hand Size
There are no official measurements for Joel Embiid’s hand size, but there is no denying that they are humongous. Embiid holding a regulation basketball dwarfs the size of the basketball.
What is Kevin Durant’s Hand Size?
There is no official measurement for Kevin Durant’s hands, but Durant cannot palm a basketball, similar to Anthony Davis. Therefore his hands are below average size, but again like Anthony Davis, he did not let that slow him down in the slightest.
Ben Simmons Hand Size
Ben Simmons’ hands are 10/11 inches. His larger-than-average hands allow him to palm the ball for movement of the ball along with the post.
Kyrie Irving Hand Size
Kyrie Irving’s hands measure 8.3/9.3 inches. Like Steph Curry and other prominent point guards, Irving does not have the largest hands, but he recognizes that and challenges any defender not to see him as a threat with his ball movement and control over the court.
Russell Westbrook Hand Size
There is no official measurement available for Russell Westbrook’s hands, but they are estimated to be about 8.2 inches in length, still above 10% longer than the average American’s hand.
What is Zion Williamson’s Hand Size?
Zion Williamson’s hands are 9.5/9.25 inches, which is roughly the same as LeBron’s hand sizes. While this size is not monstrous and does not easily allow palming the ball, Williamson has the potential to master ball handling regardless.
Top-Selling NBA Jerseys
The fiercest competitors on the court go down in history. That is a fact. Similarly, if an athlete is such a fierce competitor, many fans will gravitate toward that person. People love to have their team’s merchandise, whether it’s bandwagon fans looking to find a new person/team to latch on to, die-hard fans, or fair-weather fans. The better an athlete does, the more likely he is to sell his jersey. So, statistically speaking, the athlete with the best-selling jerseys performed most impressively for the year.
To generalize that even further, the athlete who performed most impressively in his career will have the best-selling Jersey of all time. That person is Michael Jordan; his name goes hand in hand with the word basketball. LeBron James and Steph Curry have been the best-selling jerseys for the past five years, but they’ve still got a long way to go before achieving historical status.
Top Five NBA Jerseys
- LeBron James
LeBron James’s Jersey was best-selling Jersey in 2011, 2014, and 2015 of all NBA players. Overall, his Jersey is the 3rd best seller in NBA history.
- Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry’s Jersey has been the best seller from 2016 through 2018, and overall, his jersey is the 7th best-selling jersey of all time.
- Michael Jordan
Jordan’s numbers date back to before the NBA tracked Jersey Sales, but he still possesses the best-selling jersey of all time.
- Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is second in overall Jersey sales, with best-selling years in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
- Shaquille O’Neal
Shaquille O’Neal comes in 6th for overall Jersey sales of NBA players with his best-selling year in 2005.
Some 450 NBA players — 30 teams times 15 players (only 13 are active for any game). So, as you might expect, it’s a pretty elite company to make it on an NBA team. It stands to reason that players are going to be different from the average person. And, as the information above shows, they really stand out from the crowd.
By Casey O’Halloran, with Mike O’Halloran contributing
Casey lives in Kansas City and writes about sports. Mike is the founder of Sports Feel Good Stories and has authored three books on basketball coaching.
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