Basketball has a long history, as the sport was started in 1891. Having an extraordinary height and hand span would definitely be advantageous for the players, but eventually, their dedication, skills, and hard work plays a crucial part in their successful careers.
Have you ever wondered who has the top biggest hands among NBA players?
Having a big hand in the NBA is quite an excellent advantage for the player. Although having a big hand is not that crucial, it adds to the merits and effects while passing, shooting, and handling the ball.
Playing basketball is all about how well a player can control the ball. Therefore, the hand size in NBA is measured in two parts, i.e., hand part and hand span.
The hand length is measured from the base of the palm to the tip of the middle finger. At the same time, the hand span is from the tip of the thump to the end of the little finger when the hand is outstretched.
This article provides information about the players with the biggest hands in the history of the NBA. The hand length and the hand span of the player were taken into consideration while preparing this list.
So, without further delay, let us explore who has the biggest hands in the history of the NBA.
Before exploring the details of the list, let us take a quick preview of the table.
|1. Boban Marjanovic||Center|
|2. Shaquille O’Neal||Center|
|3. Giannis Antekokounmpo||Power forward / Small forward|
|4. Greg Smith||Power forward / Center|
|5. Connie Hawkins||Power forward / Center|
|6. Noah Vonleh||Power forward / Center|
|7. Julius Erving||Small Forward|
|8. Michael Jordan||Shooting Guard / Small Forward|
|9. Kawhi Leonard||Small Forward|
|10. Wilt Chamberlain Center||Center|
Biggest Hands in NBA History
1. Boban Marjanovic
- Hand size: 10.75 inches (hand length) and 12 inches (hand span)
- Height: 7’3″/2.21 m/221 cm
- Weight: 131.5 kg/290 lb.
We will start this off with the top biggest hands in the NBA, i.e., Boban Marjanovic. Marjanovic is a 34-year-old Serbian player who signed for the Houston Rockets on June 24, 2022.
He made his first NBA debut with the San Antonio Spurs in 2015 and plays for the Serbian national basketball team.
Marjanovich could hold the record for the unofficial title for the biggest hands in NBA history. Although his hands have never been officially measured, we can estimate his hand size based on photos of Marjanovich compared to the hands of other NBA players.
Compared to the hand size of the average player of his height, Marjanovich’s hand length is 14% longer. His large hands have even birthed the hilarious Reddit thread called “Boban holding things.”
His measure is perceived as 12-12.5 range close to Sultan Kosen, who has the biggest hand size. Marjanovich is a decent scorer with a field goal percentage is 58%.
Boban has an estimated net worth of around $8 million as of 2023.
2. Shaquille O’Neal
- Hand size: 10.25 inches (hand length) and 12 inches (hand span)
- Height: 7’1″/2.16 m/216 cm
- Weight: 147 kg/325 lb.
The next on our list of the top biggest hands in the NBA is 50 years old former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, also known as “Shaq.”
Shaq is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players and centers of all time. There is a belief that no hand size is too large to block O’Neal from making a shot.
Although not measured officially, his hands are considered to be 10.25 inches in length and 12 inches in width.
Given that he wore a shoe size 22, one can guess his hands would also be massive. His giant hands may give him an advantage.
Shaq is among the richest NBA players, with a net worth of around $400 million as of 2023.
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Hand size: 9.85 inches (hand length) and 12 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’11″/2.11 m/211 cm
- Weight: 110 kg/242 lb.
On our third rank is the reigning NBA MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 28-year-old Greek professional player was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2013 NBA draft and has been playing for the same team since then.
Antetokounmpo has earned the nickname “Greek Freak” for extraordinary hand size, speed, and ball-handling skills. Compared to other average players, his hand span is 20% wider, and his hand length is 9% longer.
Since 2017, Antetokounmpo has had a remarkable achievements and has been on the NBA All-Star roster six times in a row.
Many speculate that Antetokounmpo’s measurement is also a part of his growing progression to superstardom.
From 2014-2022, Giannis played 29 games for the senior men’s Greek national team averaging 19.3 points.
In the 2021 season, he won NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Star Game MVP, and All-NBA First Team.
4. Greg Smith
- Hand size: 9.8 inches (hand length) and 12 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’11″/2.11 m/211 cm
- Weight: 113 kg/251 lb.
Greg Smith is a 32-year-old basketball player for Mineros de Zacatecas of the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Professional (LNBP) and a former NBA player. However, he has been inactive since 2020.
Smith’s hand measurements are 9% longer and 21% wider than the average height player. Although, he has one of the biggest hands in the NBA, it hasn’t contributed much to his career.
Smith recorded the biggest hands in the 2011 NBA draft combine and was undrafted but later signed by Houston Rockets. The Rockets waived him on April 10, 2014, after appearing for two preseasons.
Smith has frequently changed teams because of his erratic form. His career is not very stable.
5. Connie Hawkins
- Hand size: 10.5 inches (hand length) and 11 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’8″/2.03 m/203 cm
- Weight: 95 kg/210 lb.
Connie Hawkins was a legend of the New York City playground. Born on July 17, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York, Hawkins was a professional basketball player who only played seven seasons in NBA.
Hawkins’s hands were measured to be 18% longer and 13% wider than the other average-height players. In addition, his arm’s length was the largest in NBA history.
Regarded as an exceptionally gifted baller, Hawkins’s arm length and hand size worked to his advantage.
Even though Hawkins only played seven seasons, his impressive performance in American Basketball League (ABL) and American Basketball Association (AMA) enshrined him in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.
Hawkins was a four-time NBA All-Star (1970-1973) and All-NBA First team (1970). He passed away on October 6, 2017.
6. Noah Vonleh
- Hand size: 9.75 inches (hand length) and 11.75 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’10″/2.08 m/208 cm
- Weight: 117 kg/57 lb.
The next NBA player on our list of the top biggest hands in the NBA is Noah Vonleh. This 27-year-old American professional basketball player was traded to San Antonio Spurs from Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
With a hand length of 9.75 inches and 11.75 inches hand span, Vonleh was in the lead in the 2014 NBA draft.
The Charlotte Hornets drafted Vonleh as the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. His hand size is 8% longer and 21% wider than the average height player.
Having a massive hand do not promise you a successful NBA career. Despite having an impressive hands, Vonleh did not perform well and had to changed six different teams over the six years of his professional career.
7. Julius Erving
Hand size: 9.5 inches (hand length) and 11.75 inches (hand span)
Height: 6’7″/2.0 m/200 cm
Weight: 95 kg/210 lb.
Julius Erving is a former American professional basketball player. Now 72 year old, he is regarded as one of the most influential basketball players of the time.
The Milwaukee Bucks picked him 12th overall in the first round of the 1972 NBA draft.
Nicknamed “Dr. J,” aside from having one of the biggest hands in NBA history, he is also regarded as one of the greatest basketball dunkers in NBA history. His signature cradle dunk was even named “rock the baby.”
Erving’s hand measurement was 8% longer in length and 24% wider compared to the average height players.
In Erving’s case, his hand size played a very significant role in his basketball career success.
He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team in 1993.
8. Michael Jordan
- Hand size: 9.75 inches (hand length) and 11.375 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’6″/1.98 m/198 cm
- Weight: 98 kg/216 lb.
Any fan of the NBA will agree that Michael Jordan is one of the greatest players in NBA history. Nicknamed “MJ,” he was born on February 17, 1963, and is a former basketball player.
The Chicago Bulls drafted MJ as the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft. He played in the NBA for 15 seasons and has won the title six times.
MJ is an influential figure and a global icon who popularized the NBA in the 1980s and 1990s.
His hands were 12% longer and 21% wider than the other average-height player. Compared to his hand size, his feet were relatively smaller.
There is no doubt about Jordan’s aerial power and technique; however, his hand size also played a massive part in his success.
He could easily glide through the air palming the ball in one hand while deceiving defenders with a beautiful ball fake of his.
Jordan had a career regular-season average score of 30.12 points per game and a career playoff average score of 33.45 points per game.
9. Kawhi Leonard
- Hand size: 9.75 inches (hand length) and 11.25 inches (hand span)
- Height: 6’7″/2.0 m/200 cm
- Weight: 102 kg/225 lb.
The Indiana Pacers drafted him as the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. He was named the NBA Finals MVP twice (2014, 2019), All-NBA First Team three times (2016, 2017, 2021), and won the defensive player of the year award twice (2015 and 2016).
Leonard’s hand size is 11% longer and 18% wider than the average height player. His large hand size plays a crucial part in his famous ball-hawking skills.
Not everything can be credited to his hand size; his dedication and skill set has helped Leonard rise to stardom.
10. Wilt Chamberlain
- Hand size: 9.5 inches (hand length) and 11.5 inches (hand span)
- Height: 7’1″/2.15 m/215 cm
- Weight: 125 kg/275 lb.
We will close off this list with the big dipper, Wilt Chamberlain. One of the greatest players in the history of the NBA, Wilt was born on August 21, 1936. He made his NBA debut with the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959.
Also famously known as “Goliath” and “Wilt the stilt,” this 2.16 meter-tall player with one of the big hand sizes helped him secure his position in the NBA. Chamberlain was also one of the most dominant players in the NBA.
Chamberlain’s hand size is 3.3% longer in length and 15% wider in width than the average player of his height.
The Goliath of the NBA holds multiple NBA regular-season records in scores, rebounds, and durability categories. In addition, he is the only player in the history of the NBA to score 100 points in a single NBA game.
The hand size does not always impact the player’s skill sets or help them secure their position in the NBA league.
However, there is no denying that having huge hands adds to the player’s benefits. Flexibility, athleticism, and technique also play a crucial part.