Kevin Love and Height Liars in shoes
Interesting article... http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/34789/kevin-love-and-height-liars-in-shoes
Kevin Love and height liars in shoes
December, 29, 2011
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
Kevin Love and Derrick Williams have different listed heights
Stumbled across this when I wrote of Dwight Howard as a 6-9 center. Some of you just could not accept the recorded fact that Dwight Howard is six-foot-nine. This, despite a link to evidence of Howard’s barefoot height. I was astounded, perplexed and in search of even more synonyms to describe a state of utter confusion, shock, and befuddlement. We have his pre-draft measurements--his pre-draft measurements! Why do you insist on listening to some sorcerer’s Magic listing?
Others believed that barefoot height does not matter because “in shoes” is the favored metric. I’ve heard it before, the argument goes: “They play in shoes.” I can be sympathetic to this logic line--for a second.
In-game Dwight Howard may well tower to 6-11. But, do we record NFL player height “in helmet”? Do we weigh boxers “in gloves”? Do we act like jockeys are centaurs and measure them “on horse”? Of course not, because there is no need to tweak traditional human measurements.
Moreover, there are those who aren’t listed “in shoes.” I asked around for some names of infamous height liars, and many thought Kevin Durant shaded short at 6-9. It turns out KD is just the victim of being a truth teller in a liar’s world. Per his draft combine, Durant really is a barefoot six-feet-nine-inches. But how are fans supposed to believe KD when he dwarfs a “6-9” guy who is 6-6 in real life? This is the problem with allowing a flexing metric to govern our perspective.
The good news: We have more accurate information on player height than ever before. Draft prospects used to get measured at the NBA’s pre-draft camp, an experience that was bundled with an intensive five-on-five drill. Many players eschewed the camp’s game action, so they also went unrecorded.
Starting in 2009, the NBA Combine allowed for athletes to undergo a physical while engaging in less strenuous drills. From that point forward, the data filled out--save for the occasional European prospect.
After the draft, teams got to (and get to) determine the height of their employees. This is what you see on the player card, and this is what largely informs the public idea of how tall a player is. There is a yearly physical to keep tabs, though teams rarely make changes. For example, the Warriors informed me that Andris Biedrins is their only player to receive a height alteration over the last decade, due to a spurt that took him from 6-11 to 7-0.
While I believe that teams are mostly honest in their height-recordings, the arbitrary “shoes or no shoes” allowance irks. It seems that a larger body should codify one way of doing this, rather than accept an over two-inch margin of error. And what if a team blatantly lies? I asked NBA spokesman Mike Bass about this, and he responded: “I am not aware of any instance where the team was asked (by the league) to change a player's listed height.” Perhaps I am cynical and paranoid, but I could easily envision a dystopian future where David Kahn successfully trades “7-1” Michael Beasley.
For now, teams own the means of height deduction. Despite all the hard work Jonathan Givony of Draft Express does in compiling draft height data, the almighty player card is the loudest guy at the bar. When I asked him about team listings, Givony remarked: “Generally these pre-draft measurements are ignored when the NBA puts up the player's heights on their rosters and bios online. Don't ask me why.”
My theory: That official NBA seal is mightier than established facts. At least Givony’s numbers give me a reference point for my 2011-2012 All Height Liars Team. Without ado, further:
All Height Liars Team
PG: Jose Juan Barea (“6-0”): We don’t know Barea’s real height, but J.J. looks like he could bathe in a sealed thimble. This is my only data-blind submission, but only because Barea’s height deception is so easily seen.
SG: Tyreke Evans (“6-6”): Leon Trotsky’s political strategy was to announce the next far-fetched program right as you were beginning to mobilize against his current far-fetched program. Sacramento will try to convince you that Evans is a point guard. As your brain bounces like a slapped speed bag, they’ll tell you he’s 6-6. His pre-draft height is 6-4 and unlike Trotsky, he can’t maneuver left.
SF: Thaddeus Young (“6-8”): Thad is really 6' 5.75.” I could just as easily rank Donte Greene here, but Young gets the edge on account of being a more notable player. Also notable: Three teams (Wolves, Kings, Sixers) have the market cornered on height liars. This may be because they’re replete with tweeners.
PF: Kevin Love (“6-10”): He measured at 6' 7.75," but that isn’t what makes Kevin Love’s height deception so dastardly. It’s that K-Love is photographed at the height level of a “6-8” Derrick Williams. Now some would say, “This makes his rebounding all the more impressive.” I’m not so forgiving. Turn in your World Championship trophy, you dirty heightener, you.
C: Spencer Hawes (“7-1”): He measured at 6' 10.5,” the same as Joakim Noah did. But Spencer somehow gained a two-inch advantage on Noah in the official listing. If Hawes lacks leaping ability, it could be because he’s wearing platform shoes.
I want accuracy, I want “in shoes” to be more unfashionable than socks with sandals. But as I look at this list, I can grasp why some cling to height vagaries, why you might prefer a “6-10” Kevin Love to an undersized striver. Disputed height provides more room for myth making, which is the essence of sports entertainment. These are the fables we tell each other, so as to inspire and awe. And if the sheer height of the giants animates our stories, can you blame people for wanting the freedom to embellish another inch or two? “In shoes,” is a license to take a man and make him Paul Bunyan. “In shoes” is so close to reality that it makes Paul Bunyan feel real.
Since he was picked in medieval times, we have no pre-draft record of Kevin Garnett’s stature. In hushed tones, basketball fans rasp, “You know, he’s really 7-1. He just hides his true height.” Perhaps he does. I would be quite disappointed to learn that there really is no psychological reason behind Garnett’s listing, that he really is a barefoot 6-11, that he only seems bigger in my mind’s eye. That one-to-three inch “in shoes” zone means a player can be tall as your imagination reasonably dictates. Even the doubt sown by a short-seeming listing can trigger Bunyan visions.
But I’m an “in socks” fanatic, congenitally averse to myth. I just want to know how tall Kevin Garnett is. And I just want you to know how tall Kevin Garnett is.
Most of these people height are accurate if you add the normal 1.25 in shoe height. I don't think it is deceptive if there is height in shoes and height without which let's you know which one is which.
Kevin MuthaF'N Durant!!!
I was right in the middle of my post when KD hit that shot lmao.
Yea, but the point was mainly about the NBA using height in shoes for some players and height without shoes for others. Just kind of throws everything off.
I'd prefer them just use height without shoes, because shoes can vary in inches.
no, a lot of heights are really exhaggerated. Love wouldnt have been as high a pick if he was listed at 6'8".5 in shoes. wouldve been a mistake because he is a great rebounder, but nevertheless.....thats in the scouting report.
its blown out of proportion really, most people said A.I. was closer to 5'10" and Barkley was about 6'4".5.
among this years exhaggerated rants...John Wall is 6'6" and Paul George is 6'10"....really?
I'm with IB. They actually exaggerate height in baseball and football too.
I'm 5'9 and I was at eye level (no more than 1/2 inch more or less) with Prince Fielder while he was wearing spikes at Brewers Spring Training. He's listed at 5'11 though. Bill Hall was another guy there who was about 5'10 and he's listed at 6-feet. Then there was Ryan Braun who is listed at 6'1 and he may have actually been 6'1.
So the heights just aren't consistent.
surve, the heights clearly are exaggerated.
However, I completely disagree with your assertion that Love wouldn't have gone as high had his height been accurately listed.
You really think the Timberwolves invested millions of dollars in him without knowing his actual height?
No chance man.
They obviously did their due diligence and wanted him despite his lack of size.
Remember, Dwight came into the league out of high school. He probably grew an inch at least
WHEN YOU GET 31 and 20, it doenst matter how tall you are!!!
I think the NBA should just do all-nba measurements every few years or so, maybe even a combine, it would be very interesting to see the results
Quite a few of these guys were drafted under 20. Men can still grow up to around 23, so chances are some of these guys actually grew an inch or two after being drafted. D12 was 6'9 when drafted but 6'10 before he even played a game, plus the extra inch in shoes, he's around 6'11.
Kevin Love though is actually a 6'9 in shoes, but who knows if he has grown an inch. He's still 23.
What makes the NBA is different is players have huge wingspans in the NBA larger then normal and it's extra important in the NBA. You use your extended arms for almost everything, rebounding, shot blocking, steals, shooting, ect. So a players wingspan and standing reach is more important then their height which brings a players true heigh value up. Dejuan Blair is only like 6'5 in socks but with his 7'4 wingspan and 9'0 standing reach his True Height Value is closer to 6'8 or 6'9.
Spencer Hawes and Thad Young both came into the league when they were 19 and have both grown an inch. Thad was the same exact size as Andre Iguadola when he came in and is not noticeably taller then him. Iggy is a player that could be listed taller because he is about 6'6 in socks with a 6'11 wingspan so he could be listed at 6'7 or even 6'8 and nobody would notice. Elton Brand has always been listend at 6'8 or 6'9 even tho he's 6'8.5 in socks and has a 7'4 wingspan so he should really be listend at 6'10. Like Kevin Love is listed at 6'10 despite measuring in at 6'75 with only a 6'10 wingspan. So Elton Brand's True Heigh Value is easily an inch or 2 more then Loves yet Love get's listed taller. Kevin Durant came into the league 6'9 in socks with a 7'5.5 wingspan. From all accounts he's grown atleast an inch. So Durant should atleast be listed at 6'11 because of his wingspan and heigh in sneakers is about 6'11 anyway.
Tyreke Evans is 6'4 in socks but he has a 6'11 wingspan which is rare for a player his size. So his 6'6 listing is fine although James Harden is the same exact height with the same exact wingspan but is listed at 6'5. Harden should probably be listed at 6'6 too.
Honestly though... This isn't really a game of inches. Sure height matters but does saying a player is 6'6" matter even if he's only 6'4"? I'm not too worried who's ACTUALLY taller when they're playing the game; I just care about watching the game.
Rumor was KG grew to 7 foot or a little over once he was in the NBA, but he never wanted to be considered a 7 footer so he lied and said he's 6'11''. I don't know if this is completely accurate, but this is a height liar legend I remember.
No way that Tyreke Evans is just 6"4.5 now... when I watched the kings game yesterday i was asking my self if he's not 6"7 because he looking clearly higher than Chuck Hayes
Evan's combine listing was 6'4'' flat without shoes. Chuck Hayes was listed at 6'5.5'' without shoes in the combine. It's hard to judge by watching games because players don't just stand next to each other straight up with weight evenly distributed on both legs. Chuck Hayes could have been slouching or putting more weight on one leg and Evans could have been doing less so. They are very close in height regardless so the way one is standing could cause that illusion.
I heard the same about I heard he is really 7-2 but doesnt want to be listed as a 7 footer so they have him listed at 6-11
Just look at this pic with him next to Kareem who is 7-2
Yeah, there was a stigma about how 7 footers were supposed to play and Walton had and wanted to use his complete game, so he made people just list him at 6 - 11.
In college, my coach added an inch in our programs to everyone's height and a little more to the short guys. One, he wanted the team to look a little more intimidating on paper. And two, he didn't want the opposing coach to prepare a game plan to ahead of time to take advantage of a particularly short starter. This D-III, so there isn't going to be any game tape for opposing coaches to study, but they will be printing up rosters ahead of the games and they will know the stats of the players.
I also grew an inch in college, it isn't unusually at all for tall people to still be growing until their early 20s. That could easily throw off what the pre-draft measurements.
But as Mr. says above, height is kind of meaningless. It is your standing reach that is more important. You block shots and release the ball at the height of your reach. If you have ever played ball with a guy who has a really long reach, you will know it is a tremendous advantage, especially on defense since your hands are much much faster than your feet.
I dont see why it is a big deal. It would be different if the guys you talked about sucked. All my point was technically since most people do it to some degree you could list your height in shoes. Durant doesnt. Shaq didn't. Shaq was like 7'2" in shoes. I think it depends on the person. Some players lie about their height KG is said to be over 7 feet but because he wants to be known as a under 7 feet guy he is 6'11". Also AI is a least 5'11 because I knew some people in VA who have met him. He could be 6 feet in shoes. Sometimes reality and perception are totally off. People tend to have poster issues and if you catch them at the wrong time they could appear to be your height and then measure something totally different. I remember when they tried to get people to think that Elton Brand was undersized and he wound up measuring 6'8".5 without shoes and his arms are long. No way was he undersized.
Some of the younger guys grew. I think Josh Smith could measure out to 6'10 with shoes. Also I have heard rumors that KD is 7 foot. That could be a sight exaggeration because KD could be 6'11 and some change with shoes on and most people will see a person with shoes on. How many people have you met without shoes walking around.
you are right, it really doesnt make a difference, but somewhere along the line, people started exhaggerating height and before you had a such thing as combine measurements, there was no way to know unless you personally worked out a player and did your own assessment.
The shoes on-off thing has really just become a big deal in recent years, due to all the exhaggeration in measurements so now they do both. Cole Aldrich was another guy who measured much shorter without shoes....6'9" but he is listed as 6'11".
In a way it makes sense, in a way it doesnt. They get the true height without shoes, so I remember when Patrick Patterson measured at an even 6'8", they said that was great news because with shoes he has to be a legitimate 6'9". Well, why the heck dont you just measure him in shoes then?
Also, on another note, its so much politics leading into the draft nowadays. Agents telling guys to sit out on day one of the combine and such. Puts the players on the spot because now they have to come up with B.S. excuses as to why they dont want to show everything they have because some greedy agent has a B.S. agenda.
in boxing, arm length is measured from the armpit to the fist. a fighter could have longer arm length than his opponent but still have shorter reach. also a fighter can be 3 inches taller than his opponent but have a shorter reach as well. A persons core has a lot to do with things. You can have a guy who has long legs but a short core and neck but they will have reach advantage over a guy who could be significantly taller. this is why they make such a big deal out of wingspan in the NBA nowadays.
Reggie Jackson is 6'3" but has a longer wingspan than the 7' Kevin Willis. does it matter? well....depends. Willis was one of the best rebounders in history. This was due to timing, strength and boxing out ability. At the same time, Willis was one of the worst shotblocking big men of all time, avg just 0.5bpg over a 23-24 year career....only averaging over 1bpg 1 year out of like 23. It has been said before that 1" more on Willis' wingspan is the difference in him being a HOFer.
Joe, how come KG didn't want to be considered a 7-footer?
Joe, I also asked you a question in the Boredwalk (intentionally spelled wrong) Empire thread. I'll ask it here, too, I suppose.
Is Game of Thrones all nerdy and Harry Pottery or is it sleek and sexy? I ask b/c those medieval shows/movies are really hit or miss.
Consider the fact that Dwight was 18 when he came into the NBA and was still growing
Surve, made a great point about short wingspans not being great shot blockers. When you study the draft every year and the measurements you start to see certain trends. One of the most reliable is big men with short arms may be great rebounders but they never turn out to be great shot blockers. Blake Griffin and Kevin Love for example are both great rebounders but neither one of them has a 7'0 wingspan therefore I doubt neigther one of them will ever develop into a great shot blocker.
The measurements that always make me pause are guys who have long wingspans but shorter then expeceted standing reaches. Usually when a player measures a 7'0 wingspan he will also measure a 9'0 standing reach. Epke Udoh has a 7'4 wingspan but only a 8'10 standing reach. I find this strange and I translated that one draft day to thinking Udoh will be a great shot blocker but will never get as many rebounds as you may think he should be getting.
But measurements due bother me because there needs to be some universal system put in place to make a players "listed" measurement accurate in comparison to the league. Like I see no reason Kevin Durant should be listed at 6'9 when he is clearly closer to 7'0. This was extremely evident when Jeff Green was on the team and you got Green and Durant who are both listed at 6'9 but when you watch them play you can see that Durant has a clear 2 inches on Green. This becomes really annoying in NBA 2k12 where Durants absurd height and length on the wing are neutralized by having him listed at 6'9.
I just wanted to throw this out there...
When the hell did Amar'e become Tim Duncan?
Beasley should make the list he is listed at 6'10" at ESPN and was measured 6'7 barefoot at the combine. GM's generally use wingspan and standing reach over barefoot height though, so your argument is kinda pointless argung someone like Hawes "snuck" ahead of Noah on GMs list because of his shoes. Some of the 18-19 year olds grow a full inch after the measurements. Paul George, John Wall, Dwight Howard, all grew for instance.
How the fruit did Beasley get 3 inches?
Not that any of this matters but did he really try to use a phot as true measurement? i've seen a guy look the same height as another guy in a photo like that even though he was actually 2 inches taller