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Top 15 Most Impressive Wingspans In NBA History

You will often hear basketball pundits state that a player has great length. When they mention length, they are not talking about a players height, but more so his wingspan. A person’s wingspan is the measurement from the tips of one finger to the other. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian man depicts the ideal human as having a wingspan equal to his height, but this was based off a human that was 5’5. The average modern human being is said to have a wingspan 2 inches greater than his height. The average NBA player will have a wingspan 4 inches greater than his height.

Wingspan is a key measurement because it allows a player of a lesser stature to compete with players who may be physically taller than them. Take a look at the great defenders in the NBA, and the one common thread you will find in all of them is an impressive wingspan. Whether it be to reach for a block, getting into passing lanes, or poking balls away, extra length is a determining factor for a great defender. On the offensive side, superior wingspan allows a shooter to have less shots contested, as he can get the ball further away from a defender.

Great wingspan measurements comes from players of all heights. An elite wingspan is considered as a measurement that is 6.5% greater than the player’s height. Great height does not necessarily equate elite wingspan. Take for instance Yao Ming, who stood an impressive 7’6, but his wingspan was actually smaller than his height at 7’5 inches. Then you have a player like Dwyane Wade who is 6’5, but has a wingspan of 6’10. That is 6.5% greater than his height. The following top 15 will look at the most impressive wingspans in NBA history.

15 Jason Maxiell

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

14 Dwight Howard

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

13 Bismack Biyombo

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

12 Tayshaun Prince

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

11 Jerry West

via prohoopshistory.com

10 Kevin Durant

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

9 Anthony Davis

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

8 Elton Brand

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

7 Kawhi Leonard

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

6 Scottie Pippen

via geeksandcleats.com

5 Alonzo Mourning

via minutebuzz.com

4 Wilt Chamberlain

via kids.britannica.com

3 Rajon Rondo

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

2 Kevin McHale

via interbasket.net

1 Manute Bol

via sportige.com

Everyone knows that Manute Bol was the tallest player in NBA history, but he also possessed the largest wingspan. While standing 7’7, Bol’s wingspan was an unheard of 8’6. Even when considering his height, the wingspan is still 12.1% large than his body. Despite many people’s belief, Bol was not solely a freakshow, as he sustained a 10 year NBA career, playing for 4 different teams. He was one of the best shot blockers in NBA history and a lot of that, obviously, had to do with the enormous wingspan. Chew on these numbers for a moment. In his career, Bol averaged 3.3 blocks a game, in just 18.7 minutes. Per 48 minutes that number would be 8.6 blocks a game and the next closest to him is Mark Eaton at only 5.3. Bol is 15th all time in blocked shots with 2,086, but he did that in only 11,698 minutes. To put that in perspective, number 10 is legendary Robert Parish and he put up only 300 more blocks than Bol in his career, but it took him 45,704 minutes. That is 4x the amount of time it took Bol to put up roughly the same amount of blocks. The problem for Bol was his offensive game was non-existent. He is the only player in NBA history to have more blocks than points (2,086 blocks vs. 1599 points). If Bol had any type of offensive game to merit him more minutes, he would have set the blocks record so high that it would have never been touched. What he showed us is that truly elite stats can be produced by some with almost no talent, but insanely freaky physical attributes.

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Top 15 Most Impressive Wingspans In NBA History