Basketball, Basketball Records

Top 15 NBA Basketball Players with Impressive Hand Sizes: Grasping Greatness

  • Discover the NBA players with the biggest hands ever recorded. This article dives into the measurements and significance of their colossal hands, highlighting the advantages they bring to the game.

The hand sizes of NBA players can greatly impact their performance on the court, offering advantages in ball control, grip, and shot-blocking. From Kawhi Leonard’s precise ball handling to Bill Russell’s dominant shot-blocking, these  15 NBA players have showcased the significance of impressive hand sizes in the game of basketball.

Player Hand Span (in) Hand Length (in)
Boban Marjanović 12 10.75
Hassan Whiteside 12 10.25
Giannis Antetokounmpo 12 9.85
Greg Smith 12 10
Michael Jordan 11.375 9.75
DeAndre Jordan 11.75 9.75
Hakeem Olajuwon 11.75 10.5
Kawhi Leonard 11.25 9.75
Wilt Chamberlain 11.5 9.5
Moses Malone 10.25 9
Shawn Bradley 10.25 10
JaVale McGee 10.5 9.75
LeBron James 9.25 9
Kevin Durant 9.75 9

Boban Marjanović: Standing tall at 7’4″, Boban’s hands are a whopping 10.75 inches (27.3 cm) long and 12 inches (30.5 cm) wide. This gentle giant might not have as many accolades as others on this list, but his enormous hands have earned him a special place in the hearts of NBA fans.

Hassan Whiteside: With hands spanning 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) in length and 12 inches (30.5 cm) in width, Hassan earns his spot on our list. Known for his shot-blocking prowess, Whiteside has led the NBA in blocks per game, showcasing his impressive hand skills.

Giannis Antetokounmpo:  the “Greek Freak.” Giannis boasts hands that are 9.85 inches (25.0 cm) long and 12.25 inches (31.1 cm) wide. This two-time NBA MVP has played a significant role in leading the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA championship.

Greg Smith: This former NBA center had hands that measured 10.0 inches (25.4 cm) in length and 12.0 inches (30.5 cm) in width. Although he had a short NBA career, his large hands certainly left a lasting impression.

Michael Jordan: Widely regarded as the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan’s hands were reportedly 9.75 inches (24.8 cm) long and 11.375 inches (28.9 cm) wide. His airness collected six NBA championships during his illustrious career.

DeAndre Jordan: Another giant on our list, DeAndre boasts hands that are 9.75 inches (24.8 cm) long and 11.75 inches (29.8 cm) wide. Known for his thunderous dunks and shot-blocking abilities, Jordan has been a force to be reckoned with in the paint.

Hakeem Olajuwon: Rounding out our list is “The Dream.” with 11.5 inches (29.21 cm) and 10.5 inches (26.67 cm) width. While his hand measurements aren’t officially recorded, Olajuwon’s exceptional footwork and post moves helped him secure two NBA championships and the title of NBA MVP.

Kawhi Leonard:  “The Klaw” himself. With his hands measuring a jaw-dropping 9.75 inches (24.8 cm) in length and 11.25 inches (28.6 cm) in width, Kawhi Leonard’s grip is undeniably monstrous. Not only has he won multiple NBA championships, but he’s also earned two Finals MVP awards to go along with them.

Wilt Chamberlain: Although he played before modern hand measurements, it’s widely believed that “Wilt the Stilt” had massive hands 9.5 inches (24.13 cm) in long and 11.5 inches (29.21) wide. His incredible 100-point game and numerous records speak volumes about his impact on the game.

Moses Malone: This three-time NBA MVP had hands that were 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) long and 9.0 inches (22.9 cm) wide. Moses was a dominant force in the paint and a key player on several championship teams.

Shawn Bradley: Standing at 7’6″, Bradley’s hands measured 10.0 inches (25.4 cm) long and 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) wide. He may be remembered for his shot-blocking and being on the wrong end of many poster dunks, but his hands were undoubtedly impressive.

JaVale McGee: With hands that are 9.75 inches (24.8 cm) long and 10.5 inches (26.7 cm) wide, McGee has showcased his skills as a valuable role player on championship teams with the Warriors and Lakers.

Shaquille O’Neal: “Shaq” might be best known for his larger-than-life personality, but his hands were pretty enormous too. His exact hand size isn’t officially recorded, but they were reportedly around 10.25 inches (26.0 cm) in length and 11.0 inches (27.9 cm) in width.

LeBron James: King James’ hands measure 9.25 inches (23.5 cm) in length and 9.0 inches (22.9 cm) in width. While not the biggest on this list, LeBron’s all-around game has earned him multiple MVP awards and four NBA championships.

Kevin Durant: KD’s unofficial hands measure 9.75 inches (24.8 cm) long and 9.0 inches (22.9 cm) wide. Known for his scoring ability, Durant has multiple scoring titles and NBA championships under his belt.

Advantages and Disadvantages of NBA Players with the Biggest Hands

Having colossal hands in the NBA can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand (pun intended), it grants players a significant advantage, while on the other, it presents unique challenges. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons that these players with enormous mitts encounter on the hardwood.


  • Enhanced Grip and Control

Players like Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo can palm the ball effortlessly, providing them with superior control. This advantage becomes evident during ball-handling, passing, and shooting, as they can maneuver the ball with greater precision.

Both Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo have become key players in their respective teams’ playoff runs, utilizing their big hands to make game-changing plays on both ends of the court. Their physical advantages, combined with their exceptional talent and skill, make them formidable opponents during the NBA playoffs, often propelling their teams deep into the postseason.

  • Rebounding Prowess

Rebounding is an essential aspect of the game, and players with massive hand spans like Boban Marjanović and Hassan Whiteside possess a unique advantage in this area. Picture this: as the ball soars off the rim, these giants extend their long arms and massive hands, snatching rebounds out of the air with astonishing ease. It’s like they have built-in magnets that attract the basketball.  Their rebounding prowess grants their teams a considerable advantage on both ends of the court. Offensively, they create second-chance opportunities by securing offensive rebounds and resetting their team’s possession. Their ability to grab offensive boards amidst a sea of defenders can demoralize opponents and swing the momentum in their team’s favor.

  • Shot-Blocking Dominance

Shot-blocking dominance is a formidable weapon possessed by players with big hands, such as DeAndre Jordan and JaVale McGee. When these towering defenders are patrolling the paint, offensive players must think twice before attempting to score in their vicinity. Their ability to swat away shots with ease is a sight to behold, and it can have a profound impact on the outcome of games. For opponents driving to the rim, encountering DeAndre Jordan or JaVale McGee means facing a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Their long arms and massive hands enable them to reach high above the rim, often catching even the most athletic opponents by surprise. With quick reflexes and precise timing, they can block shots without fouling, making them both intimidating and disciplined defenders.


  • Shooting Challenges

Ironically, while big hands can provide better grip, they can also pose challenges in shooting mechanics. Players like Kevin Durant and LeBron James, despite their success, have had to fine-tune their shooting form to accommodate their larger hands.

  • Ball Handling Dilemmas 

Although having big hands aids in ball control, it can also cause occasional fumbles, especially when players attempt quick crossovers or intricate dribbling moves.

  • Free Throw Struggles

The larger surface area of their hands can make free-throw shooting a bit tricky. Some players may struggle with consistent releases due to the increased contact with the ball.

Among the NBA players on the list, LeBron James is one who has encountered challenges due to his large hands. Despite his undeniable success and legendary status, LeBron has had to fine-tune his shooting mechanics to accommodate his bigger-than-average hands. The larger surface area of his hands can sometimes lead to occasional inconsistencies in his shooting release, particularly when it comes to free throws. Nonetheless, LeBron’s incredible talent and work ethic have allowed him to overcome these challenges and remain one of the greatest players in NBA history.

Another on the list who struggle with having a biggest hand is Kevin Durant. His large hands affected his shooting mechanics, causing occasional inconsistencies in his release. The increased surface area of his hands made it challenging to find a comfortable shooting grip, especially during free throws. Consequently, he struggled with his free throw shooting during his early years in the league.

However, Durant’s relentless work ethic and dedication to improving his game allowed him to overcome these obstacles. He spent countless hours in the gym, refining his shooting form and developing muscle memory to shoot with precision. Through sheer determination, he transformed his shooting technique, adapting it to maximize the advantages of his big hands while minimizing any drawbacks.

As a result of his hard work, Kevin Durant not only became a dominant scorer but also one of the most lethal shooters in NBA history. He broke through these initial struggles and emerged as a two-time NBA champion, an NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), and a multiple-time All-Star. Durant’s ability to utilize his big hands to his advantage and continuously improve his skills showcases his remarkable growth and resilience on his path to becoming one of the greatest players in the modern era of basketball.

Players with the biggest hands in the NBA possess unique advantages in areas such as grip, control, and rebounding. However, they also encounter challenges in shooting and ball handling that require adjustments in their playing style. Nonetheless, their exceptional talent and skills make them forces to be reckoned with on the basketball court, leaving fans in awe of their abilities.

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