Who are some great NBA players with small hands?

Answer

1. Moses Malone - Moses Malone possessed the hands of a 5’9” man despite standing at 6’10”. He could palm the ball but couldn't dunk and control the ball like so many small guards. Because of this, Tom Nissalke, the Rockets' coach, gave him a series of hand-stretching exercises, like those for a pianist. This didn’t stop him from being a three-time NBA most valuable player and one of basketball's most ferocious rebounders.

2. Kevin Durant - While there is no official measurement, KD has openly admitted that he is unable to palm a basketball. This is rather surprising considering he is 6'9". This means his hands are quite small for a man his size. This obviously has not been detrimental to his career. He is one of the top players in the league and is a two-time NBA Champion.

3. Charles Barkley - Small hands didn’t deter this 6’6” beast from winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1993. Charles Barkley allegedly couldn't palm a basketball and this is somewhat believable as 99% of his dunks were two-handed.

4. Anthony Davis - Davis has rather small hands for a man who is 6'10". When he was at the Draft Combine, they were measured at nine inches in length and 8.5 inches in span. This means he is unable to palm a basketball. This was actually a concern about him in the draft despite being a top prospect. Fortunately, his hands have not been a hindrance. He is a five-time All-Star and one of the top stars in the league.

5. Patrick Ewing - Patrick Ewing had pretty small hands for a man that stood at almost 7’0”. Ewing was able to overcome whatever mild challenges imposed by having smaller hands. He is one of the greatest centers in NBA history and one of the greatest players to never win an NBA MVP.

6. Stephen Curry - Unfortunately, Stephen Curry's hands have not been officially measured. However, anyone who has watched Curry play can easily tell his hand size isn't all that impressive. The fact that he is one of the best shooters to ever grace the NBA seem to support the hypothesis that small hands might be beneficial towards accurate shooting.

7. Shawn Kemp - Shawn Kemp wasn’t blessed with big hands despite standing at 6'10" but this didn’t stop the Reign Man from being one of the best dunkers in NBA history. Unfortunately, Kemp is one of the best NBA players who won’t make the Hall of Fame.

8. Carmelo Anthony - Carmelo Anthony revealed during an interview that one of his biggest secrets was that he couldn't palm a basketball. This is rather astonishing considering he is 6'8". This means he has relatively small hands for his height. Carmelo’s hands, however, have not hindered him from being one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history.

9. Ben Wallace - The unstoppable “Big Ben” was one of the most prolific rebounders the league has ever seen. The best player ever to go undrafted has notoriously small hands for his size and can barely palm a basketball. This didn’t stop Ben Wallace from being one of the best defensive players of all time.

10. Rasheed Wallace - Rasheed Wallace has very small hands for a 6’11” man and could barely palm a basketball. Sheed was one of the first big men to want to shoot 3’s on the regular. His small hands might be the reason he could shoot so well for someone his size.

11. David Thompson - David Thompson couldn’t palm a ball, but he was as prolific a dunker as the game has ever seen. He was creative, high slammer with a serious leaping ability, and a very special player indeed. David could dunk the ball from a standing start — doing it despite being just 6-foot-3 and with extremely small hands. Thompson is one of the six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game.

12. Derrick Rose - It's no secret that the youngest MVP ever is very poor at palming a basketball. Rose does tons of two-handed dunks or he goes up with two hands initially and then releases one for the one-handed jam. This can be attributed to his relatively small hands. Rose doesn’t need to palm the ball to dunk one-handed because if you can get up as high as he does, you can control the ball and throw it down.

13. Reggie Miller - Reggie Miller is greatly remembered for stunning the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden by scoring eight points in nine seconds. At 6’7”, Reggie allegedly couldn't palm a basketball due to his relatively small hands. There might be an element of truth to this as he mostly always dunked with 2 hands. His small hands might also have helped him become one of the best shooters of all time.

14. Josh Smith - Former dunk contest champion Josh Smith supposedly couldn’t palm a ball. That might explain why his favourite open-court dunk seems to be cupping the ball near his waist as opposed to the one-hand statue-of-liberty (like LeBron). He was one of the best defensive players in the league despite having small hands for a man his size.

15. Kevin Willis - Kevin Willis is one of the very few players to play 21 seasons in the NBA. At 7’0”, he had short arms, small feet and small hands for someone his height. He had trouble palming the ball and as a result, he didn't dunk often. Even when he did, it was mostly two-handed. Willis is one of fifteen players in NBA history with over 16,000 career points and 11,000 career rebounds.

16. Steve Francis - Steve Francis is one of the best rebounding point guards ever. Francis has small hands and cannot palm a basketball. This put him in an unfavourable position that one year in the dunk contest when the NBA introduced the “dunk wheel.” The dunker had to spin the wheel on one of his attempts and replicate whatever dunk from the past the wheel landed on. Francis landed on a dunk he couldn’t actually do because he couldn’t palm a basketball, and he was never able to get his bearings.

17. Tyson Chandler - Tyson Chandler is one of the most elite defenders in the NBA. Tyson has unusually small hands for a man his size. This might explain why a guy his size almost never dunks the ball one-handed.

18. Paul George - Paul George has significantly small hands for his height of 6'9". His hand length measures only 8.5 inches which is around 7% shorter than the average for his height. Victor Oladipo has a longer hand length than Paul George despite being five inches shorter. George's span of nine inches is around 8% narrower than the average. It's amazing that Paul has the same hand span as 6'1" Kemba Walker. Fortunately, his hands have not been a hindrance. He is a six-time NBA All-Star and four-time All-NBA Team selection, as well as a four-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team.

Updated on August 9, 2019

Original Article:

The 15 Largest Hand Sizes in NBA History
By Charles Nuamah
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