The average height for men in the United States is 5 ft 9.3 inches, that is about 176 centimeters. Still in a 2007-08 survey, the average height of NBA players was showing 6 ft 7 inches. Why is there such a drastic difference between the two statistics?
There is no denying that teams do not disclose the actual height of their players. Players too inflate their height at times for various reasons. However, everything is going to be changed from the 2019-20 season onwards. Because from now on, NBA teams have to measure the real height of their players.
Being tall is indeed a great advantage in basketball. They can reach higher to block shots from the opposition, and their shots do not need to travel a long distance to reach the basket.
Here in this article, we will observe the average height of NBA players across various positions. Besides, we will take a closer look at whether the average height has changed over the years.
So drum roll please!
Table of Contents
- Brief On The Average Height of NBA Players
- Average Nba Player Height by Position
- Do You Have The Height To Play In NBA?
- The New Rule
- The Consequences
- So the question comes onto mind, how did this new rule affect players?
- Our Verdict
Brief On The Average Height of NBA Players
From the 2019-20 NBA roster survey, we came to know average NBA player is 26.18 years old, 6’6.54” high, 219.33 lbs & has the experience of playing 4.59 NBA season. You can take Golden State Warrior’s Glenn Robinson III and see how closely his age, height, weight, and playing experience match the average NBA player's stats. And Boban Marjanovic from Dallas Mavericks at 7 foot 4 is the tallest NBA player in this season.
Although the average height in NBA fluctuates with almost every year, the highest average height till date is 6’7” and it was recorded in the year of 1987. Yes, the average player height did not go beyond that number for the last 30 years, but they got heavier with years passing by.
In 2011, the average peak weight reached at 221 pounds. But since then, it seems like Basketball has moved on from a muscular game to a fast moving, perimeter oriented game as the players are getting leaner & more agile. As a result, the height/weight ratio is improved for the first time in almost four decades.
Average Nba Player Height by Position
1. average point guard height: 5’11” To 6’3”
If we look back into the history of NBA, point guards with an average height of 6” were the shortest players in 1952. The average height continued to grow and reached it’s peak in 1987. Magic Johnson at 6’9” (2.06 m) was the tallest point guard. Currently, Ben Simmons with the height of 6’10” is the tallest NBA point guard.
Point guards are considered as the “Coach on the floor/floor general”. More than the size/height of a player, this particular position demands agility, ball-handling skills & court awareness.
Think about Muggsy Bogues who at 5’3” is the shortest player in NBA history & had a long 14-year career as a point guard. Shorter players are closer to the floor to have good control over the ball and dribble better.
2. Average Shooting Guard Height In NBA: 6’3” To 6’6”
The average height of shooting guard was 6’1” in 1952. A steady rise in height was followed thereafter and reached at it’s peak in 2000 with an average height of 6’5”. Generally, shooting guards tend to be taller than point guards. Although, we’ve seen some point guards are actually taller than shooting guards.
One such example would be Ben Simmons (6’10”) & Corey Brewer (6’9”). Besides, you’ll find many bigger shooting guards playing in the small forward position. Their team’s back up ball handler as the primary role given to the point guards.
3. Small Forward Average Height: 6’6” To 6’8”
They are the most versatile of all the five main positions on the basketball court. Compared to the power forwards, they might be shorter but taller than any of the guard positions.
In the 1952-53 NBA season, the average height of small forwards was 6’4”. They continued to grow in stature and reached the highest at 6’8” during 2015-16 season.
4. Power Forward Average Height: 6’8” To 6’10”
They perform a variety of responsibilities. They rebound, defend, play in the post, set up screens. But with the evolution of the NBA, the role of power forwards has changed too. Nowadays, watching them shoot mid-range jump shots & three-pointers isn’t a surprise anymore. Some players also play tweener roles in small forward or center position.
Interestingly, change in playing style didn’t have too much influence in the overall height of power forwards. They are second tallest in terms of playing position. But their average weight decreased in some number. Here is another indication that the NBA is truly becoming a fast paced game as the players are losing their weight to increase their moving speed and get more skillful than ever before.
5. Average Height Of NBA Center: 6’10” Or More
7’ is the highest average height of centers till now. It was recorded in 1996. In terms of weight, this reached it’s peak at 229 lbs in 2014. A center is usually the tallest player on the team. However, as the NBA became more of a perimeter oriented game, the value of a central player is greatly diminished.
Do You Have The Height To Play In NBA?
Is playing in NBA your dream? Is this the reason you’ve purchased the best basketball hoop for home practice? You should acquire the skills to play Basketball, but you might want to know the right height to play in the NBA. Well, you need to be tall, that is for sure. Taller guys have a greater chance of succeeding in Basketball than shorter players.
They have got the height advantage. As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, average American people are under 6 feet (5’9.3”), but professional NBA players are 8 to 10 inches taller than them. So if you can get to that point in height or close to it, this will significantly increase your chance to make it into the NBA.
The New Rule
Team physicians must take precise height measurement of all the players. Players must be barefooted at the time of measuring their height or least they can wear socks. Also, to confirm their birth dates, the player’s driving license or passport should also be inspected. However, teams' weight listings won’t be affected by that as we all know, weight can easily go up & down.
Well, the years long practise of not reporting the actual height of players has come to an end. According to NBA spokesperson Mike Bass, they want to ensure the integrity & accuracy of the data on team rosters.
Both teams & players try to inflate height. Even in high school & college basketball, heights are exaggerated to make themselves more appealing. Sometimes, players do not reveal their actual height, so they don’t require to play in a position they don’t like. Kevin Durant is one such example.
So the question comes onto mind, how did this new rule affect players?
Although the majority of changes indicate players have gotten shorter, few have grown as well.
Kevin Durant went from 6 ft 9 inch to 6 ft 10 inch. There are De’Andre Hunter, Semi Ojeleye, Boban Marjanovic & few others on this list. Besides, there are players whose heights revised downwards. Dwight Howard, Bradley Beal, J.J Barea, Kemba Walker & numerous fall in that category.
And lastly, according to the NBA, 11 such players are standing in at 7 foot 1 and 4 players with a height of more than 7 foot 1 in this ongoing 2019-20 season.