Wingspan Expanding Into Being One of the NBA’s Most Important Stats

Teams are looking at the distance from fingertip to fingertip as well as from head to foot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Getty Images

An average man has a wingspan about 2.1 inches longer than his height, according to a study.

At 7’1”, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is already not your everyday Joe – but his 7-foot, 9-inch-wingspan is what makes him above average even by NBA standards.

The length of Gobert’s arms allows him to block shots, steal passes, grab boards and shoot over defenders with ease, abilities that have become even more prized in this age of advanced analytics.

As such, executives, scouts and coaches have made finding players with superior wingspans a bigger priority than it has ever been before.

And it makes sense, as NBA stars like Giannis Antetokounmpo Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, while blessed with extreme talent, all have superior wingspans.

“It’s legit. It’s much more important than your height,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Most of us have the same wingspan as our height. That’s kind of a rule of thumb. A lot of basketball players don’t, though, they have wider wingspans. And they’re able to get their hands on balls or shots or loose balls. I’m a big believer in that.”

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