When I was younger I used to play a lot of basketball with my friends and I realized one day that whoever was the smallest kid playing seemed to always get picked last regardless of his ability. This brings me to the question whether height impacts performance in basketball. Across the NBA there are obviously more tall players than short guys so that gives many of us the illusion that tall basketball players are better and more dominant but that might not actually be all that true. In the history of the National Basketball Association there has been a player as tall as 7 foot 7 and a player as short as 5 foot 3 so maybe its not about height as much as we all think……..
In basketball according to Dr. Steven Halls, “Male basketball players tend to be 9 inches taller than the average male” this just shows how size in this sport really is a trend. There are many obvious reasons why being tall in a sport like basketball helps, for example the rim is set at 10 feet tall and the closer you are to it the easier it is to get the ball in the basket. A common phrase you hear in basketball is “You cant teach size” meaning that a player who may not be that great he already has size which in itself some people see as a benefit and a way to make the player better easier. Stuart Kim who is a professor and scientist of genetics at the University of Stanford agrees with many sports analysts and physicians that height has a direct correlation with more injuries and being more injury prone which is a disadvantage in basketball especially when paying these athletes so much money.
Many people who watch basketball always think that being short is always a disadvantage, believe it or not being smaller in a big mans game may also have many benefits. Scientist David Robson, in sports especially basketball the shorter player has the upper hand; he has the quicker first step and is faster because it takes less time for nerve impulses to travel from the limbs to the brain. Players like Allen Iverson and Nate Robinson both being under 6 foot tall have silenced all doubters and have given shorter athletes so much confidence, Robinson at 5 foot 9 has won 3 slam dunk contests and Iverson who is arguably one of the best NBA players of all time at 5 foot 11. The speed and quickness as well as the ability to to shoot better than big men is all advantages mixed in there are the obvious disadvantages of being a shorter player such as further from the basket shorter arm span and cant play “Above the rim”.
Height in the NBA from the image above is on a steady incline which means 1 thing for sure; height does seem to be a superior factor and strategy for teams in the league.
The top 10 scoring leaders in the most recent NBA season had 7 players above the height of 6 foot 7 and 3 below that and for rebounds all 10 were above 6 foot 8. These simple stats show that the null hypothesis for the most recent season would be rejected and that height does affect performance in basketball. These are just examples of how in basketball especially the NBA, height is a necessity, numbers do not lie and for many consecutive seasons for statistics the gifted taller players dominate in major categories.