Whenever I hear about NBA centers I hear about people needing a 7 footer guarding the paint. Shouldn't we care more about a center's wingspan? Bismack Biyombo is only 6'9" so he plays PF because that's a standard PF height, but his wingspan is almost 7'7". Couldn't he be an even more capable center with those mesurables than someone that is say 7'1" with a 7'1" wingspan? After all a player's arms are extended when you shoot over them, so head to toe height shouldn't really be that important.
I completely agree with you but I don't think there's too much controversy over this. Bismack is listed as a Centre on every site I've seen (including NBA.com and basket-reference.com). As well, wing span does get quite a bit of attention, especially from our good friend Jay Bilas:
Biyombo actually plays center.
Wingspan is important. I have t-rex arms. It didn't matter too much when i was younger and had an excellent, well above average jump, but now i am older i really started to notice it on the boards, especially on the loose ball second and third efforts. Wingspan is important...
Winspan matters more then Height by a long shot. You don't block shots with your head you don't reach for steals with your head.
Wingspan is everything and I think the league's GM know it. However, you example of a 7' 1" with a 7' 1" wingspan isn't a great example because guys with t-rex arms like that don't often make it to the NBA. Please don't answer this with examples of folks who have. I didn't say they never make it. But there are a good number of seven footers out there, even if we just look at DI players. The guys with short arms don't make it. The guys with long arms do.
The normal human measurement is arms about as long as your height and that is your bare feet height. But basically almost everyone in the NBA has super long arms for their height. It is that way at every position. When a guy has a wingspan only as long as his height, then he is considered a T-Rex and at a significant disadvantage.
And to tell you how much more skewed things are. In the NBA they are reporting height in shoes. So that is adding an inch and half. Even with that added height, guys have huge wing spans beyond their height.
I'm 6'6" without shoes and only have a 6'3" wingspan. So your rule holds true. The guys with short arms really don't make it. That's the only thing that stopped me! I'm just clownin' on that point, but you're absolutely right. Having long arms makes a big difference. Just look at the average wingspan and standing reach by height from pre-draft measurements (http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?page=averages). Keep in mind that some of the players in the sample weren't even drafted, so I would guess that the numbers are actually higher for NBA players.
I haven't been around here that long but I know that it is sacrilege to post a DX link.
Yeh i don't know why they do the height in shoes ? everyone should be measured barefoot. How often do players change different shoes in their career. From memory last year didn't andre drummond get 1.25" or something crazy from his shoes ?
What I never got was what if a guy has really broad shoulders? His finger tip to finger tip would be shewed by his chest being wider than normal. It should be ground to finger tip, that would be a better measure of reach. Standing reach for a big is more important, because its how high someone can reach without leaving their feet. As far as width is concerned wingspan is important because people have to get around you to and being broader could help that. A barrel chested guy can get an extra inch or two in his wingspan when it doesn't really reflect his height or actual length as far as vertical reach.
Just like in boxing it should be measured from your chin to the end of your fist. That would give a indication of whether you could hit a guy and he couldn't hit you.
For a big man, standing reach is more important than wingspan since it mitigates the width of chest and shoulders. The problem with standing reach is that players have learned to manipulate the measurements, inflating others since some of the measurements are calculated by simple subtraction. That's why, in theory, a lot of the standing reaches from last yr's draft looked strange.
Wingspan is definitely more important. That's why it's ok for guys like Eric Gordon and Avery Bradley to play SG in the NBA. They're only like 6'2", but they have a 6'9" and 6'7" wingspan respectively, so it makes up for their lack of height. That's also why someone like Rudy Gobert is a possible lottery pick even though he's incredibly raw. 7'9" wingspan is something that can't be taught.
Both are Important.
Wingspan is more important on defense, but I think pure height is more important on offense. Mainly because no matter how long your arms are unless you have an extremely high raised jump shot mechanic then having a taller guy in your face will still hinder your shot significantly or even outright block it. It also helps with view of the court, simply seeing above your opponent or giving just in general a better view of what's going on around you, because of course you can't see with arms, you see with your eyes.
So it can really go both ways, as to say one is more important than the other is situational. If you notice the taller point guards are the better pure passers typically, like in football you want a tall quarterback that can see above his line easier.
Yeah, after thinking about it more, I was going to come back and basically post this same thing. Offensively, height is more important because you can see over the defense. Defensively, the wingspan is more important because it makes it easier for them to get blocks, steals, and stay in front of their man.
Wingspan can be deceptive because two players could be the same height and have the same wingspan but have a different standing reach because one the players shoulder width is a lot larger meaning their arms are shorter.