The NBA’s Size Prerogative and the Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant Anomaly

November 22nd, 2009 by Mayoclinic 32 Leave a reply »
Boston, Massachusetts- Vince Carter had the ball isolated in the wing against Paul Pierce in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Carter is no pushover at 6'6", 215 pounds, but Pierce's 6'7", 235 pound frame hulked over him. After all, Carter is a shooting guard who hasn't added muscle to his frame since his Tar Heel days, and Pierce is a small forward who can wrestle Lebron James. 

After Michael Jordan's retirement, scouts and general managers scoured the face of the planet looking for the next 6'6" shooting guard with jumping ability. What they failed to understand was that Jordan is an anomaly, that a 6'6" shooting guard is not as efficient as a 6'7", 6'8", or 6'9" small forward. 

And so, we had a bevy of 6'6 Jordan clones—Carter included—shuffle rank and file through unfair media scrutiny, before 6'7" small forwards Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony restored the league back to its pre-Jordan normalcy, when big men and small forwards such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird dominated the scene.  

There is significant size prerogative in the game of basketball. Bigger is better. Longer is better. Stronger is better. These qualities trump ...

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