We can all agree that you can’t think of basketball without thinking of huge players, at least in height. This is a belief that has stood over time and in most cases, it holds pretty much true. But what about the average NBA height? How has it developed over the passing of time? If you want to find out, then give this article a read. I`m sure you’ll find it quite interesting.
The lowest number in the last 40 years in terms of height in the NBA was in season 2019-2020, and it was 6’6”. This last decade was also the first one in which the actual height of the players has seen a decrease compared to the one before it.
Even though the height is dropping, it is still far above the average American male height which is around 5’9 1/2″. The difference is nothing we can ignore, being close to 8 inches. This height reduction issue is mainly caused by the height measurements of the players being updated by the NBA.
It only started to become a requirement in the 2019-2020 season, but now NBA requires playing teams to submit the list with the players’ heights without their shoes to their doctors. Furthermore, there are also other factors that might influence this change in the height of the players.
One of the best examples of this is word of mouth of course. For example, Kevin Durant is one of the players who jokingly lie about their heights. He was olden heard saying to women that he’s 7 feet tall while only being 6’9.”
The Average NBA Height of Players Based on Their Position
Back in 1952 players occupying the point guard position in the NBA had an average height of 6′. Due to this average, most people consider point guards the smallest, as well as the shortest players in this league. As you’d expect, this average has increased quite a lot over the course of years. The average point guard playing in the NBA had a height of around 6’3″ by 1987.
Magic Johnson is considered the tallest-ever point guard in the history of the NBA, with a height of 6’9″. This height is somewhat unusual for this particular position and it was unsuitable for Magic Johnson at the time.
On the other hand, with a height of just 5’3″, Muggsey Bogues is considered the shortest point guard to ever play in the NBA. The ability of a point guard is not related to their height, according to professionals. What matters instead is the ability of players to understand the game’s dynamics and their Basketball IQ.
The height of point guards will average between 6′ and 6’3″, although over the years it has changed quite a lot.
Back in the 1950s, there wasn’t a clear difference between the height of point guards and shooting guards. As a general average, point guards were just slightly shorter than shooting guards.
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In the 1951-1952 season NBA shooting guards had an average height of 6’1.3″, while the next season, between 1953 and 1954, had the height rise to 6’3″.
It was in the 1990-91 season that the actual height average of shooting guards has seen a huge growth. It reached around 6’5″ and then kept fluctuating around this number over the next years.
This trend came to an abrupt stop in recent years, and point guards started to be taller, more agile, and some say, more talented than shooting guards. A great example is Corey Brewer who is one foot shorter than Simmons, who had a height of 6’10”.
This position is very important in the game, although it might sound funny, especially for basketball players. Although pretty counterintuitive when you hear the name, the average height of small forward players isn’t all that different from the average height of players in general, in the NBA. The season of 1952-53 had an average height of 6’4″ for this position.
The height kept growing over time and by the 2015-2016 season, it reached its peak of 6’8″. Currently, the size of players in this position is somewhere around 6’7. This means that over time, the small forward position has also seen significant growth in the average height of the players.
The power forward is among those positions that have seen a big change in height of the players. The past power forwards were known as having a lot of experience with post-ups and rebounds. This is one of the reasons why they are among the tallest players in the NBA league.
The power forward players are nowadays more focused on getting those three-point shots in. Statistics show us that this position has a three-pointer hit rate of around 327% higher than in the past.
As said above, the height growth of power forwards is also impressive, and currently, the average falls somewhere between 6’7″ and 6’11”.
The weight of the power forwards has also changed quite a lot. These players have lost an average of 10 lbs over the course of four years. Their performance has also improved along with their loss in weight, becoming not only faster, but also more flexible.
Usually, players occupying the center position in the NBA will also be the tallest ones on the whole roster. Though, the actual effect a center NBA player has on the whole dynamic of the game is less significant than before, as NBA is becoming more and more perimeter-oriented.
The average height of the center players in the 1950s was just around 6’8″, although this number did start to increase slowly to 6’11”. By the 1955-1956 season, the actual height of the players occupying the center position in the NBA reached a peak of 6’11.9″.
This is just the average, as some of the center players in the NBA are amazingly tall. Some of the more famous examples are Gheorghe Muresan, Boban Marjanovic, Shawn Bradley, and Yao Ming. These are among giants that go over the size of 7′.
As you’d expect, along with their height, the weight of the center players has also seen an increase over time. It reached 229 pounds by 2004.
Were NBA players shorter at any point?
Basketball players are known to be a lot taller than the average human and this is because of the actual nature of this game. Genetics is among the most important factors defining a professional NBA player, although training and talent are also very important.
Most young men showing an impressive height from a young age and enough interest in the sport will at some point appear on the court in one league or another. And not only would they appear on basketball courts, but a lot of them would also have a brilliant career.
This is why most NBA players knew they’d have a shot in the league based on their height first. The video below will give you some details on the height growth of NBA players.
The average height of the players in this tournament varied across history quite a lot. it has seen an increase of at least 3 inches over the span of around 70 years. They also get taller over time due to the intense training sessions and very strict nutritious regimes.
The height of the players actually continued to go up until 1987, when it reached its peak at 6’7″. This number has managed to stay very stable for some seasons now. I consider the change in the way NBA goes about measurements nowadays as the main reason for this.
As the height managed to stay basically the same since 1987, the weight is a completely different story, all positions seeing an increase in the number of pounds of the players. The 2011 season also saw a peak for the average weight, which reached an impressive 221 lbs. This number is a clear indicator that the trend for NBA players was moving towards muscle, strength, and sport as a whole.
However, nowadays, this trend is seeing a change again, as basketball as a sport becomes more perimeter-oriented and the pace increases. This is why most players weigh less than compared to the rosters of 2011.
The current average NBA height for players is 6’7″. As you’d expect if you know anything about this sport, this number is still humongous compared to the average human’s height. The way this height has changed over the course of multiple seasons says a lot about the direction of the NBA as a professional league.
The main focus of the NBA is shifting away from the height of the players and more attention is given to other aspects like the overall mindset and game IQ, as well as the control of the game. These requirements will vary depending on the player’s position.