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Basketball has always been obsessed with height, but at some point (Bill Simmons suggests when Scottie Pippen was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1987) the NBA started to pay attention to wingspan — the distance from fingertip to fingertip with arms stretched out sideways. Rock climbers call this the Ape Index: when reaching for a handhold, it’s useful to be a nimble little acrobat but with long arms.

The average man has a wingspan roughly equal to his height, but the average NBA player has a wingspan 4 inches wider than his height.

According to some article on the Internet, the largest wingspan, both absolute and relative, in NBA history belonged to Dinka tribesman Manute Bol. He was 7’7″ tall and had a wingspan of 8’6″.

The largest relative wingspan listed for a white star was 1980s Boston Celtic Kevin McHale, who was 6’10” and had a 7’5″ wingspan. (These are not surprising to any 1980s NBA fan.)

The great Bill Walton says that nobody ever measured his wingspan when he was at UCLA in the early 1970s. I can, however, remember in 1971-1972 the L.A. Laker announcer Chick Hearn explaining that Laker legend Jerry West was the same height as him, 6’2″, but while Chick had his sports coats made with a 35″ sleeve, Jerry had his made with a 38″ sleeve, which is why he had so many steals and even blocks. (I’m 6’4″ and wear about a 34″ sleeve).

The downside of a long wingspan is that it’s harder to precisely control shots. Pippen, for example, with his 7″ wider wingspan than height, was awfully good at everything on the basketball court except shooting. Pippen’s senior partner Michael Jordan was listed at 6’6″ and 6’11” wingspan, suggesting that +5″ might be optimal.

Shorter-armed players in the NBA tend to be better shooters. Stephen Curry has arms only 0.5″ wider than his height.

Most of the top wingspan players were not great offensive players, even Wilt Chamberlain (7’1″ height and 7’8″ wingspan). Late in his career, Bill Sharman talked Wilt into not shooting so much and he proved to be an extraordinary defensive force.

My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons. Walton, for example, had hugely wide shoulders, as I observed following him down Rush Street in Chicago in 1999, which I suspect is why people didn’t talk as much about how long his arms were. McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone.

 
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  1. Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    http://www.turkeymonkey.com/published-clips/Revisiting%20Jack%20Molinas/

    Molinas was such an outstanding player that it was often difficult to perceive that he was fixing a game’s score. In his first dump, a game against Holy Cross in January 1952, Jack scored an astounding 39 points. He carefully botched certain plays in order to ensure the loss, in exchange for $10,000 dollars. During his junior and senior years, Molinas perfected the art of shaving points: he would bungle shots and drop passes in order to stay under the point spread. Against Yale, for instance, the spread favored Columbia by nine points, so when Molinas engineered a seven-point victory, Columbia won the game and Molinas earned $50,000 (while also tying the single-game rebounding record). When the point spread didn’t favor Columbia heavily, Molinas had to dump games entirely. Such was the case when Columbia played Penn in 1953. Molinas was guarding his longtime rival: Penn star forward Ernie Beck. The only problem was that, when the game was on the line, Beck couldn’t hit a shot to save his life. Here’s Molinas’s recollection of the game’s final moments:

    “So here’s the situation. We’re losing by five and we needed to lose by six or I was out thirty big ones. And here’s what I did: There was a little flare-up under the basket with elbows flashing all over the place and I put the ball behind my back like I was going to fancy dribble my way out of trouble. Right? But I knew exactly where everybody was, and what I actually did was put the ball in a Penn player’s stomach. A fellow named Bob Leach. He’s standing right under the basket with the ball now in his hands and he gave me a strange kind of look, which I returned. Neither of us said a word, of course, but what I wanted to say was, ‘Schmuck, shoot the ball!’ Finally, he got the message, turned around, and laid the ball in. It was a little crude, I must admit, but I did collect my payoff.”
    -From The Wizard of Odds by Charley Rosen

    He signed with the Pistons and quickly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in the NBA. In his repertoire, Jack had developed an excellent one-handed push shot from the perimeter and a devastating hook shot under the basket. Unfortunately, these skills were only used in one season of professional basketball.

    • Replies: @roo_ster
    (((Jack Molinas))), for the record.
    , @kaganovitch
    Shorter-armed players in the NBA tend to be better shooters. Stephen Curry has arms only 0.5″ wider than his height.

    Kawhi Leonard is something of a exception, a very good outside shooter with an 8 inch wingspan over height excess.
    , @fish
    That was a great link! I'd never heard of Molinas!
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:
     
    George Stigler joked that all great economists were tall, with two exceptions: Milton Friedman at 5' 0", and John Kenneth Galbraith, at 6' 9".


    https://economistsview.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/friedmangalbraith.gif

  2. I think Michael Jordan is more like 6’5″ given the usual NBA height inflation. Surprisingly this is also typical in other less height dependent sports.

    I can’t imagine shoulder width being measured unless the athlete is being fitted for a suit. Many players have prominent side deltoids which don’t contribute to their wingspan one way or the other.

    The more relevant single anthropomorphic measurement for basketball is probably standing reach. Neck length is wasted height in basketball but standing reach has a pretty straight forward application to a game with goals 10 feet from the floor.

    • Replies: @Anonymous (n)
    Neck length is not wasted height, as the elevation of a player's eyeballs helps him see the court and make passes over defenders.
    , @IHTG

    Neck length is wasted height in basketball
     
    Well, that part does help you see over the other players.
  3. @Antipodean Coward
    I think Michael Jordan is more like 6'5" given the usual NBA height inflation. Surprisingly this is also typical in other less height dependent sports.

    I can't imagine shoulder width being measured unless the athlete is being fitted for a suit. Many players have prominent side deltoids which don't contribute to their wingspan one way or the other.

    The more relevant single anthropomorphic measurement for basketball is probably standing reach. Neck length is wasted height in basketball but standing reach has a pretty straight forward application to a game with goals 10 feet from the floor.

    Neck length is not wasted height, as the elevation of a player’s eyeballs helps him see the court and make passes over defenders.

  4. Anon[236] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    For African-Americans in Uniform, It’s Duty, Honor, Country. But Don’t Expect to Lead: Seventy-five years after integration, the military’s upper echelons remain the domain of white men.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/us/politics/military-minorities-leadership.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    This is where affirmative action inevitably ends up. It’s possible to manage less qualified employees at the low and intermediate level with team structures and various audits and subtle managerial babysitting. But you need to be more strict about having the really, really smart people at the top or things go shithole on you pretty quickly.

    Colin Powell was a godsend, a Jamaican-Scottish black guy who has no American slaves in his background. But now the American slave descendants are asking why they aren’t getting to the top. Uh ….

    (And now that I think about it, how long does the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery have, in this SAT-unfriendly era?)

    Here’s a lovely magenta-hair chip-on-her-shoulder black Army officer:

    Eric Kaufman in WhiteShift notes that clever polling by political science researchers has revealed that every race, including blacks, wants to live in an America run by whites, and nobody wants blacks in charge, including blacks. There seems to be a sense that a white society is a stable society, which makes a better target for getting handouts.

    • Replies: @dcthrowback
    In the Army at least, there are very few O-5 and above *command* slots available for white guys in combat service support branches (finance, ag, civil engineering, logistics, etc) as those are used to balance out the combat arms slots that inevitably go to the more competitive branches (infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineers, etc). Combat support (signal, mil intelligence, ordnance) probably have some fingers on the scale as far as diversity goes but not quite as bad service support. The good news is the Army component generally takes over the individual racial component at those higher levels as you have to "play the game" to get promoted beyond, say, O-6 and most of those folks have been in 20+, so you become a company "man" at that point (even though personally you have the most leverage as you can retire post 20 years when you want).
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, Help! Have some one find the photo of the chunky, black female West Point cadets giving a black power salute. Never be able to get a few of those butts in a pilot seat or through a tank hatch.
    , @Michelle
    That pic is just jarring. It burns, it burns!
  5. Anonymous[751] • Disclaimer says:

    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he’s not even in the biggest weight class.

    What’s interesting about this is he’s really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he’s undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.

    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He’s a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he’s longer than them at the weight classes he fights at–especially 145 lbs.–and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    • Replies: @Yellowturtle
    But it is a white guy who has the highest ape index according to these data : https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/10-MMA-Fighters-with-Abnormal-Ape-Index

    Once again, long limbs are just a part of the equation in my opinion.

    I think black are massively overrepresented in MMA, mainly because they tend to have raw athletic advantages. Same in basketball.

    , @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, I don't know is you know how they determine a boxer's/fighter's reach. You stand with your arms straight out at shoulder height. Your reach is then measured from finger tip, to shoulder, across your chest and back to the other set of finger tips. Most boxers(fighters) stand with one shoulder a little forward so the width of your chest plays a role. keep your eyes open, your chin down a bit and breathe through your nose. And don't clinch your fists, it strains your forearms.
    , @R.G. Camara
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Blacks involved in wrestling tend to gas way too early, exerting all their effort in the first minute and then having nothing in the tank. The few blacks who don't do so ---e.g. Jones, Kevin Jackson---tend to fair better. In other words, in wrestling, if you can survive a black wrestler's first minute of assault, you'll likely win.

    Why this doesn't carry over into boxing I don't know. Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests), but in boxing they seem better able to control their stamina.

    , @Kratoklastes
    Conor McGregor (22:4) goes to pieces if a half-decent opponent ever gets hold of him. All 4 of his MMA losses were by submission, and he got KO'd by Mayweather.

    GSP (26:2) has only lost twice (one TKO, one submission).

    It's unlikely that the two will ever fight now - it would have been good to see McGregor gas out and be submitted by GSP.

    GSP supposedly has a 76" reach at a supposed height of 70" (5'10") - so +6 on the 'wingspan' metric; I doubt both those numbers, because GSP's the same height as Rogan and Rogan's no 5'10".

    McGregor's numbers say 5'10 and +4... more nonsense.
    , @Anonymous (n)
    Conor McGregor is an interesting anomaly from more than the physical perspective. I'd venture to say he's the only white athlete who has managed to become a legitimate superstar/cultural icon in the Anglosphere during the last few decades. Maybe not on the level of a Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, or Lebron James, but closer to the likes of them than to what even the most successful white athletes can typically aspire to. Say what you want about Tom Brady or whoever else you may want to nominate as a counterexample, but while respected as legends in their sports, they never managed to transcend their sport and become bona fide cultural phenomenons. What makes this even more impressive is that McGregor managed to do this in the relatively new and obscure sport of MMA, and in an organization in the UFC that is notorious for promoting the company brand over the individual fighters.

    The other interesting thing about McGregor is that he is somehow able to get away with a level of swag and let's say "cultural insensitivity" that would get any other white guy crucified in the American media. Take this gem of a quote McGregor had to offer to a Brazilian audience in a pre-fight conference before the Jose Aldo bout:


    “I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro, so for him to say that he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work. But we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.”
     
    I think what helps him get away with this is as simple as his Irish accent and Irish manner of speech. Because he speaks in a way the American audience perceives as amusing and peculiar, the actual content of his words somehow manages to get a pass. It certainly helps that the guy has a level of wit and charisma that is truly rare to find in any sphere of human endeavor, let alone among athletes in general and cage fighters in particular. That the guy managed to go from unemployed, 5'9 plumber's apprentice to top 10 global celebrity athlete in 5 years in the sport of MMA is one of those >5 sigma achievements.
  6. @Antipodean Coward
    I think Michael Jordan is more like 6'5" given the usual NBA height inflation. Surprisingly this is also typical in other less height dependent sports.

    I can't imagine shoulder width being measured unless the athlete is being fitted for a suit. Many players have prominent side deltoids which don't contribute to their wingspan one way or the other.

    The more relevant single anthropomorphic measurement for basketball is probably standing reach. Neck length is wasted height in basketball but standing reach has a pretty straight forward application to a game with goals 10 feet from the floor.

    Neck length is wasted height in basketball

    Well, that part does help you see over the other players.

  7. Can we expect average height NBA players in the future but with abnormally wide wingspans? I guess not.
    Why not just lower the basket 3 feet and stop having a ridiculous sport and competition taylor-made for unathletic freaks?

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    This is a good point (lowering the net in order to make the talent pool bigger) which I have thought about a lot, since my only "way above average" athletic skill-set is a good match for a point guard. (But I am average height and my point guard skills cannot overcome the built-in advantage a tall player has). So, somewhere in the 80s, I switched my main interest in sports to an interest in military tactics (ODAA, extreme durability in adverse conditions, sharpshooting, that sort of thing).

    All sports are fun to play if you are good at them. But, in my humble opinion, next to golf, which is pretty much unwatchable on 2-D screens, the greatest differential between how fun a sport is to play and how fun it is to watch on a 2-D screen is basketball.

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don't even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill. You might have one or two more Manu Ginobilis, but is that worth changing a century of tradition (to name the most fun player to watch during the only year when I watched a lot of basketball on TV) ....

    OK, I realize there is a flaw in my argument.

    That being said, baseball (which is very watchable in 2D if you have played a lot of it because, unlike basketball, the action is more focused on the ball, and it is correspondingly easier to translate what you are seeing on the screen into the 3D reality) would be a lot more fun to watch if there were no curveballs or sliders allowed (i.e., lower the threshold for hitters to make contact with the ball, the same way lowering the basket would lower the threshold for makable shots).

    I think there are fewer flaws with my baseball argument than my basketball argument.

    The reason these arguments go nowhere is because the people who have played thousands of hours
    of a sport (basically, about half of the fanbase for most sports) have no understanding of how boring their sport is to watch for people who have not played thousands of hours of those sports. Nobody who has played a lot of hockey, for example, should care at all about my opinion about the watchability of TV hockey (which I watch the same way my former neighbor John Madden watches it - if I remember his quote, he said something like "the strategy can be interesting").

  8. Anonymous[363] • Disclaimer says:

    The image of Leonardo’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ comes to mind, for some reason.

  9. What are you talking a out? Manute Bol was an awesome 3-point shooter.

    • Replies: @james wilson
    Well sure, it was a twenty foot shot on release.
  10. Man Black Men have good bodies

    No wonder women crave them and are rejecting white men who do no manual labor and spend there days complaining about affirmative action and women while sitting on their behinds in a make work office job of no real import

  11. I just measured myself and it’s 210 cm which Google says is 83 inches or 6.9 feet/foot.

    Not true what they say about tall men, by the way.

    • Replies: @kihowi
    I'm talking about wingspan, which is oddly longer than my body. Is that supposed to happen?
  12. I once passed Bol on the street in NY (mid-1980s). My eye level was somewhere around his belt buckle, just like in the photo. It was obvious that all of his clothing had to be custom made because he was unlike any human I had ever seen before or since. Why aren’t there more Dinka basketball players?

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Jack, I remembered this tale, but I had to look it up...Bol knocked out his front teeth on the rim while trying to dunk!
    , @anon
    Because Dinka, while very tall and "long", are quite slow by NBA standards. Being East Africans, they lack the West African explosiveness present in most AfAms. You can somewhat get away with it being 7-foot+ center with extremely long arms.
  13. McHale had apparently very narrow shoulders and was constantly drawing them up and in, thus making them seem even narrower: I never figured out whether that was a tactical mannerism of some sort or just a habitual quirk. I never noticed Walton’s shoulders even though I spent a lot of time around him when he was with the Celtics. He was somehow affiliated with my House at Harvard and used to eat meals there and stuff. Good guy.

    I was always fascinated by Dennis Rodman’s evidently huge reach and by him generally as a player, and I don’t give a shit about basketball. I can’t find a reliable number, but he was 6′-7″, and the Internet seems to think his wingspan was in the 7′-2″-7’4″ range. Weird that nobody seems to have nailed down that number for such a dominant rebounder.

  14. … while Chick had his sports coats made with a 35″ sleeve, Jerry had his made with a 38″ sleeve, which is why he had so many steals and even blocks. (I’m 6’4″ and wear about a 34″ sleeve).

    So, it was a magic coat?

  15. @kihowi
    I just measured myself and it's 210 cm which Google says is 83 inches or 6.9 feet/foot.

    Not true what they say about tall men, by the way.

    I’m talking about wingspan, which is oddly longer than my body. Is that supposed to happen?

  16. Kyle says:

    Wingspan is a fine topic. According to Vitruvius, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvius, the perfectly proportioned man has a wing span equal to his height. Basketball players, especially pros tend to be wider than they are tall. Jordan is 6’6” with a 7’0” wingspan. Supposedly this is helpful for defending and rebounding. It helps in swimming also, Phelps is 6’4” but he has a 6’8” wingspan. These attributes may help in sports, or long distance swimming, or swinging accurately from branch to branch. But I tend to agree with Vitruvius, the ideal wing span should be roughly your height.

  17. GU says:

    “Laker announcer Chick Hearn explaining that Laker legend Jerry West was the same height as him, 6’2″, but while Chick had his sports coats made with a 35″ sleeve, Jerry had his made with a 38″ sleeve, which is why he had so many steals and even blocks. (I’m 6’4″ and wear about a 34″ sleeve).”

    I’m 6’ and wear a 35” sleeve. I’ve actually been told “you have arms like Scottie Pippen.”

  18. @Sean
    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    http://www.turkeymonkey.com/published-clips/Revisiting%20Jack%20Molinas/

    Molinas was such an outstanding player that it was often difficult to perceive that he was fixing a game's score. In his first dump, a game against Holy Cross in January 1952, Jack scored an astounding 39 points. He carefully botched certain plays in order to ensure the loss, in exchange for $10,000 dollars. During his junior and senior years, Molinas perfected the art of shaving points: he would bungle shots and drop passes in order to stay under the point spread. Against Yale, for instance, the spread favored Columbia by nine points, so when Molinas engineered a seven-point victory, Columbia won the game and Molinas earned $50,000 (while also tying the single-game rebounding record). When the point spread didn't favor Columbia heavily, Molinas had to dump games entirely. Such was the case when Columbia played Penn in 1953. Molinas was guarding his longtime rival: Penn star forward Ernie Beck. The only problem was that, when the game was on the line, Beck couldn't hit a shot to save his life. Here's Molinas's recollection of the game's final moments:

    "So here's the situation. We're losing by five and we needed to lose by six or I was out thirty big ones. And here's what I did: There was a little flare-up under the basket with elbows flashing all over the place and I put the ball behind my back like I was going to fancy dribble my way out of trouble. Right? But I knew exactly where everybody was, and what I actually did was put the ball in a Penn player's stomach. A fellow named Bob Leach. He's standing right under the basket with the ball now in his hands and he gave me a strange kind of look, which I returned. Neither of us said a word, of course, but what I wanted to say was, 'Schmuck, shoot the ball!' Finally, he got the message, turned around, and laid the ball in. It was a little crude, I must admit, but I did collect my payoff."
    -From The Wizard of Odds by Charley Rosen
     
    He signed with the Pistons and quickly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in the NBA. In his repertoire, Jack had developed an excellent one-handed push shot from the perimeter and a devastating hook shot under the basket. Unfortunately, these skills were only used in one season of professional basketball.
     

    (((Jack Molinas))), for the record.

  19. I never noticed the variation of wingspan and it’s importance until reading The Sports Gene a few years back. I’m 6’0” but have a 68” wingspan, or -4” relative to my height. It suddenly made sense why shirt sleeves always seemed too long (seems obvious in retrospect but whatever). It also made sense why my 5’9” friend could grab the basketball rim but I could not.

    Once I noticed, I was self-conscious for a little while about not being Vitruvian but got over it. I don’t think there are many advantages of having shorter arms, all else equal, but it seems like maybe it makes holding heavy objects like couches easier (although the initial lift would be harder since you’d have to squat deeper).

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    Australian Rules Football (which, contrary to popular belief, isn't rugby), is a pretty wild sport that sort of combines the skill sets of soccer, basketball and American football. There is one American in the Australian Football League, Mason Cox, who is 6'10 and used to play college basketball at Oklahoma. This interview of Cox by Pat McAfee breaks down the rules of the game, which seems like a great spectator sport.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY3a_yMgvxg
  20. I remember vividly the time, ex Golden State Warrior player, Clifford Ray, used his “Wingspan” to save the life of a dolphin who had swallowed a screw.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/04/03/clifford-ray-nba-saves-dolphins-long-arms/2049159/

  21. @Sean
    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    http://www.turkeymonkey.com/published-clips/Revisiting%20Jack%20Molinas/

    Molinas was such an outstanding player that it was often difficult to perceive that he was fixing a game's score. In his first dump, a game against Holy Cross in January 1952, Jack scored an astounding 39 points. He carefully botched certain plays in order to ensure the loss, in exchange for $10,000 dollars. During his junior and senior years, Molinas perfected the art of shaving points: he would bungle shots and drop passes in order to stay under the point spread. Against Yale, for instance, the spread favored Columbia by nine points, so when Molinas engineered a seven-point victory, Columbia won the game and Molinas earned $50,000 (while also tying the single-game rebounding record). When the point spread didn't favor Columbia heavily, Molinas had to dump games entirely. Such was the case when Columbia played Penn in 1953. Molinas was guarding his longtime rival: Penn star forward Ernie Beck. The only problem was that, when the game was on the line, Beck couldn't hit a shot to save his life. Here's Molinas's recollection of the game's final moments:

    "So here's the situation. We're losing by five and we needed to lose by six or I was out thirty big ones. And here's what I did: There was a little flare-up under the basket with elbows flashing all over the place and I put the ball behind my back like I was going to fancy dribble my way out of trouble. Right? But I knew exactly where everybody was, and what I actually did was put the ball in a Penn player's stomach. A fellow named Bob Leach. He's standing right under the basket with the ball now in his hands and he gave me a strange kind of look, which I returned. Neither of us said a word, of course, but what I wanted to say was, 'Schmuck, shoot the ball!' Finally, he got the message, turned around, and laid the ball in. It was a little crude, I must admit, but I did collect my payoff."
    -From The Wizard of Odds by Charley Rosen
     
    He signed with the Pistons and quickly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in the NBA. In his repertoire, Jack had developed an excellent one-handed push shot from the perimeter and a devastating hook shot under the basket. Unfortunately, these skills were only used in one season of professional basketball.
     

    Shorter-armed players in the NBA tend to be better shooters. Stephen Curry has arms only 0.5″ wider than his height.

    Kawhi Leonard is something of a exception, a very good outside shooter with an 8 inch wingspan over height excess.

    • Replies: @dcthrowback
    also the best defender in the league
  22. Wingspan is a neglected statistic in basketball, because it lets you play “taller” than you really are. I’m 5’10” tall, but my wingspan is 6’2″. This surprised the shit out of many guys that I guarded back in the day, because all you need to do to “block” a shot is just touch the ball as it leaves the other player’s hand, and their shot is ruined. 5’10 is at the 60th percentile for height for men in the US, but 6’2″ is at the 96th percentile.

    I have to wear XL long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts, because otherwise I can’t get the sleeves to cover my wrists.

    Another distinction that few people talk about is whether or not you are long waisted. Long waisted means you have a relatively long torso in relation to your legs. I happen to be long waisted; I’m not sure if long waisted and bigger wingspan go together. When I bend forward or to the side, I get an extra couple of inches.

    It’s also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    It’s also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    At 6'4" Abraham Lincoln was extremely tall for his day, but as his exxcess height was largely the result of extremely long legs he was no higher than an average man when seated.
    , @Jokah Macpherson
    Jealous of the arm span ha (see above); I can't block or steal shit in spite of otherwise being a pretty quick defender.

    I totally agree on the torso thing, though. I 'look' taller than 6'0", especially seated, since a disproportionate amount of the height is in the torso and neck
    , @Kratoklastes
    There was a Ted talk in 2014 (by David Goldstein) about the impact of technology on sports performance - for example, how new track technology improved running times.

    Another 'technology' change was body type selection - from élite sportsmen being kind of 'average', with the same broad body type across all sports, to being highly specialised. A form of 'directed evolution' for sports.

    At about 10 minutes in, Goldstein specifically compared Hicham el-Gherrouj (GOAT middle-distance runner) to Michael Phelps (GOAT sprint-swimmer).

    They are the same height at the waist, but Phelps is 5" taller overall - has has a very long torso and little stubby legs.

    If you replaced el-Gherrouj with Eliud Kipchoge (GOAT marathoner) the story would remain the same; that guy is all legs.

    If you replaced Phelps with Grant Hackett (~GOAT distance swimmer) or Ian Thorpe (almost as good as Phelps) the story would fall down because both those guys have normal torso proportions.

    Great video though. Jesse Owens' and Roger Banister's performances hold up when 'corrected' for track effects.

    https://youtu.be/8COaMKbNrX0?t=602
  23. I’ve heard it said, but not seen any hard data, that the opposite is true in baseball–the advantage goes to those with relatively short arms for their height. The exception would be pitchers and this pattern might explain why few pro-basketball players can cross over to baseball outside of pitchers.

  24. JJ Redick also has T-Rex arms. He’s 6-4 (no shoes) with a 6-3 wingspan.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Mo Bamba, the backup center for the Orlando Magic, is 6-11 with a 7-10 wingspan.

  25. Kirt says:

    Doesn’t it make a difference how much wingspan is attributable to long arms and how much to broad shoulders? For two guys with identical wingspan the guy with longer arms would have the natural reach advantage. To equal that, the guy with broader shoulders would have to cave in his chest, which would interfere with his breathing.

  26. res says:

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.

    Interesting thought, but I don’t think it is that simple. One big (the biggest?) advantage of a long wingspan is being able to reach far above your head. That is all arm length. I also wonder if extremely wide shoulders have agility and/or vertical leap negatives.

    This article and paper look at wingspan in four groups: US army recruits (male and female), MMA fighters, and NBA players.
    https://www.inverse.com/article/47080-nba-wingspan-advantage-positionless-basketball
    http://www.jaspe.ac.me/clanci/JASPE_July_2018_Monson_3-8.pdf

    Figure 3 of the paper shows some individual NBA players (and MMA fighters) on a height/arm span scatterplot with a regression line. That makes clear just how much of an outlier Steph Curry is with respect to the average for the NBA and especially compared to other stars. Not sure if it is obvious, but the solid line is the regression line and the dashed line is arm span = height.

    Figure 1 and Table 3 show that the arm span/height ratio tends to increase with height in general. NBA players are the outliers there in that their slope is 1. Which I take to mean that having a proportionally larger arm span is more important the shorter the player is.

    Unfortunately she did not break out shoulder width and arm length.

    NBA2k used to allow you to specify both wingspan and shoulder width when creating players. Here is some discussion of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/7ha8ur/tip_for_creating_playerswingspan_and_shoulder/
    But it looks like they got rid of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/9camje/no_shoulder_width_in_2k19/

    • Replies: @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoarqsrBULo


    That is what people pay to see, not no jump dunks by seven and a half foot tall pituitary cases or long armed defenders nullifying the excitement. If height and wingspan were brought into the game and began to be effective aginst power being successfully employed then the rules would be changed.


    https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/11/5/20949723/nba-ped-suspensions-deandre-ayton-wilson-chandler-john-collins-steroids-banned-substances
    While professional athletes in the world of sports getting caught for PEDs is nothing new, this frequency is unprecedented in the NBA. In the history of the league, no more than two players have ever tested positive in the same season. And there’s still more than 70 games to go in this one.
     
    They are all juiced to the gills, but it is showbiz and to go after steroids would decrease the marketability of the game. Those explosive vertical leaps cannot be taken away now.
    , @Anonymous

    Rock climbers call this the Ape Index: when reaching for a handhold, it’s useful to be a nimble little acrobat but with long arms.
     
    Is wingspan advantageous for climbing trees and swinging on tree branches?
  27. I am reminded of my father’s dominance in pickup basketball games at the Y when I was a child. He’s only 5’11 but his wingspan has to be at least 6’5. Not to mention his hands are enormous for his size. As you’d expect, he was primarily a defensive force.

    I am somewhat jealous of his ease at palming a basketball, but being a hockey player I’m not sure a freakish wingspan relative to my height would have been all that beneficial (mine is 6’3 at 6’1.) Hockey is an odd sport in that black proportions don’t seem to be particularly advantageous. From what i’ve seen anecdotally anyway.

    As for my father he quit basketball in his mid 40s, worried he was risking injury playing at a higher weight relative to his height. Played softball into his 60s though.

    • Replies: @Tony
    Is he/you negro?
  28. @Anon7
    Wingspan is a neglected statistic in basketball, because it lets you play "taller" than you really are. I'm 5'10" tall, but my wingspan is 6'2". This surprised the shit out of many guys that I guarded back in the day, because all you need to do to "block" a shot is just touch the ball as it leaves the other player's hand, and their shot is ruined. 5'10 is at the 60th percentile for height for men in the US, but 6'2" is at the 96th percentile.

    I have to wear XL long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts, because otherwise I can't get the sleeves to cover my wrists.

    Another distinction that few people talk about is whether or not you are long waisted. Long waisted means you have a relatively long torso in relation to your legs. I happen to be long waisted; I'm not sure if long waisted and bigger wingspan go together. When I bend forward or to the side, I get an extra couple of inches.

    It's also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    It’s also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    At 6’4″ Abraham Lincoln was extremely tall for his day, but as his exxcess height was largely the result of extremely long legs he was no higher than an average man when seated.

  29. @Anonymous
    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he's not even in the biggest weight class.

    What's interesting about this is he's really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he's undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.


    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He's a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he's longer than them at the weight classes he fights at--especially 145 lbs.--and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    But it is a white guy who has the highest ape index according to these data : https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/10-MMA-Fighters-with-Abnormal-Ape-Index

    Once again, long limbs are just a part of the equation in my opinion.

    I think black are massively overrepresented in MMA, mainly because they tend to have raw athletic advantages. Same in basketball.

    • Replies: @Michelle
    And, also, they like to beat people up.
  30. @kaganovitch
    Shorter-armed players in the NBA tend to be better shooters. Stephen Curry has arms only 0.5″ wider than his height.

    Kawhi Leonard is something of a exception, a very good outside shooter with an 8 inch wingspan over height excess.

    also the best defender in the league

  31. @Anon
    OT

    For African-Americans in Uniform, It’s Duty, Honor, Country. But Don’t Expect to Lead: Seventy-five years after integration, the military’s upper echelons remain the domain of white men.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/us/politics/military-minorities-leadership.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    This is where affirmative action inevitably ends up. It’s possible to manage less qualified employees at the low and intermediate level with team structures and various audits and subtle managerial babysitting. But you need to be more strict about having the really, really smart people at the top or things go shithole on you pretty quickly.

    Colin Powell was a godsend, a Jamaican-Scottish black guy who has no American slaves in his background. But now the American slave descendants are asking why they aren’t getting to the top. Uh ....

    (And now that I think about it, how long does the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery have, in this SAT-unfriendly era?)

    Here’s a lovely magenta-hair chip-on-her-shoulder black Army officer:

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/05/25/us/politics/25dc-military-holley-sub/25dc-military-holley-sub-jumbo.jpg

    Eric Kaufman in WhiteShift notes that clever polling by political science researchers has revealed that every race, including blacks, wants to live in an America run by whites, and nobody wants blacks in charge, including blacks. There seems to be a sense that a white society is a stable society, which makes a better target for getting handouts.

    In the Army at least, there are very few O-5 and above *command* slots available for white guys in combat service support branches (finance, ag, civil engineering, logistics, etc) as those are used to balance out the combat arms slots that inevitably go to the more competitive branches (infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineers, etc). Combat support (signal, mil intelligence, ordnance) probably have some fingers on the scale as far as diversity goes but not quite as bad service support. The good news is the Army component generally takes over the individual racial component at those higher levels as you have to “play the game” to get promoted beyond, say, O-6 and most of those folks have been in 20+, so you become a company “man” at that point (even though personally you have the most leverage as you can retire post 20 years when you want).

  32. @BB753
    Can we expect average height NBA players in the future but with abnormally wide wingspans? I guess not.
    Why not just lower the basket 3 feet and stop having a ridiculous sport and competition taylor-made for unathletic freaks?

    This is a good point (lowering the net in order to make the talent pool bigger) which I have thought about a lot, since my only “way above average” athletic skill-set is a good match for a point guard. (But I am average height and my point guard skills cannot overcome the built-in advantage a tall player has). So, somewhere in the 80s, I switched my main interest in sports to an interest in military tactics (ODAA, extreme durability in adverse conditions, sharpshooting, that sort of thing).

    All sports are fun to play if you are good at them. But, in my humble opinion, next to golf, which is pretty much unwatchable on 2-D screens, the greatest differential between how fun a sport is to play and how fun it is to watch on a 2-D screen is basketball.

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don’t even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill. You might have one or two more Manu Ginobilis, but is that worth changing a century of tradition (to name the most fun player to watch during the only year when I watched a lot of basketball on TV) ….

    OK, I realize there is a flaw in my argument.

    That being said, baseball (which is very watchable in 2D if you have played a lot of it because, unlike basketball, the action is more focused on the ball, and it is correspondingly easier to translate what you are seeing on the screen into the 3D reality) would be a lot more fun to watch if there were no curveballs or sliders allowed (i.e., lower the threshold for hitters to make contact with the ball, the same way lowering the basket would lower the threshold for makable shots).

    I think there are fewer flaws with my baseball argument than my basketball argument.

    The reason these arguments go nowhere is because the people who have played thousands of hours
    of a sport (basically, about half of the fanbase for most sports) have no understanding of how boring their sport is to watch for people who have not played thousands of hours of those sports. Nobody who has played a lot of hockey, for example, should care at all about my opinion about the watchability of TV hockey (which I watch the same way my former neighbor John Madden watches it – if I remember his quote, he said something like “the strategy can be interesting”).

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don’t even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill.
     
    When I was in High School, the local elementary schools had their baskets at 9". We used to play pick-up games on the weekend at those courts and it was fun indeed. Dunking was just challenging enough to be fun, but very do-able.
    , @BB753
    I'm a bit biased because I'm barely 6 feet tall but I have a very large wingspan for my height. My arms are abnormally long (and also proportionally stronger). For that reason, I was pretty good at handball, where reach and power are vital, a sport barely known in the USA but quite popular in continental Europe. I could also function as a goalie in handball. You could say I'm built like the older depictions of Cro-Magnons. Not very flattering, I suppose, lol.
    My guess is handball, with its fast pace, high scores and virile brutality has a better shot at popularity in America than soccer.

    https://youtu.be/yXtT1LNnDQA
  33. @Anon7
    Wingspan is a neglected statistic in basketball, because it lets you play "taller" than you really are. I'm 5'10" tall, but my wingspan is 6'2". This surprised the shit out of many guys that I guarded back in the day, because all you need to do to "block" a shot is just touch the ball as it leaves the other player's hand, and their shot is ruined. 5'10 is at the 60th percentile for height for men in the US, but 6'2" is at the 96th percentile.

    I have to wear XL long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts, because otherwise I can't get the sleeves to cover my wrists.

    Another distinction that few people talk about is whether or not you are long waisted. Long waisted means you have a relatively long torso in relation to your legs. I happen to be long waisted; I'm not sure if long waisted and bigger wingspan go together. When I bend forward or to the side, I get an extra couple of inches.

    It's also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    Jealous of the arm span ha (see above); I can’t block or steal shit in spite of otherwise being a pretty quick defender.

    I totally agree on the torso thing, though. I ‘look’ taller than 6’0″, especially seated, since a disproportionate amount of the height is in the torso and neck

  34. @Sean
    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    http://www.turkeymonkey.com/published-clips/Revisiting%20Jack%20Molinas/

    Molinas was such an outstanding player that it was often difficult to perceive that he was fixing a game's score. In his first dump, a game against Holy Cross in January 1952, Jack scored an astounding 39 points. He carefully botched certain plays in order to ensure the loss, in exchange for $10,000 dollars. During his junior and senior years, Molinas perfected the art of shaving points: he would bungle shots and drop passes in order to stay under the point spread. Against Yale, for instance, the spread favored Columbia by nine points, so when Molinas engineered a seven-point victory, Columbia won the game and Molinas earned $50,000 (while also tying the single-game rebounding record). When the point spread didn't favor Columbia heavily, Molinas had to dump games entirely. Such was the case when Columbia played Penn in 1953. Molinas was guarding his longtime rival: Penn star forward Ernie Beck. The only problem was that, when the game was on the line, Beck couldn't hit a shot to save his life. Here's Molinas's recollection of the game's final moments:

    "So here's the situation. We're losing by five and we needed to lose by six or I was out thirty big ones. And here's what I did: There was a little flare-up under the basket with elbows flashing all over the place and I put the ball behind my back like I was going to fancy dribble my way out of trouble. Right? But I knew exactly where everybody was, and what I actually did was put the ball in a Penn player's stomach. A fellow named Bob Leach. He's standing right under the basket with the ball now in his hands and he gave me a strange kind of look, which I returned. Neither of us said a word, of course, but what I wanted to say was, 'Schmuck, shoot the ball!' Finally, he got the message, turned around, and laid the ball in. It was a little crude, I must admit, but I did collect my payoff."
    -From The Wizard of Odds by Charley Rosen
     
    He signed with the Pistons and quickly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in the NBA. In his repertoire, Jack had developed an excellent one-handed push shot from the perimeter and a devastating hook shot under the basket. Unfortunately, these skills were only used in one season of professional basketball.
     

    That was a great link! I’d never heard of Molinas!

  35. During a Lakers – Warriors game, Warriors announcer Bill King started cracking up on air. Laker color guy Keith Erickson had come up behind him and asked what Nate Thurmond’s sleeve length was. Don’t know why that was so funny.

  36. Sean says:
    @res

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.
     
    Interesting thought, but I don't think it is that simple. One big (the biggest?) advantage of a long wingspan is being able to reach far above your head. That is all arm length. I also wonder if extremely wide shoulders have agility and/or vertical leap negatives.

    This article and paper look at wingspan in four groups: US army recruits (male and female), MMA fighters, and NBA players.
    https://www.inverse.com/article/47080-nba-wingspan-advantage-positionless-basketball
    http://www.jaspe.ac.me/clanci/JASPE_July_2018_Monson_3-8.pdf

    Figure 3 of the paper shows some individual NBA players (and MMA fighters) on a height/arm span scatterplot with a regression line. That makes clear just how much of an outlier Steph Curry is with respect to the average for the NBA and especially compared to other stars. Not sure if it is obvious, but the solid line is the regression line and the dashed line is arm span = height.

    https://imgix.bustle.com/inverse/cf/b7/00/f3/6001/409e/bd25/de53de92e67c/on-average-monson-noted-that-the-ratio-of-armspan-to-height-was-117-but-this-proportion-was-sligh.png

    Figure 1 and Table 3 show that the arm span/height ratio tends to increase with height in general. NBA players are the outliers there in that their slope is 1. Which I take to mean that having a proportionally larger arm span is more important the shorter the player is.

    Unfortunately she did not break out shoulder width and arm length.

    NBA2k used to allow you to specify both wingspan and shoulder width when creating players. Here is some discussion of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/7ha8ur/tip_for_creating_playerswingspan_and_shoulder/
    But it looks like they got rid of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/9camje/no_shoulder_width_in_2k19/

    That is what people pay to see, not no jump dunks by seven and a half foot tall pituitary cases or long armed defenders nullifying the excitement. If height and wingspan were brought into the game and began to be effective aginst power being successfully employed then the rules would be changed.

    https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/11/5/20949723/nba-ped-suspensions-deandre-ayton-wilson-chandler-john-collins-steroids-banned-substances
    While professional athletes in the world of sports getting caught for PEDs is nothing new, this frequency is unprecedented in the NBA. In the history of the league, no more than two players have ever tested positive in the same season. And there’s still more than 70 games to go in this one.

    They are all juiced to the gills, but it is showbiz and to go after steroids would decrease the marketability of the game. Those explosive vertical leaps cannot be taken away now.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Blake Griffin has fairly short arms for an NBA player, but he can jump through the roof.
  37. Sport coat or sports coat? Perhaps we should return to calling it an odd jacket.

  38. Whenever I watch boxing, I notice the Black has a reach advantage over the White at the same height. But in sports that favor wingspan (swimming, basketball et al) it seems even the Whites – and maybe even Asians – have proportionally longer arms than normal.

  39. This is just Steve’s nefarious attempt to get the phrase “Ape Index” trending in basketball commentary.

  40. Shorter-armed players in the NBA tend to be better shooters. Stephen Curry has arms only 0.5″ wider than his height.

    JJ Redick with his T-Rex arms.

  41. Anonymous[822] • Disclaimer says:

    (I’m 6’4″ and wear about a 34″ sleeve).

    “Alligator Arms Sailer”

  42. @Anon
    OT

    For African-Americans in Uniform, It’s Duty, Honor, Country. But Don’t Expect to Lead: Seventy-five years after integration, the military’s upper echelons remain the domain of white men.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/us/politics/military-minorities-leadership.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    This is where affirmative action inevitably ends up. It’s possible to manage less qualified employees at the low and intermediate level with team structures and various audits and subtle managerial babysitting. But you need to be more strict about having the really, really smart people at the top or things go shithole on you pretty quickly.

    Colin Powell was a godsend, a Jamaican-Scottish black guy who has no American slaves in his background. But now the American slave descendants are asking why they aren’t getting to the top. Uh ....

    (And now that I think about it, how long does the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery have, in this SAT-unfriendly era?)

    Here’s a lovely magenta-hair chip-on-her-shoulder black Army officer:

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/05/25/us/politics/25dc-military-holley-sub/25dc-military-holley-sub-jumbo.jpg

    Eric Kaufman in WhiteShift notes that clever polling by political science researchers has revealed that every race, including blacks, wants to live in an America run by whites, and nobody wants blacks in charge, including blacks. There seems to be a sense that a white society is a stable society, which makes a better target for getting handouts.

    Anon, Help! Have some one find the photo of the chunky, black female West Point cadets giving a black power salute. Never be able to get a few of those butts in a pilot seat or through a tank hatch.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2016/05/07/us/07WESTPOINT/07WESTPOINT-jumbo-v2.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp
  43. @Anonymous
    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he's not even in the biggest weight class.

    What's interesting about this is he's really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he's undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.


    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He's a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he's longer than them at the weight classes he fights at--especially 145 lbs.--and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    Anon, I don’t know is you know how they determine a boxer’s/fighter’s reach. You stand with your arms straight out at shoulder height. Your reach is then measured from finger tip, to shoulder, across your chest and back to the other set of finger tips. Most boxers(fighters) stand with one shoulder a little forward so the width of your chest plays a role. keep your eyes open, your chin down a bit and breathe through your nose. And don’t clinch your fists, it strains your forearms.

  44. @Jack D
    I once passed Bol on the street in NY (mid-1980s). My eye level was somewhere around his belt buckle, just like in the photo. It was obvious that all of his clothing had to be custom made because he was unlike any human I had ever seen before or since. Why aren't there more Dinka basketball players?

    Jack, I remembered this tale, but I had to look it up…Bol knocked out his front teeth on the rim while trying to dunk!

  45. @Sean
    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    http://www.turkeymonkey.com/published-clips/Revisiting%20Jack%20Molinas/

    Molinas was such an outstanding player that it was often difficult to perceive that he was fixing a game's score. In his first dump, a game against Holy Cross in January 1952, Jack scored an astounding 39 points. He carefully botched certain plays in order to ensure the loss, in exchange for $10,000 dollars. During his junior and senior years, Molinas perfected the art of shaving points: he would bungle shots and drop passes in order to stay under the point spread. Against Yale, for instance, the spread favored Columbia by nine points, so when Molinas engineered a seven-point victory, Columbia won the game and Molinas earned $50,000 (while also tying the single-game rebounding record). When the point spread didn't favor Columbia heavily, Molinas had to dump games entirely. Such was the case when Columbia played Penn in 1953. Molinas was guarding his longtime rival: Penn star forward Ernie Beck. The only problem was that, when the game was on the line, Beck couldn't hit a shot to save his life. Here's Molinas's recollection of the game's final moments:

    "So here's the situation. We're losing by five and we needed to lose by six or I was out thirty big ones. And here's what I did: There was a little flare-up under the basket with elbows flashing all over the place and I put the ball behind my back like I was going to fancy dribble my way out of trouble. Right? But I knew exactly where everybody was, and what I actually did was put the ball in a Penn player's stomach. A fellow named Bob Leach. He's standing right under the basket with the ball now in his hands and he gave me a strange kind of look, which I returned. Neither of us said a word, of course, but what I wanted to say was, 'Schmuck, shoot the ball!' Finally, he got the message, turned around, and laid the ball in. It was a little crude, I must admit, but I did collect my payoff."
    -From The Wizard of Odds by Charley Rosen
     
    He signed with the Pistons and quickly established himself as one of the premier scoring forwards in the NBA. In his repertoire, Jack had developed an excellent one-handed push shot from the perimeter and a devastating hook shot under the basket. Unfortunately, these skills were only used in one season of professional basketball.
     

    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:

    George Stigler joked that all great economists were tall, with two exceptions: Milton Friedman at 5′ 0″, and John Kenneth Galbraith, at 6′ 9″.

    • LOL: Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Stigler was also very tall:

    https://external-preview.redd.it/P5hGvfcAPICWIdw-pUQ3HRBxRAd3E2lM8NJ7XMR0kmw.jpg?auto=webp&s=f8a39ccecb21cd362ad0bbca5144e6962b9d7bbd

  46. @Sean
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoarqsrBULo


    That is what people pay to see, not no jump dunks by seven and a half foot tall pituitary cases or long armed defenders nullifying the excitement. If height and wingspan were brought into the game and began to be effective aginst power being successfully employed then the rules would be changed.


    https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2019/11/5/20949723/nba-ped-suspensions-deandre-ayton-wilson-chandler-john-collins-steroids-banned-substances
    While professional athletes in the world of sports getting caught for PEDs is nothing new, this frequency is unprecedented in the NBA. In the history of the league, no more than two players have ever tested positive in the same season. And there’s still more than 70 games to go in this one.
     
    They are all juiced to the gills, but it is showbiz and to go after steroids would decrease the marketability of the game. Those explosive vertical leaps cannot be taken away now.

    Blake Griffin has fairly short arms for an NBA player, but he can jump through the roof.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Poor shooter though. What he does have is gigantic calf muscles
  47. OT: U of C actually went ahead and did. They dropped the SAT and ACT requirements. You do this because you want rich students, not smart students.

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/05/22/u-of-california-officially-removes-sat-and-act-requirements-for-admission/

  48. Bol may have had the biggest wingspan but Wilt Chamberlain had the biggest dingspan.

  49. @Dtbb
    What are you talking a out? Manute Bol was an awesome 3-point shooter.
    https://youtu.be/zQ1aO2hcxAw

    Well sure, it was a twenty foot shot on release.

  50. Interesting subject. Not flu related!

    So, in what other sports would wingspan be a major factor? Golf, for the swing distance? Tennis, to reach for wider shots, or higher ones?

    Bowling, speed and spin? Handball (seems obvious?)

    I would suspect that shorter arms might prove quicker/stronger relative to overall arm size. Not having to move in rotations as far to make the degrees of angle at the end. Bone is heavier than muscle, so shorter arms might mean less muscle needed to move in non reaching motions (where total distance isn’t important). Jose Altuve is famously very short but an extremely powerful hitter.

    Are there not sports academic studies of this type. Kinesiology or something? I would think in this day and time there would be PhD dissertations built around this stuff.

    Anyone here knowledgeable?

    Of course until they can breed athletes for maximum performance, you’ll have to still use what you’ve got.

    • Replies: @Ola
    It is extremely important in discus throwing.
  51. Anonymous[200] • Disclaimer says:

    McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone.

    McHale looked to me to have very wide, broad shoulders that go out to his arms at a 90 degree angle, as opposed to arms that slope down and taper off from the shoulders, like most normal, more narrow shouldered guys have. I always thought his wide shoulders and long, ape like arms were why he scored so well in the post. He would pivot back and forth, up and down in the post, and because of his long arms carrying the ball in different directions with the pivot, it was very difficult to defend against and he would always find an angle to extend his long arms into.

    • Replies: @james wilson
    McHale doesn't have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.
  52. Walter Johnson was the hardest thrower of his era, possibly any era. I’d love to know his reach. He was only listed as 6’1 in height but as near to a knuckle dragger as I’ve seen, with huge hands.
    Yet there are 5’6″ flame throwers in baseball with short arms. Go figure. When the Chinese re-constitute the short armed Neanderthal I’m betting on him to obliterate Javelin records. Maybe he can shoot threes also, and take over boxing.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Yet there are 5’6″ flame throwers in baseball with short arms.

    Such as?
  53. What can photographic manipulation do to wingspan? In a picture accompanying this story, telephoto appears to be irrelevant, since the proximity is as much left-to-right as front-to-back:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/footage-packed-pool-party-houston-151247419.html

    Some of the wingspans overlap.

    Meanwhile, over in the upcountry:

    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/2-dead-5-wounded-south-carolina-block-party-200200762–abc-news-topstories.html

    https://abc11.com/south-carolina-shooting-block-party-death-union-county/6209233/

    That’s stepping over the guidelines!

  54. Anonymous[146] • Disclaimer says:

    A significant part of the black advantage in the vertical leap and thus basketball in general relative to whites is due to greater wingspan. Even if a player’s “true” vertical leap (i.e. how high one’s feet get off the ground) is the same as another’s, greater wingspan can make the “effective” vertical leap greater.

    On the other hand, I do think shorter wingspans tends to make whites better shooters, with crisper form, while blacks with longer wingspans tend to have more gangly shooting forms with more moving parts. I think this also applies to quarterback passing, other throwing activities, and probably swinging activities like golf, tennis, etc. Too long of a wingspan seems to be a disadvantage in those activities.

  55. @Steve Sailer
    Blake Griffin has fairly short arms for an NBA player, but he can jump through the roof.

    Poor shooter though. What he does have is gigantic calf muscles

  56. @Anonymous
    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he's not even in the biggest weight class.

    What's interesting about this is he's really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he's undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.


    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He's a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he's longer than them at the weight classes he fights at--especially 145 lbs.--and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Blacks involved in wrestling tend to gas way too early, exerting all their effort in the first minute and then having nothing in the tank. The few blacks who don’t do so —e.g. Jones, Kevin Jackson—tend to fair better. In other words, in wrestling, if you can survive a black wrestler’s first minute of assault, you’ll likely win.

    Why this doesn’t carry over into boxing I don’t know. Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests), but in boxing they seem better able to control their stamina.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests).
     
    There's a weird thing that happens to time, that physicists need to examine. 3×5-minute rounds takes infinity-times as much stamina as 5×3-minute ones.

    Plus... wrestling/rolling is (roughly) infinity times more draining than standing opposite one another and trying to hit each other. (Not saying that boxing is not intense).

    It's like comparing swimming 400m to playing water polo for the same length of time. Swimming a 400m against a decent opponent means you lose; playing water polo against a decent opponent means you wind up half-drowned, physically and psychologically exhausted, and it takes three days for all the water to come out of your sinuses.
    , @anon
    Whites dominated boxing up until whites got out of boxing.
    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
    Even then Marciano met all the best black heavyweights and decisively beat them.

    The same has happened in Football and Basketball. Not that many whites are interested any more.
    , @Anonymous
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Daniel Cormier, Yoel Romero (who beat Cael Sanderson twice, and Sanderson won olympic gold and 4 NCAA championships and never lost to anyone in college). Usman is well decorated at NCAA level. Tyron Woodley also.

    For 13% of the USA they don't seem too bad at it, although only Jones and Cormier are born in the USA of those I mentioned. Maybe exception that proves the rule. Whites still doing well at wrestling and MMA, but there are a few who are very good at it.
  57. Anonymous[186] • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, an apparent “Karen” confronts an African American nerd in Central Park. I think the race component is incidental. She’s just going for the first cheap shot she can think of, and it happens that her opponent is a black man. Some women, especially in NYC, are simply horrible. I’ve run into these certifiable crazy bitches in the dog walking areas of Central Park. They’re a real thing.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/melodyMcooper/status/1264965252866641920

    • Replies: @Michelle
    Agree. I meet a lot of crazy control freak, white ladies at the dog park. Strangely, they never confront, nor give unsolicited advice to the owners of vicious pit bulls, but they are full of advice about how I should feed my dog and what kind of collar she should wear and tell me not to drink, "Almond milk" because it has fillers and they hope that people are not staying indoors during holidays, and people shouldn't be scared of spiders, or snakes or crocodiles, or Black teenagers, or eat meat. Now, however, they do hope people are staying indoors during the holidays. Other than that, they are in heaven right now.
  58. @Anonymous
    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he's not even in the biggest weight class.

    What's interesting about this is he's really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he's undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.


    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He's a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he's longer than them at the weight classes he fights at--especially 145 lbs.--and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    Conor McGregor (22:4) goes to pieces if a half-decent opponent ever gets hold of him. All 4 of his MMA losses were by submission, and he got KO’d by Mayweather.

    GSP (26:2) has only lost twice (one TKO, one submission).

    It’s unlikely that the two will ever fight now – it would have been good to see McGregor gas out and be submitted by GSP.

    GSP supposedly has a 76″ reach at a supposed height of 70″ (5’10”) – so +6 on the ‘wingspan’ metric; I doubt both those numbers, because GSP’s the same height as Rogan and Rogan’s no 5’10”.

    McGregor’s numbers say 5’10 and +4… more nonsense.

  59. @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, Help! Have some one find the photo of the chunky, black female West Point cadets giving a black power salute. Never be able to get a few of those butts in a pilot seat or through a tank hatch.

  60. @Yellowturtle
    But it is a white guy who has the highest ape index according to these data : https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/10-MMA-Fighters-with-Abnormal-Ape-Index

    Once again, long limbs are just a part of the equation in my opinion.

    I think black are massively overrepresented in MMA, mainly because they tend to have raw athletic advantages. Same in basketball.

    And, also, they like to beat people up.

  61. @Anonymous
    Meanwhile, an apparent "Karen" confronts an African American nerd in Central Park. I think the race component is incidental. She’s just going for the first cheap shot she can think of, and it happens that her opponent is a black man. Some women, especially in NYC, are simply horrible. I’ve run into these certifiable crazy bitches in the dog walking areas of Central Park. They’re a real thing.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/melodyMcooper/status/1264965252866641920

    Agree. I meet a lot of crazy control freak, white ladies at the dog park. Strangely, they never confront, nor give unsolicited advice to the owners of vicious pit bulls, but they are full of advice about how I should feed my dog and what kind of collar she should wear and tell me not to drink, “Almond milk” because it has fillers and they hope that people are not staying indoors during holidays, and people shouldn’t be scared of spiders, or snakes or crocodiles, or Black teenagers, or eat meat. Now, however, they do hope people are staying indoors during the holidays. Other than that, they are in heaven right now.

    • Replies: @Stephen Dodge
    About 20 years ago, I - a VFW member, for the record - having entered civilian life, decided well, if I am a civilian now, I should sign up at a civilian gym.


    So a week after I start my membership, I hit the gym and I notice that the stair master next to a friend is empty. So I get on it, and start conversation with my friend (her husband, by the way, is a highly decorated law enforcement officer).

    Some angry middle-aged woman in unbecoming "workout gear" blindsides me with nasty language to my left rear. I wonder, well, are crazy women a regular feature at civilian gyms (if you have not been in the military, let me fill you in on something. Living on a military base is like living in a world where there are few old people, almost no boring Apserger people, zero adult autistic people, and almost everyone is either healthy or extremely healthy. It is not a bad way to live, assuming there are no wars going on.)
    So I just figured, I will listen to this crazy bitch for a second or two to see why her heart is so full of hate.

    Apparently, the stair master I had stepped on at 6:55 had been reserved (who the hell (hat tip GC) reserves a stair master?) for 7 PM, and this awful woman wanted me to know she hated me because I was using it for those last five minutes before she had the right to call over a "gym supervisor" and ask him to order me off.

    There are many ugly, ugly people in this world. I am no George Patton, and definitely no General Krulak, but I think that the absolute expression of disdain and contempt I sent her way made her look even uglier to herself than she had known she was. Of course I could have been deluded - I have a soft spot in my heart for aging crazy women, and I was, in fact, off the stair master by 7:00.
    She perhaps though she had triumphed in that little episode. I shudder to think what her husband has suffered all these years.

    My friends, that woman's parents rejoiced when she was born, probably, and many times in her life she was a beacon of kindness to others, I Like To Think. It is SAD when someone who was born to be a kind and loving person indulges in the sort of thing that poor woman indulged in, yelling at me that day.
    Oh well, she is 20 years older now, and those "angry woman wrinkles" that she brought upon herself are, one hopes, matter for reflection in her quiet moments.
  62. Ape Index! Lanky but muscular is the ideal climbing physique.

    Height above, I dunno, 6’2 tends to become a liability. You gotta be able to crunch as well as extend your body. The best climbers cluster in the 5’10 – 6’1 range (with the exception of the late Dean Potter at 6’5), and there are plenty of great climbers (the ladies mostly) who are 5’8 and below. So Steve is right, and it’s all about lankiness at the end of the day.

    Having a large wingspan and a slightly above average height seems to be the sweet spot—Google guys like Adam Ondra, Tommy Caldwell, Dave Graham, and of course Alex Honnold. Either side of 6′ but long lanky arms and, let’s be honest, lanky nerd bodies in general.

    I’m 6’4″ . . . Steve had to sneak that in!

  63. @Anon7
    Wingspan is a neglected statistic in basketball, because it lets you play "taller" than you really are. I'm 5'10" tall, but my wingspan is 6'2". This surprised the shit out of many guys that I guarded back in the day, because all you need to do to "block" a shot is just touch the ball as it leaves the other player's hand, and their shot is ruined. 5'10 is at the 60th percentile for height for men in the US, but 6'2" is at the 96th percentile.

    I have to wear XL long-sleeved t-shirts and sweatshirts, because otherwise I can't get the sleeves to cover my wrists.

    Another distinction that few people talk about is whether or not you are long waisted. Long waisted means you have a relatively long torso in relation to your legs. I happen to be long waisted; I'm not sure if long waisted and bigger wingspan go together. When I bend forward or to the side, I get an extra couple of inches.

    It's also weird that I look taller when seated, which worked out well for me back in my management days. Taller is more authoritative, and as science fiction author Robert Silverberg pointed out in this context, the business of empires is transacted sitting down.

    There was a Ted talk in 2014 (by David Goldstein) about the impact of technology on sports performance – for example, how new track technology improved running times.

    Another ‘technology’ change was body type selection – from élite sportsmen being kind of ‘average’, with the same broad body type across all sports, to being highly specialised. A form of ‘directed evolution’ for sports.

    At about 10 minutes in, Goldstein specifically compared Hicham el-Gherrouj (GOAT middle-distance runner) to Michael Phelps (GOAT sprint-swimmer).

    They are the same height at the waist, but Phelps is 5″ taller overall – has has a very long torso and little stubby legs.

    If you replaced el-Gherrouj with Eliud Kipchoge (GOAT marathoner) the story would remain the same; that guy is all legs.

    If you replaced Phelps with Grant Hackett (~GOAT distance swimmer) or Ian Thorpe (almost as good as Phelps) the story would fall down because both those guys have normal torso proportions.

    Great video though. Jesse Owens’ and Roger Banister’s performances hold up when ‘corrected’ for track effects.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Epstein, not Goldstein.
    , @Inquiring Mind
    I saw classical pianist Andre Watts in concert once.

    I don't have his body measurements, but he had an impressive "wingspan", which is a physical asset to reach all the notes on a concert piano without straining?
    , @Anon7
    I’ll watch it. The body type specialization of sports is understandable, but not likable. Today, if you are a young kid and your body doesn’t fit the type, forget it.

    Maybe that’s part of the appeal of new “X” sports, they’re either too new or there really isn’t a body type exclusion.

    Here’s an interesting article on body type and support

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/08/09/158448224/olympic-bodies-they-just-dont-make-them-like-they-used-to

    It claims that champion swimmers have “short, powerful legs, a huge wingspan, large hands and feet and a long, tapered torso.”

    It claims that the key to sprinting is a higher center of gravity.

    “ Sprinting is basically a controlled forward fall. Runners with higher centers of gravity can fall forward faster — and the taller you are, the higher your center of gravity.

    Athletes of West African descent have a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans, and they tend to dominate sprinting events.”
  64. How do actual apes measure on the Ape Index? Just curious.

  65. @Kratoklastes
    There was a Ted talk in 2014 (by David Goldstein) about the impact of technology on sports performance - for example, how new track technology improved running times.

    Another 'technology' change was body type selection - from élite sportsmen being kind of 'average', with the same broad body type across all sports, to being highly specialised. A form of 'directed evolution' for sports.

    At about 10 minutes in, Goldstein specifically compared Hicham el-Gherrouj (GOAT middle-distance runner) to Michael Phelps (GOAT sprint-swimmer).

    They are the same height at the waist, but Phelps is 5" taller overall - has has a very long torso and little stubby legs.

    If you replaced el-Gherrouj with Eliud Kipchoge (GOAT marathoner) the story would remain the same; that guy is all legs.

    If you replaced Phelps with Grant Hackett (~GOAT distance swimmer) or Ian Thorpe (almost as good as Phelps) the story would fall down because both those guys have normal torso proportions.

    Great video though. Jesse Owens' and Roger Banister's performances hold up when 'corrected' for track effects.

    https://youtu.be/8COaMKbNrX0?t=602

    Epstein, not Goldstein.

  66. @Muggles
    Interesting subject. Not flu related!

    So, in what other sports would wingspan be a major factor? Golf, for the swing distance? Tennis, to reach for wider shots, or higher ones?

    Bowling, speed and spin? Handball (seems obvious?)

    I would suspect that shorter arms might prove quicker/stronger relative to overall arm size. Not having to move in rotations as far to make the degrees of angle at the end. Bone is heavier than muscle, so shorter arms might mean less muscle needed to move in non reaching motions (where total distance isn't important). Jose Altuve is famously very short but an extremely powerful hitter.

    Are there not sports academic studies of this type. Kinesiology or something? I would think in this day and time there would be PhD dissertations built around this stuff.

    Anyone here knowledgeable?

    Of course until they can breed athletes for maximum performance, you'll have to still use what you've got.

    It is extremely important in discus throwing.

  67. @Stephen Dodge
    This is a good point (lowering the net in order to make the talent pool bigger) which I have thought about a lot, since my only "way above average" athletic skill-set is a good match for a point guard. (But I am average height and my point guard skills cannot overcome the built-in advantage a tall player has). So, somewhere in the 80s, I switched my main interest in sports to an interest in military tactics (ODAA, extreme durability in adverse conditions, sharpshooting, that sort of thing).

    All sports are fun to play if you are good at them. But, in my humble opinion, next to golf, which is pretty much unwatchable on 2-D screens, the greatest differential between how fun a sport is to play and how fun it is to watch on a 2-D screen is basketball.

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don't even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill. You might have one or two more Manu Ginobilis, but is that worth changing a century of tradition (to name the most fun player to watch during the only year when I watched a lot of basketball on TV) ....

    OK, I realize there is a flaw in my argument.

    That being said, baseball (which is very watchable in 2D if you have played a lot of it because, unlike basketball, the action is more focused on the ball, and it is correspondingly easier to translate what you are seeing on the screen into the 3D reality) would be a lot more fun to watch if there were no curveballs or sliders allowed (i.e., lower the threshold for hitters to make contact with the ball, the same way lowering the basket would lower the threshold for makable shots).

    I think there are fewer flaws with my baseball argument than my basketball argument.

    The reason these arguments go nowhere is because the people who have played thousands of hours
    of a sport (basically, about half of the fanbase for most sports) have no understanding of how boring their sport is to watch for people who have not played thousands of hours of those sports. Nobody who has played a lot of hockey, for example, should care at all about my opinion about the watchability of TV hockey (which I watch the same way my former neighbor John Madden watches it - if I remember his quote, he said something like "the strategy can be interesting").

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don’t even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill.

    When I was in High School, the local elementary schools had their baskets at 9″. We used to play pick-up games on the weekend at those courts and it was fun indeed. Dunking was just challenging enough to be fun, but very do-able.

  68. @james wilson
    Walter Johnson was the hardest thrower of his era, possibly any era. I'd love to know his reach. He was only listed as 6'1 in height but as near to a knuckle dragger as I've seen, with huge hands.
    Yet there are 5'6" flame throwers in baseball with short arms. Go figure. When the Chinese re-constitute the short armed Neanderthal I'm betting on him to obliterate Javelin records. Maybe he can shoot threes also, and take over boxing.

    Yet there are 5’6″ flame throwers in baseball with short arms.

    Such as?

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Not quite 5' 6", but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5' 10" at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    It's true the very hardest throwers in baseball tend to be big guys, but the relationship between body size/arm length and pitching velocity is far from tidy. There are plenty of big guys who can't throw hard at all, and plenty of short guys who can bring it.

    'Arm strength', in its baseball sense of being able to throw at high velocity, is still pretty much unknown territory, in that there are no obvious physical characteristics that reliably indicate its presence.

    On a related note, pitcher durability is another area in which there is a great deal of extremely valuable knowledge still to be gained.

    , @james wilson
    Billy Wagner's listed height was 5'10", true height 5'6". The hardest thrower ever was the legendary Steve Dalkowski, who was "listed" at 5'11". The farther below 6' the greater the number of inches added. This is universal. Evaluators were for a long time discouraged from promoting pitchers under six feet, but it extended out to position players. Dustin Pedroia is listed at 5'9. Ha. Jose Altuve is listed at 5'6" so he's really tiny, 5'1" or 5'2".

    Most of the very hard throwing little guys are lefties. All of the pitchers who have literally broken their arms pitching are lefties.
  69. @Jokah Macpherson
    I never noticed the variation of wingspan and it’s importance until reading The Sports Gene a few years back. I’m 6’0” but have a 68” wingspan, or -4” relative to my height. It suddenly made sense why shirt sleeves always seemed too long (seems obvious in retrospect but whatever). It also made sense why my 5’9” friend could grab the basketball rim but I could not.

    Once I noticed, I was self-conscious for a little while about not being Vitruvian but got over it. I don’t think there are many advantages of having shorter arms, all else equal, but it seems like maybe it makes holding heavy objects like couches easier (although the initial lift would be harder since you’d have to squat deeper).

    Australian Rules Football (which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t rugby), is a pretty wild sport that sort of combines the skill sets of soccer, basketball and American football. There is one American in the Australian Football League, Mason Cox, who is 6’10 and used to play college basketball at Oklahoma. This interview of Cox by Pat McAfee breaks down the rules of the game, which seems like a great spectator sport.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've been to an Aussie rules match, and can confirm it's an absolute blast to watch in person.

    It also rewards players who are athletic in a balanced way, i.e. you have to be strong, fast, agile, and have the hand and foot/eye coordination needed to handle the ball.

    It's a great game.
  70. @kaganovitch
    Yet there are 5’6″ flame throwers in baseball with short arms.

    Such as?

    Not quite 5′ 6″, but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5′ 10″ at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    It’s true the very hardest throwers in baseball tend to be big guys, but the relationship between body size/arm length and pitching velocity is far from tidy. There are plenty of big guys who can’t throw hard at all, and plenty of short guys who can bring it.

    ‘Arm strength’, in its baseball sense of being able to throw at high velocity, is still pretty much unknown territory, in that there are no obvious physical characteristics that reliably indicate its presence.

    On a related note, pitcher durability is another area in which there is a great deal of extremely valuable knowledge still to be gained.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Not quite 5′ 6″, but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5′ 10″ at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    Wagner had tremendous lower body strength (he was 205-210)and had exceptional shoulder rotation. The recently mentioned Steve Dalkowski was around the same height and much slighter though, and could evidently throw 100+. The only really good '5 '6 pitcher that I know of , was Bobby Shantz who was no fireballer, but rather a guileful lefty who weighed 140 soaking wet.

    , @anon
    My theory is that collarbone involvement is the key to throwing with speed.
    Aboriginal fast bowler Eddie Gilbert said that it took him many years of practice to perfect his bowling action. He was a short man with long arms, his run up was only a few steps at walking pace and his knuckles grazed the dirt on his follow through.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Gilbert_(cricketer)
    Steve Dalkowski was noted for having a whirlwind action and his knuckles grazing the dirt in his follow through.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski
    Perhaps the ratio of Collarbone to humerus to forearm is the key to potential throwing power?
  71. @Hypnotoad666
    Australian Rules Football (which, contrary to popular belief, isn't rugby), is a pretty wild sport that sort of combines the skill sets of soccer, basketball and American football. There is one American in the Australian Football League, Mason Cox, who is 6'10 and used to play college basketball at Oklahoma. This interview of Cox by Pat McAfee breaks down the rules of the game, which seems like a great spectator sport.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY3a_yMgvxg

    I’ve been to an Aussie rules match, and can confirm it’s an absolute blast to watch in person.

    It also rewards players who are athletic in a balanced way, i.e. you have to be strong, fast, agile, and have the hand and foot/eye coordination needed to handle the ball.

    It’s a great game.

  72. @Aeronerauk
    I am reminded of my father's dominance in pickup basketball games at the Y when I was a child. He's only 5'11 but his wingspan has to be at least 6'5. Not to mention his hands are enormous for his size. As you'd expect, he was primarily a defensive force.

    I am somewhat jealous of his ease at palming a basketball, but being a hockey player I'm not sure a freakish wingspan relative to my height would have been all that beneficial (mine is 6'3 at 6'1.) Hockey is an odd sport in that black proportions don't seem to be particularly advantageous. From what i've seen anecdotally anyway.

    As for my father he quit basketball in his mid 40s, worried he was risking injury playing at a higher weight relative to his height. Played softball into his 60s though.

    Is he/you negro?

    • Replies: @Aeronerauk
    Possibly? My father, despite being almost entirely of Scottish heritage, tans tremendously well. Nothing facially reminiscent of blacks though.

    Both of my sisters excelled at basketball as well, despite being 5'4 and 5'2. I am unusually explosive for a guy of my weight, and could almost dunk a basketball as a scrawny high schooler. But nothing out of the ordinary in my experience, there were better white athletes around me growing up. A few in particular made you wonder if there was any black admixture.
  73. @Michelle
    Agree. I meet a lot of crazy control freak, white ladies at the dog park. Strangely, they never confront, nor give unsolicited advice to the owners of vicious pit bulls, but they are full of advice about how I should feed my dog and what kind of collar she should wear and tell me not to drink, "Almond milk" because it has fillers and they hope that people are not staying indoors during holidays, and people shouldn't be scared of spiders, or snakes or crocodiles, or Black teenagers, or eat meat. Now, however, they do hope people are staying indoors during the holidays. Other than that, they are in heaven right now.

    About 20 years ago, I – a VFW member, for the record – having entered civilian life, decided well, if I am a civilian now, I should sign up at a civilian gym.

    So a week after I start my membership, I hit the gym and I notice that the stair master next to a friend is empty. So I get on it, and start conversation with my friend (her husband, by the way, is a highly decorated law enforcement officer).

    Some angry middle-aged woman in unbecoming “workout gear” blindsides me with nasty language to my left rear. I wonder, well, are crazy women a regular feature at civilian gyms (if you have not been in the military, let me fill you in on something. Living on a military base is like living in a world where there are few old people, almost no boring Apserger people, zero adult autistic people, and almost everyone is either healthy or extremely healthy. It is not a bad way to live, assuming there are no wars going on.)
    So I just figured, I will listen to this crazy bitch for a second or two to see why her heart is so full of hate.

    Apparently, the stair master I had stepped on at 6:55 had been reserved (who the hell (hat tip GC) reserves a stair master?) for 7 PM, and this awful woman wanted me to know she hated me because I was using it for those last five minutes before she had the right to call over a “gym supervisor” and ask him to order me off.

    There are many ugly, ugly people in this world. I am no George Patton, and definitely no General Krulak, but I think that the absolute expression of disdain and contempt I sent her way made her look even uglier to herself than she had known she was. Of course I could have been deluded – I have a soft spot in my heart for aging crazy women, and I was, in fact, off the stair master by 7:00.
    She perhaps though she had triumphed in that little episode. I shudder to think what her husband has suffered all these years.

    My friends, that woman’s parents rejoiced when she was born, probably, and many times in her life she was a beacon of kindness to others, I Like To Think. It is SAD when someone who was born to be a kind and loving person indulges in the sort of thing that poor woman indulged in, yelling at me that day.
    Oh well, she is 20 years older now, and those “angry woman wrinkles” that she brought upon herself are, one hopes, matter for reflection in her quiet moments.

    • Replies: @Michelle
    Sad story, and I did live on a military base in the early 70's. Treasure Island. All the cute sailers used to call out to me and tell me to go home and bring back my big sister! Fun times.
  74. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Not quite 5' 6", but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5' 10" at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    It's true the very hardest throwers in baseball tend to be big guys, but the relationship between body size/arm length and pitching velocity is far from tidy. There are plenty of big guys who can't throw hard at all, and plenty of short guys who can bring it.

    'Arm strength', in its baseball sense of being able to throw at high velocity, is still pretty much unknown territory, in that there are no obvious physical characteristics that reliably indicate its presence.

    On a related note, pitcher durability is another area in which there is a great deal of extremely valuable knowledge still to be gained.

    Not quite 5′ 6″, but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5′ 10″ at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    Wagner had tremendous lower body strength (he was 205-210)and had exceptional shoulder rotation. The recently mentioned Steve Dalkowski was around the same height and much slighter though, and could evidently throw 100+. The only really good ‘5 ‘6 pitcher that I know of , was Bobby Shantz who was no fireballer, but rather a guileful lefty who weighed 140 soaking wet.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Yeah, I was the one who mentioned Dalkowski in another thread.

    You might be interested in a couple of of articles I came across regarding pithers' height:

    Does a pitcher's height matter?

    Key quotations:


    . . . the data show no evidence of a statistically significant correlation, for starting pitchers, between height (in inches) and any of the customary measures of pitching effectiveness. These include strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings, strikeouts per walk, home runs per nine innings, WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched), and earned run average.
     

    . . . the reason for the statistically significant correlation between height and becoming an established major-league starting pitcher is opportunity rather than any difference due to genetics.

     

    The researcher also finds no evidence tall relief pitchers are any better than short ones.

    This article is quite readable and fun:

    PITCHER HEIGHT COMPARISON-- VELOCITY, ELBOW INJURIES, & MECHANICS

    Key quotation:


    Basically, shorter pitchers are as good as taller pitchers, but they are afforded fewer opportunities to become major league starting pitchers simply due to bias by coaches and front office members.
     
    There's also a really interesting comparison between short and tall pitchers, which I'll quote after a MORE tag.

    Again, here’s what we know about the two pitchers:

    Pitcher 1 is taller and has longer limbs than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 creates more “arm speed” in both internal rotation AND elbow extension than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 weighs more and is stronger by all strength-based metrics

    Taller, faster arm, weighs more and is stronger. Therefore, we can clearly conclude that Pitcher 1 threw a faster pitch than Pitcher 2 in this trial, right?

    Wrong. Pitcher 1 and Pitcher 2 both threw a fastball at 88 MPH in this trial, and the difference between their measurements is very significantly different even factoring in measurement error from our lab metrics.

    How could that be possible? It literally seems impossible, right?

    The efficiency of arm speed is likely a real factor – remember that so-called “velocity” as used by baseball is really “speed,” because velocity has not only a speed component but a vector (directionality) component. Does the pitcher actually “use” his arm speed efficiently to create final ball velocity? Are some better at it than others, and if so, what kinematic measures are those?

    And that, my friends, is something no one truly knows. So when your coaches have definitive answers as to how fastball velocity is really created, just remember, they probably don’t.
     

  75. @Kratoklastes
    There was a Ted talk in 2014 (by David Goldstein) about the impact of technology on sports performance - for example, how new track technology improved running times.

    Another 'technology' change was body type selection - from élite sportsmen being kind of 'average', with the same broad body type across all sports, to being highly specialised. A form of 'directed evolution' for sports.

    At about 10 minutes in, Goldstein specifically compared Hicham el-Gherrouj (GOAT middle-distance runner) to Michael Phelps (GOAT sprint-swimmer).

    They are the same height at the waist, but Phelps is 5" taller overall - has has a very long torso and little stubby legs.

    If you replaced el-Gherrouj with Eliud Kipchoge (GOAT marathoner) the story would remain the same; that guy is all legs.

    If you replaced Phelps with Grant Hackett (~GOAT distance swimmer) or Ian Thorpe (almost as good as Phelps) the story would fall down because both those guys have normal torso proportions.

    Great video though. Jesse Owens' and Roger Banister's performances hold up when 'corrected' for track effects.

    https://youtu.be/8COaMKbNrX0?t=602

    I saw classical pianist Andre Watts in concert once.

    I don’t have his body measurements, but he had an impressive “wingspan”, which is a physical asset to reach all the notes on a concert piano without straining?

  76. @kaganovitch
    Not quite 5′ 6″, but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5′ 10″ at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    Wagner had tremendous lower body strength (he was 205-210)and had exceptional shoulder rotation. The recently mentioned Steve Dalkowski was around the same height and much slighter though, and could evidently throw 100+. The only really good '5 '6 pitcher that I know of , was Bobby Shantz who was no fireballer, but rather a guileful lefty who weighed 140 soaking wet.

    Yeah, I was the one who mentioned Dalkowski in another thread.

    You might be interested in a couple of of articles I came across regarding pithers’ height:

    Does a pitcher’s height matter?

    Key quotations:

    . . . the data show no evidence of a statistically significant correlation, for starting pitchers, between height (in inches) and any of the customary measures of pitching effectiveness. These include strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings, strikeouts per walk, home runs per nine innings, WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched), and earned run average.

    . . . the reason for the statistically significant correlation between height and becoming an established major-league starting pitcher is opportunity rather than any difference due to genetics.

    The researcher also finds no evidence tall relief pitchers are any better than short ones.

    This article is quite readable and fun:

    PITCHER HEIGHT COMPARISON– VELOCITY, ELBOW INJURIES, & MECHANICS

    Key quotation:

    Basically, shorter pitchers are as good as taller pitchers, but they are afforded fewer opportunities to become major league starting pitchers simply due to bias by coaches and front office members.

    There’s also a really interesting comparison between short and tall pitchers, which I’ll quote after a MORE tag.

    [MORE]

    Again, here’s what we know about the two pitchers:

    Pitcher 1 is taller and has longer limbs than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 creates more “arm speed” in both internal rotation AND elbow extension than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 weighs more and is stronger by all strength-based metrics

    Taller, faster arm, weighs more and is stronger. Therefore, we can clearly conclude that Pitcher 1 threw a faster pitch than Pitcher 2 in this trial, right?

    Wrong. Pitcher 1 and Pitcher 2 both threw a fastball at 88 MPH in this trial, and the difference between their measurements is very significantly different even factoring in measurement error from our lab metrics.

    How could that be possible? It literally seems impossible, right?

    The efficiency of arm speed is likely a real factor – remember that so-called “velocity” as used by baseball is really “speed,” because velocity has not only a speed component but a vector (directionality) component. Does the pitcher actually “use” his arm speed efficiently to create final ball velocity? Are some better at it than others, and if so, what kinematic measures are those?

    And that, my friends, is something no one truly knows. So when your coaches have definitive answers as to how fastball velocity is really created, just remember, they probably don’t.

    • Thanks: kaganovitch
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Ron Guidry was listed at 5’11” but was truly only 5’9.” Whitey Ford, Fernando Valenzuela also under Six Foot.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Fernando Valenzuela was the most dramatic-looking pitcher I ever watched. He was this dumpy-looking Mexican guy who had to put everything he had into every single screwball.

    It took people awhile to really get into focus that Randy Johnson was one of the greatest pitchers of all time, in part because it took him awhile to learn to throw strikes, in part because, at 6-10, it looked easy for him.

  77. @Anon
    OT

    For African-Americans in Uniform, It’s Duty, Honor, Country. But Don’t Expect to Lead: Seventy-five years after integration, the military’s upper echelons remain the domain of white men.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/us/politics/military-minorities-leadership.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    This is where affirmative action inevitably ends up. It’s possible to manage less qualified employees at the low and intermediate level with team structures and various audits and subtle managerial babysitting. But you need to be more strict about having the really, really smart people at the top or things go shithole on you pretty quickly.

    Colin Powell was a godsend, a Jamaican-Scottish black guy who has no American slaves in his background. But now the American slave descendants are asking why they aren’t getting to the top. Uh ....

    (And now that I think about it, how long does the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery have, in this SAT-unfriendly era?)

    Here’s a lovely magenta-hair chip-on-her-shoulder black Army officer:

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/05/25/us/politics/25dc-military-holley-sub/25dc-military-holley-sub-jumbo.jpg

    Eric Kaufman in WhiteShift notes that clever polling by political science researchers has revealed that every race, including blacks, wants to live in an America run by whites, and nobody wants blacks in charge, including blacks. There seems to be a sense that a white society is a stable society, which makes a better target for getting handouts.

    That pic is just jarring. It burns, it burns!

  78. Regarding golf driving distance and height, the current PGA Tour pros with the longest average driving distances are:

    – Bryson DeChambeau, 6’1.
    – Rory McIlroy, 5’10”
    – Cameron Champ, 6’0″
    – Bubba Watson, 6’3″
    – Sergio Garcia, 5’10”
    – Jason Kokrak, 6’4″
    – Grayson Murray, 6’1″
    – Kurt Kityama, 5’7″
    – Ryan Brehm, 6’4″
    – Ryo Ishikawa, 5’9″

    That’s a mean of 72.1 inches, just over six feet even, while according to a PGA report from 2018, the latest available, the average height of a PGA Tour pro is 71.8 inches. That seems a rather insignificant difference. As far as I can tell there are no available statistics on wingspan for the pros.

    I suspect, but do not know for sure, that skill is the most important factor in driving distance, not height or arm length.

  79. (I’m 6’4″ and wear about a 34″ sleeve)

    Philosoraptor Alert.

    White-Rhodesian[1] jokes aside: I got a new pair of Hoka OneOne running shoes a week or so ago, and the soles on those are way too thick from heel to sole.

    Very comfortable, but I felt like I was going to hit my head on the ceiling.

    Little wonder women get a bit above themselves when they wear their stupid lift-shoes and stripper-heels; a 4″ height delta at 5’5″ would make them able to look a man of average height in the eye.

    Ditto 5’7″ men in their insecurity-vehicles.

    [1] White Rhodesians are inbred, hence their arms don’t go all the way to where their hands should be.

  80. “Most of the top wingspan players were not great offensive players, even Wilt Chamberlain (7’1″ height and 7’8″ wingspan). ”

    Hold, hold it. Wilt remains the only NBA player to score 100 pts in a single game. The record for points scored in a single NBA season belongs to Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 4,029 points in the 1961–62 season. On total points for an NBA career, Wilt is listed at number 7 (was number one when he retired). If that’s not a great offensive player, what is?

    As basketball isn’t my forte, perhaps I missed Steve’s larger point. Unless I grew up reading it wrong in the history books, the name Wilt Chamberlain is well known as being one of the NBA’s all time most dominant offensive players of the 20th century.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt's lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.
  81. @Kratoklastes
    There was a Ted talk in 2014 (by David Goldstein) about the impact of technology on sports performance - for example, how new track technology improved running times.

    Another 'technology' change was body type selection - from élite sportsmen being kind of 'average', with the same broad body type across all sports, to being highly specialised. A form of 'directed evolution' for sports.

    At about 10 minutes in, Goldstein specifically compared Hicham el-Gherrouj (GOAT middle-distance runner) to Michael Phelps (GOAT sprint-swimmer).

    They are the same height at the waist, but Phelps is 5" taller overall - has has a very long torso and little stubby legs.

    If you replaced el-Gherrouj with Eliud Kipchoge (GOAT marathoner) the story would remain the same; that guy is all legs.

    If you replaced Phelps with Grant Hackett (~GOAT distance swimmer) or Ian Thorpe (almost as good as Phelps) the story would fall down because both those guys have normal torso proportions.

    Great video though. Jesse Owens' and Roger Banister's performances hold up when 'corrected' for track effects.

    https://youtu.be/8COaMKbNrX0?t=602

    I’ll watch it. The body type specialization of sports is understandable, but not likable. Today, if you are a young kid and your body doesn’t fit the type, forget it.

    Maybe that’s part of the appeal of new “X” sports, they’re either too new or there really isn’t a body type exclusion.

    Here’s an interesting article on body type and support

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/08/09/158448224/olympic-bodies-they-just-dont-make-them-like-they-used-to

    It claims that champion swimmers have “short, powerful legs, a huge wingspan, large hands and feet and a long, tapered torso.”

    It claims that the key to sprinting is a higher center of gravity.

    “ Sprinting is basically a controlled forward fall. Runners with higher centers of gravity can fall forward faster — and the taller you are, the higher your center of gravity.

    Athletes of West African descent have a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans, and they tend to dominate sprinting events.”

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Male pole vaulters look like an old time conception of what an athlete should look like. Female pole vaulters are often famously attractive. I suspect female pole vaulters tend to be girls who would normally be a cheerleader but dad is a rich ex-jock, so they take up an obscure sport where they can be state champion pretty easily if dad pays for a whole pole vaulting set up in the back yard.
  82. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Yeah, I was the one who mentioned Dalkowski in another thread.

    You might be interested in a couple of of articles I came across regarding pithers' height:

    Does a pitcher's height matter?

    Key quotations:


    . . . the data show no evidence of a statistically significant correlation, for starting pitchers, between height (in inches) and any of the customary measures of pitching effectiveness. These include strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings, strikeouts per walk, home runs per nine innings, WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched), and earned run average.
     

    . . . the reason for the statistically significant correlation between height and becoming an established major-league starting pitcher is opportunity rather than any difference due to genetics.

     

    The researcher also finds no evidence tall relief pitchers are any better than short ones.

    This article is quite readable and fun:

    PITCHER HEIGHT COMPARISON-- VELOCITY, ELBOW INJURIES, & MECHANICS

    Key quotation:


    Basically, shorter pitchers are as good as taller pitchers, but they are afforded fewer opportunities to become major league starting pitchers simply due to bias by coaches and front office members.
     
    There's also a really interesting comparison between short and tall pitchers, which I'll quote after a MORE tag.

    Again, here’s what we know about the two pitchers:

    Pitcher 1 is taller and has longer limbs than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 creates more “arm speed” in both internal rotation AND elbow extension than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 weighs more and is stronger by all strength-based metrics

    Taller, faster arm, weighs more and is stronger. Therefore, we can clearly conclude that Pitcher 1 threw a faster pitch than Pitcher 2 in this trial, right?

    Wrong. Pitcher 1 and Pitcher 2 both threw a fastball at 88 MPH in this trial, and the difference between their measurements is very significantly different even factoring in measurement error from our lab metrics.

    How could that be possible? It literally seems impossible, right?

    The efficiency of arm speed is likely a real factor – remember that so-called “velocity” as used by baseball is really “speed,” because velocity has not only a speed component but a vector (directionality) component. Does the pitcher actually “use” his arm speed efficiently to create final ball velocity? Are some better at it than others, and if so, what kinematic measures are those?

    And that, my friends, is something no one truly knows. So when your coaches have definitive answers as to how fastball velocity is really created, just remember, they probably don’t.
     

    Ron Guidry was listed at 5’11” but was truly only 5’9.” Whitey Ford, Fernando Valenzuela also under Six Foot.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Little guys make more heroic-looking big league pitchers.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    And of course Pedro Martinez was under six feet, and built pretty lightly also.
  83. @R.G. Camara
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Blacks involved in wrestling tend to gas way too early, exerting all their effort in the first minute and then having nothing in the tank. The few blacks who don't do so ---e.g. Jones, Kevin Jackson---tend to fair better. In other words, in wrestling, if you can survive a black wrestler's first minute of assault, you'll likely win.

    Why this doesn't carry over into boxing I don't know. Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests), but in boxing they seem better able to control their stamina.

    Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests).

    There’s a weird thing that happens to time, that physicists need to examine. 3×5-minute rounds takes infinity-times as much stamina as 5×3-minute ones.

    Plus… wrestling/rolling is (roughly) infinity times more draining than standing opposite one another and trying to hit each other. (Not saying that boxing is not intense).

    It’s like comparing swimming 400m to playing water polo for the same length of time. Swimming a 400m against a decent opponent means you lose; playing water polo against a decent opponent means you wind up half-drowned, physically and psychologically exhausted, and it takes three days for all the water to come out of your sinuses.

    • Replies: @anon
    Exactly. Wrestling/rolling is way more exhausting than boxing/striking arts. Not to say that the latter is easy, but in the latter you can dance around your opponent and feint to save energy and buy some recovery time. Not so much while wrestling/rolling, although good BJJ practitioners know how to conserve energy and remain calm even while under great pressure.
  84. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………………….

  85. @Anonymous
    Ron Guidry was listed at 5’11” but was truly only 5’9.” Whitey Ford, Fernando Valenzuela also under Six Foot.

    Little guys make more heroic-looking big league pitchers.

  86. @Stephen Dodge
    This is a good point (lowering the net in order to make the talent pool bigger) which I have thought about a lot, since my only "way above average" athletic skill-set is a good match for a point guard. (But I am average height and my point guard skills cannot overcome the built-in advantage a tall player has). So, somewhere in the 80s, I switched my main interest in sports to an interest in military tactics (ODAA, extreme durability in adverse conditions, sharpshooting, that sort of thing).

    All sports are fun to play if you are good at them. But, in my humble opinion, next to golf, which is pretty much unwatchable on 2-D screens, the greatest differential between how fun a sport is to play and how fun it is to watch on a 2-D screen is basketball.

    So basically, if you were to watch basketball with a 9 foot basket (I don't even want to think about how boring basketball would be with a 7 foot basket) you would just watch a different set of guys at only a slightly higher level of skill. You might have one or two more Manu Ginobilis, but is that worth changing a century of tradition (to name the most fun player to watch during the only year when I watched a lot of basketball on TV) ....

    OK, I realize there is a flaw in my argument.

    That being said, baseball (which is very watchable in 2D if you have played a lot of it because, unlike basketball, the action is more focused on the ball, and it is correspondingly easier to translate what you are seeing on the screen into the 3D reality) would be a lot more fun to watch if there were no curveballs or sliders allowed (i.e., lower the threshold for hitters to make contact with the ball, the same way lowering the basket would lower the threshold for makable shots).

    I think there are fewer flaws with my baseball argument than my basketball argument.

    The reason these arguments go nowhere is because the people who have played thousands of hours
    of a sport (basically, about half of the fanbase for most sports) have no understanding of how boring their sport is to watch for people who have not played thousands of hours of those sports. Nobody who has played a lot of hockey, for example, should care at all about my opinion about the watchability of TV hockey (which I watch the same way my former neighbor John Madden watches it - if I remember his quote, he said something like "the strategy can be interesting").

    I’m a bit biased because I’m barely 6 feet tall but I have a very large wingspan for my height. My arms are abnormally long (and also proportionally stronger). For that reason, I was pretty good at handball, where reach and power are vital, a sport barely known in the USA but quite popular in continental Europe. I could also function as a goalie in handball. You could say I’m built like the older depictions of Cro-Magnons. Not very flattering, I suppose, lol.
    My guess is handball, with its fast pace, high scores and virile brutality has a better shot at popularity in America than soccer.

  87. @Anon7
    I’ll watch it. The body type specialization of sports is understandable, but not likable. Today, if you are a young kid and your body doesn’t fit the type, forget it.

    Maybe that’s part of the appeal of new “X” sports, they’re either too new or there really isn’t a body type exclusion.

    Here’s an interesting article on body type and support

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/08/09/158448224/olympic-bodies-they-just-dont-make-them-like-they-used-to

    It claims that champion swimmers have “short, powerful legs, a huge wingspan, large hands and feet and a long, tapered torso.”

    It claims that the key to sprinting is a higher center of gravity.

    “ Sprinting is basically a controlled forward fall. Runners with higher centers of gravity can fall forward faster — and the taller you are, the higher your center of gravity.

    Athletes of West African descent have a center of gravity that is 3 percent higher than Europeans, and they tend to dominate sprinting events.”

    Male pole vaulters look like an old time conception of what an athlete should look like. Female pole vaulters are often famously attractive. I suspect female pole vaulters tend to be girls who would normally be a cheerleader but dad is a rich ex-jock, so they take up an obscure sport where they can be state champion pretty easily if dad pays for a whole pole vaulting set up in the back yard.

  88. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "Most of the top wingspan players were not great offensive players, even Wilt Chamberlain (7’1″ height and 7’8″ wingspan). "

    Hold, hold it. Wilt remains the only NBA player to score 100 pts in a single game. The record for points scored in a single NBA season belongs to Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 4,029 points in the 1961–62 season. On total points for an NBA career, Wilt is listed at number 7 (was number one when he retired). If that's not a great offensive player, what is?

    As basketball isn't my forte, perhaps I missed Steve's larger point. Unless I grew up reading it wrong in the history books, the name Wilt Chamberlain is well known as being one of the NBA's all time most dominant offensive players of the 20th century.

    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Absolutely not true that Wilt was ever an offensive liability. His last season in the league, when as you say he was focused on defense, he was third in the league in Offensive win shares. Fwiw Willis Reed was one of the players he was 5 inches taller than and Nate Thurmond entered the league only four years after Wilt and they were teammates for Thurmond's 1st two years. In their last 4 head to head games in the '65 season(the 1st season they were on different teams) Wilt toasted Thurmond for 38, 45, 33, & 30 points. I don't think it was Wilt's lack of fine motor skills that caught up to him in his final seasons, as much as age and wear and tear. He famously played almost every minute of every game. He was perhaps the greatest athlete that ever played in American sports.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Not to mention the fact that by the time the NBA was catching up, Wilt was in his mid. 30's and his career was winding down anyway. His amazing 100 point in a game occurred when he was 26. Also, the fact that a C could retire as the NBA's all time scoring leader shows that he was a force to be reckoned with.
  89. @Anonymous
    Ron Guidry was listed at 5’11” but was truly only 5’9.” Whitey Ford, Fernando Valenzuela also under Six Foot.

    And of course Pedro Martinez was under six feet, and built pretty lightly also.

  90. …but the short-wingspan McHale got his own navy, and the girls.

  91. @Steve Sailer
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt's lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Absolutely not true that Wilt was ever an offensive liability. His last season in the league, when as you say he was focused on defense, he was third in the league in Offensive win shares. Fwiw Willis Reed was one of the players he was 5 inches taller than and Nate Thurmond entered the league only four years after Wilt and they were teammates for Thurmond’s 1st two years. In their last 4 head to head games in the ’65 season(the 1st season they were on different teams) Wilt toasted Thurmond for 38, 45, 33, & 30 points. I don’t think it was Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills that caught up to him in his final seasons, as much as age and wear and tear. He famously played almost every minute of every game. He was perhaps the greatest athlete that ever played in American sports.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Chamberlain was a magnificent specimen his last two years in the NBA, leading the NBA both seasons with 19 rebounds per game, before he got bored and retired at 36. He probably could have played into his mid-40s if he'd stayed interested.

    He just didn't have any shots that were reliable. He was a terrible free throw shooter. He never took jump shots, almost never any hook shot. Chick Hearn yelled at him once over the radio when he tried his famous old fall-away bank shot. He had a finger roll shot that wasn't very accurate. And he could dunk and tip in loose balls. He averaged about 15 ppg his last two seasons, setting records both years for shooting percentage because he took so few shots. He was, on the other hand, and excellent passer for a center.

    Basketball shooting wasn't very sophisticated when Wilt entered high school around 1950. The modern jump shot wasn't universal and apparently Wilt never learned it.

    He got into weightlifting at Muscle Beach when he was traded to the Lakers in 1968, so he was the first modern-looking famous athlete in terms of being ripped. Was he on the juice? Did he hang out with bodybuilders, movie musclemen, and Olympic track and field athletes in Venice? Was Wilt the kind of guy who was always looking for something new and interesting to try?

    The two years I watched Wilt play on TV, the last two of his career, he was amazing. But he wasn't the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn't have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.

    , @Liberty Mike
    The Babe, Brady, and Nicklaus all beat Wilt.
  92. @Anonymous
    Jon Jones is arguably the best MMA fighter of all time.

    He has long had the longest reach in the UFC even though he's not even in the biggest weight class.

    What's interesting about this is he's really not a good boxer qua boxer. But it has still been really tough for people (he's undefeated) to deal with someone with good instincts that much longer than them. He is a really fantastic wrestler, too, which is motly unrelated to reach. But on the feet his reach is extremely frustrating.


    Conor Mcgregor has also made a living with his reach. Way longer than his height, definitely notable for a white guy. He's a beautiful boxer by MMA standards and he just makes people look stupid because he's longer than them at the weight classes he fights at--especially 145 lbs.--and would just bait them just out of range until they came onto his fist before he was in danger of theirs.

    Conor McGregor is an interesting anomaly from more than the physical perspective. I’d venture to say he’s the only white athlete who has managed to become a legitimate superstar/cultural icon in the Anglosphere during the last few decades. Maybe not on the level of a Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, or Lebron James, but closer to the likes of them than to what even the most successful white athletes can typically aspire to. Say what you want about Tom Brady or whoever else you may want to nominate as a counterexample, but while respected as legends in their sports, they never managed to transcend their sport and become bona fide cultural phenomenons. What makes this even more impressive is that McGregor managed to do this in the relatively new and obscure sport of MMA, and in an organization in the UFC that is notorious for promoting the company brand over the individual fighters.

    The other interesting thing about McGregor is that he is somehow able to get away with a level of swag and let’s say “cultural insensitivity” that would get any other white guy crucified in the American media. Take this gem of a quote McGregor had to offer to a Brazilian audience in a pre-fight conference before the Jose Aldo bout:

    “I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro, so for him to say that he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work. But we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.”

    I think what helps him get away with this is as simple as his Irish accent and Irish manner of speech. Because he speaks in a way the American audience perceives as amusing and peculiar, the actual content of his words somehow manages to get a pass. It certainly helps that the guy has a level of wit and charisma that is truly rare to find in any sphere of human endeavor, let alone among athletes in general and cage fighters in particular. That the guy managed to go from unemployed, 5’9 plumber’s apprentice to top 10 global celebrity athlete in 5 years in the sport of MMA is one of those >5 sigma achievements.

    • Replies: @anon
    I think soccer megastars, like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, surpass McGregor, Tyson, Lebron in terms of worldwide popularity and fame because of the simple fact that a lot more people care about soccer than the fighting and North American sports combined. Perhaps not Jordan, who was a global brand name because of Nike, Coke etc. ad campaigns and his psychopath-magnetic personality.
  93. @kaganovitch
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Absolutely not true that Wilt was ever an offensive liability. His last season in the league, when as you say he was focused on defense, he was third in the league in Offensive win shares. Fwiw Willis Reed was one of the players he was 5 inches taller than and Nate Thurmond entered the league only four years after Wilt and they were teammates for Thurmond's 1st two years. In their last 4 head to head games in the '65 season(the 1st season they were on different teams) Wilt toasted Thurmond for 38, 45, 33, & 30 points. I don't think it was Wilt's lack of fine motor skills that caught up to him in his final seasons, as much as age and wear and tear. He famously played almost every minute of every game. He was perhaps the greatest athlete that ever played in American sports.

    Chamberlain was a magnificent specimen his last two years in the NBA, leading the NBA both seasons with 19 rebounds per game, before he got bored and retired at 36. He probably could have played into his mid-40s if he’d stayed interested.

    He just didn’t have any shots that were reliable. He was a terrible free throw shooter. He never took jump shots, almost never any hook shot. Chick Hearn yelled at him once over the radio when he tried his famous old fall-away bank shot. He had a finger roll shot that wasn’t very accurate. And he could dunk and tip in loose balls. He averaged about 15 ppg his last two seasons, setting records both years for shooting percentage because he took so few shots. He was, on the other hand, and excellent passer for a center.

    Basketball shooting wasn’t very sophisticated when Wilt entered high school around 1950. The modern jump shot wasn’t universal and apparently Wilt never learned it.

    He got into weightlifting at Muscle Beach when he was traded to the Lakers in 1968, so he was the first modern-looking famous athlete in terms of being ripped. Was he on the juice? Did he hang out with bodybuilders, movie musclemen, and Olympic track and field athletes in Venice? Was Wilt the kind of guy who was always looking for something new and interesting to try?

    The two years I watched Wilt play on TV, the last two of his career, he was amazing. But he wasn’t the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn’t have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Wilt and Shaquille O'Neal were similar in being physically overwhelming, but lacking in any kind of go-to shot. If either had learned to shoot a turnaround jumper or a dependable jump hook, they could have scored almost at will.
    , @res

    But he wasn’t the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn’t have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.
     
    Perhaps Kareem being coached by John Wooden for four years had an effect as well?
  94. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Yeah, I was the one who mentioned Dalkowski in another thread.

    You might be interested in a couple of of articles I came across regarding pithers' height:

    Does a pitcher's height matter?

    Key quotations:


    . . . the data show no evidence of a statistically significant correlation, for starting pitchers, between height (in inches) and any of the customary measures of pitching effectiveness. These include strikeouts per nine innings, walks per nine innings, strikeouts per walk, home runs per nine innings, WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched), and earned run average.
     

    . . . the reason for the statistically significant correlation between height and becoming an established major-league starting pitcher is opportunity rather than any difference due to genetics.

     

    The researcher also finds no evidence tall relief pitchers are any better than short ones.

    This article is quite readable and fun:

    PITCHER HEIGHT COMPARISON-- VELOCITY, ELBOW INJURIES, & MECHANICS

    Key quotation:


    Basically, shorter pitchers are as good as taller pitchers, but they are afforded fewer opportunities to become major league starting pitchers simply due to bias by coaches and front office members.
     
    There's also a really interesting comparison between short and tall pitchers, which I'll quote after a MORE tag.

    Again, here’s what we know about the two pitchers:

    Pitcher 1 is taller and has longer limbs than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 creates more “arm speed” in both internal rotation AND elbow extension than Pitcher 2

    Pitcher 1 weighs more and is stronger by all strength-based metrics

    Taller, faster arm, weighs more and is stronger. Therefore, we can clearly conclude that Pitcher 1 threw a faster pitch than Pitcher 2 in this trial, right?

    Wrong. Pitcher 1 and Pitcher 2 both threw a fastball at 88 MPH in this trial, and the difference between their measurements is very significantly different even factoring in measurement error from our lab metrics.

    How could that be possible? It literally seems impossible, right?

    The efficiency of arm speed is likely a real factor – remember that so-called “velocity” as used by baseball is really “speed,” because velocity has not only a speed component but a vector (directionality) component. Does the pitcher actually “use” his arm speed efficiently to create final ball velocity? Are some better at it than others, and if so, what kinematic measures are those?

    And that, my friends, is something no one truly knows. So when your coaches have definitive answers as to how fastball velocity is really created, just remember, they probably don’t.
     

    Fernando Valenzuela was the most dramatic-looking pitcher I ever watched. He was this dumpy-looking Mexican guy who had to put everything he had into every single screwball.

    It took people awhile to really get into focus that Randy Johnson was one of the greatest pitchers of all time, in part because it took him awhile to learn to throw strikes, in part because, at 6-10, it looked easy for him.

  95. @Reg Cæsar

    Six foot six and an IQ of 170:
     
    George Stigler joked that all great economists were tall, with two exceptions: Milton Friedman at 5' 0", and John Kenneth Galbraith, at 6' 9".


    https://economistsview.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/friedmangalbraith.gif

    Stigler was also very tall:

  96. @Steve Sailer
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt's lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Not to mention the fact that by the time the NBA was catching up, Wilt was in his mid. 30’s and his career was winding down anyway. His amazing 100 point in a game occurred when he was 26. Also, the fact that a C could retire as the NBA’s all time scoring leader shows that he was a force to be reckoned with.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Wilt in the NBA in 1962 was like if Dwight Howard were 7'6" in 2010.

    But the game is a lot more sophisticated today. Bill Simmons talks about NBA coaching in the 1960s: the coach would give great advice like "Don't let Willis kill us on the boards. Try to block him out." Simmons thinks that Bill Sharman being hired by the Lakers for 1971-72 was the beginning of sophisticated coaching in the NBA. That was when Sharman talked Wilt into not shooting and just play like Bill Russell on defense. It worked. Wilt probably blocked at least 5 shots per game that year and the Lakers won the title.

  97. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Not to mention the fact that by the time the NBA was catching up, Wilt was in his mid. 30's and his career was winding down anyway. His amazing 100 point in a game occurred when he was 26. Also, the fact that a C could retire as the NBA's all time scoring leader shows that he was a force to be reckoned with.

    Wilt in the NBA in 1962 was like if Dwight Howard were 7’6″ in 2010.

    But the game is a lot more sophisticated today. Bill Simmons talks about NBA coaching in the 1960s: the coach would give great advice like “Don’t let Willis kill us on the boards. Try to block him out.” Simmons thinks that Bill Sharman being hired by the Lakers for 1971-72 was the beginning of sophisticated coaching in the NBA. That was when Sharman talked Wilt into not shooting and just play like Bill Russell on defense. It worked. Wilt probably blocked at least 5 shots per game that year and the Lakers won the title.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    If Dwight Howard could have learned to shoot as great and as often as Wilt Chamberlin, NBA experts would be ranking Dwight on their short lists of all time greatest NBA players, period. 100 points in a single game, is still 100 points in a game. Aside from Kobe, no one has come within sight of breaking it in nearly 60 yrs. So for all the sophistication of the NBA, coaching, etc, that record isn't likely to ever be matched.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Actually, hindsight is 50/50. People selectively remember certain things that they want to and of course those things remembered after the fact are 20/20. The winners write the history, and are quite selective of what they wish to preserve for posterity.

    How was Wilt viewed by his peers during his career? As one of the all time greats, one who put the NBA on the same footing as other major sports, or was he just a flash in the pan. No one is arguing the point that every superstar athlete who would be considered "great", has at least one flaw in their game that persists even throughout their career. The point is, was Wilt Chamberlin one of the NBA's all time greats? That would include the question, if Wilt were in his prime playing today, would he still be the most dominant player today? As he was voted right before his passing as one of the all time greats, (and that was during the era that MJ, Shaq, and a young Kobe Bryant was getting started)

    In other words in the last twenty years, the only superstar great player that could be matched vs Wilt is Lebron. Who perhaps could go down as being the NBA's greatest (assuming he wins a couple more championships, for one thing).

    Also, for all the sophistication of coaching, strategy, compared to other sports (MLB and NFL) the NBA remains a fairly simplified game. After all, many players have gone straight from HS into the NBA. They didn't need the NCAA to work on their fundamentals. They were ready to play in the pros at 18. Some of them, like Kobe, Howard, Lebron demonstrated that they were all that at 18/19. Unlike the NFL, were going straight to the pros from HS isn't done, period. Still not sure as to why the NBA won't allow HS grads to be eligible for the draft. Unless its to keep rookie salaries down and there is some kind of kickback in tandem with the NCAA, who wants to have the elite players play at least a year to make the NCAA Tournament more watchable and hence, more profitable for the NCAA.

  98. @Steve Sailer
    Chamberlain was a magnificent specimen his last two years in the NBA, leading the NBA both seasons with 19 rebounds per game, before he got bored and retired at 36. He probably could have played into his mid-40s if he'd stayed interested.

    He just didn't have any shots that were reliable. He was a terrible free throw shooter. He never took jump shots, almost never any hook shot. Chick Hearn yelled at him once over the radio when he tried his famous old fall-away bank shot. He had a finger roll shot that wasn't very accurate. And he could dunk and tip in loose balls. He averaged about 15 ppg his last two seasons, setting records both years for shooting percentage because he took so few shots. He was, on the other hand, and excellent passer for a center.

    Basketball shooting wasn't very sophisticated when Wilt entered high school around 1950. The modern jump shot wasn't universal and apparently Wilt never learned it.

    He got into weightlifting at Muscle Beach when he was traded to the Lakers in 1968, so he was the first modern-looking famous athlete in terms of being ripped. Was he on the juice? Did he hang out with bodybuilders, movie musclemen, and Olympic track and field athletes in Venice? Was Wilt the kind of guy who was always looking for something new and interesting to try?

    The two years I watched Wilt play on TV, the last two of his career, he was amazing. But he wasn't the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn't have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.

    Wilt and Shaquille O’Neal were similar in being physically overwhelming, but lacking in any kind of go-to shot. If either had learned to shoot a turnaround jumper or a dependable jump hook, they could have scored almost at will.

  99. @R.G. Camara
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Blacks involved in wrestling tend to gas way too early, exerting all their effort in the first minute and then having nothing in the tank. The few blacks who don't do so ---e.g. Jones, Kevin Jackson---tend to fair better. In other words, in wrestling, if you can survive a black wrestler's first minute of assault, you'll likely win.

    Why this doesn't carry over into boxing I don't know. Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests), but in boxing they seem better able to control their stamina.

    Whites dominated boxing up until whites got out of boxing.
    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
    Even then Marciano met all the best black heavyweights and decisively beat them.

    The same has happened in Football and Basketball. Not that many whites are interested any more.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
     
    How did blacks kill boxing?
  100. anon[586] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Not quite 5' 6", but former MLB reliever Billy Wagner was maybe 5' 10" at most, and he threw incredibly hard.

    It's true the very hardest throwers in baseball tend to be big guys, but the relationship between body size/arm length and pitching velocity is far from tidy. There are plenty of big guys who can't throw hard at all, and plenty of short guys who can bring it.

    'Arm strength', in its baseball sense of being able to throw at high velocity, is still pretty much unknown territory, in that there are no obvious physical characteristics that reliably indicate its presence.

    On a related note, pitcher durability is another area in which there is a great deal of extremely valuable knowledge still to be gained.

    My theory is that collarbone involvement is the key to throwing with speed.
    Aboriginal fast bowler Eddie Gilbert said that it took him many years of practice to perfect his bowling action. He was a short man with long arms, his run up was only a few steps at walking pace and his knuckles grazed the dirt on his follow through.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Gilbert_(cricketer)
    Steve Dalkowski was noted for having a whirlwind action and his knuckles grazing the dirt in his follow through.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Dalkowski
    Perhaps the ratio of Collarbone to humerus to forearm is the key to potential throwing power?

  101. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @R.G. Camara
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Blacks involved in wrestling tend to gas way too early, exerting all their effort in the first minute and then having nothing in the tank. The few blacks who don't do so ---e.g. Jones, Kevin Jackson---tend to fair better. In other words, in wrestling, if you can survive a black wrestler's first minute of assault, you'll likely win.

    Why this doesn't carry over into boxing I don't know. Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests), but in boxing they seem better able to control their stamina.

    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Daniel Cormier, Yoel Romero (who beat Cael Sanderson twice, and Sanderson won olympic gold and 4 NCAA championships and never lost to anyone in college). Usman is well decorated at NCAA level. Tyron Woodley also.

    For 13% of the USA they don’t seem too bad at it, although only Jones and Cormier are born in the USA of those I mentioned. Maybe exception that proves the rule. Whites still doing well at wrestling and MMA, but there are a few who are very good at it.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so.....). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn't a champion wrestler, I didn't have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA's rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

    Certainly the large percentage of whites being successful in MMA has helped that sport grow exponentially in the last two decades. If the sport had been black-dominated from the get go it wouldn't have taken off like it did.

  102. @Jack D
    I once passed Bol on the street in NY (mid-1980s). My eye level was somewhere around his belt buckle, just like in the photo. It was obvious that all of his clothing had to be custom made because he was unlike any human I had ever seen before or since. Why aren't there more Dinka basketball players?

    Because Dinka, while very tall and “long”, are quite slow by NBA standards. Being East Africans, they lack the West African explosiveness present in most AfAms. You can somewhat get away with it being 7-foot+ center with extremely long arms.

  103. anon[358] • Disclaimer says:

    “My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons. Walton, for example, had hugely wide shoulders, as I observed following him down Rush Street in Chicago in 1999, which I suspect is why people didn’t talk as much about how long his arms were. McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone.”

    It should be finer than just shoulder width and arm length, and include hand length and width. I have no doubt that NBA (and NFL, MLB, NHL) data crunchers have done these analyses, which is why these measures are taken in predraft camps. Bigger/longer hands are certainly an advantage in basketball, given the same overall wingspan/arm length. Many of the greats had enormous hands for their height (Jordan, Bob Cousy, John Stockton, now Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounpo come to mind).

    Regarding McHale’s shoulder width, I think it’s an illusion because of his floppy posture and thinness. His shoulders look enormously wide now that he’s wearing a jacket on TV.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right.

    A general lesson I should have learned by now is that NBA players who look average on TV playing other NBA players are amazing specimens in real life.

    I've only recognized one baseball player in daily life -- Steve Garvey. But it's hard to avoid noticing, say, that the giant black man with all the tattoos on the Harley in the next lane of Lakeshore Drive is Dennis Rodman or that the shirtless giant driving a purple Bentley thru Santa Monica is Wilt.

    , @R.G. Camara
    Some NBA players try to physically stretch their hands out using gimmicky products like the old Bigball:

    https://vault.si.com/vault/1991/04/22/for-better-shooting-think-big-a-team-of-ohio-entrepreneurs-insists-that-their-oversized-basketball-will-improve-your-touch

    The thinking was it was like a baseball player putting a doughnut on his bat to warm up (ball was heavier), but would also stretch the hands since it was a physically larger ball.

  104. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    Whites dominated boxing up until whites got out of boxing.
    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
    Even then Marciano met all the best black heavyweights and decisively beat them.

    The same has happened in Football and Basketball. Not that many whites are interested any more.

    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.

    How did blacks kill boxing?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Who can forget how unpopular boxing was in the 1970s when Ali, Frazier, and Foreman were the leading boxers?
    , @anon
    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.
  105. anon[330] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous (n)
    Conor McGregor is an interesting anomaly from more than the physical perspective. I'd venture to say he's the only white athlete who has managed to become a legitimate superstar/cultural icon in the Anglosphere during the last few decades. Maybe not on the level of a Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, or Lebron James, but closer to the likes of them than to what even the most successful white athletes can typically aspire to. Say what you want about Tom Brady or whoever else you may want to nominate as a counterexample, but while respected as legends in their sports, they never managed to transcend their sport and become bona fide cultural phenomenons. What makes this even more impressive is that McGregor managed to do this in the relatively new and obscure sport of MMA, and in an organization in the UFC that is notorious for promoting the company brand over the individual fighters.

    The other interesting thing about McGregor is that he is somehow able to get away with a level of swag and let's say "cultural insensitivity" that would get any other white guy crucified in the American media. Take this gem of a quote McGregor had to offer to a Brazilian audience in a pre-fight conference before the Jose Aldo bout:


    “I own this town, I own Rio de Janeiro, so for him to say that he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favela on horseback, and would kill anyone who wasn’t fit to work. But we’re in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass instead.”
     
    I think what helps him get away with this is as simple as his Irish accent and Irish manner of speech. Because he speaks in a way the American audience perceives as amusing and peculiar, the actual content of his words somehow manages to get a pass. It certainly helps that the guy has a level of wit and charisma that is truly rare to find in any sphere of human endeavor, let alone among athletes in general and cage fighters in particular. That the guy managed to go from unemployed, 5'9 plumber's apprentice to top 10 global celebrity athlete in 5 years in the sport of MMA is one of those >5 sigma achievements.

    I think soccer megastars, like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, surpass McGregor, Tyson, Lebron in terms of worldwide popularity and fame because of the simple fact that a lot more people care about soccer than the fighting and North American sports combined. Perhaps not Jordan, who was a global brand name because of Nike, Coke etc. ad campaigns and his psychopath-magnetic personality.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    As for white athletes, in America, Connor McGregor is no where near the cultural icon that is Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Mike Trout or Brooks Koepka or Clayton Kershaw.
  106. anon[237] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Blacks have dominated boxing for decades, and it has the similar time structure as wrestling (short 3-5 minute rounds followed by brief rests).
     
    There's a weird thing that happens to time, that physicists need to examine. 3×5-minute rounds takes infinity-times as much stamina as 5×3-minute ones.

    Plus... wrestling/rolling is (roughly) infinity times more draining than standing opposite one another and trying to hit each other. (Not saying that boxing is not intense).

    It's like comparing swimming 400m to playing water polo for the same length of time. Swimming a 400m against a decent opponent means you lose; playing water polo against a decent opponent means you wind up half-drowned, physically and psychologically exhausted, and it takes three days for all the water to come out of your sinuses.

    Exactly. Wrestling/rolling is way more exhausting than boxing/striking arts. Not to say that the latter is easy, but in the latter you can dance around your opponent and feint to save energy and buy some recovery time. Not so much while wrestling/rolling, although good BJJ practitioners know how to conserve energy and remain calm even while under great pressure.

  107. @Anonymous

    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
     
    How did blacks kill boxing?

    Who can forget how unpopular boxing was in the 1970s when Ali, Frazier, and Foreman were the leading boxers?

    • Replies: @anon
    If Tyson fights Holyfield again, or Joshua, I think he might be able to revive it.
    How long would Tyson last against Joshua?
  108. @anon
    "My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons. Walton, for example, had hugely wide shoulders, as I observed following him down Rush Street in Chicago in 1999, which I suspect is why people didn’t talk as much about how long his arms were. McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone."

    It should be finer than just shoulder width and arm length, and include hand length and width. I have no doubt that NBA (and NFL, MLB, NHL) data crunchers have done these analyses, which is why these measures are taken in predraft camps. Bigger/longer hands are certainly an advantage in basketball, given the same overall wingspan/arm length. Many of the greats had enormous hands for their height (Jordan, Bob Cousy, John Stockton, now Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounpo come to mind).

    Regarding McHale's shoulder width, I think it's an illusion because of his floppy posture and thinness. His shoulders look enormously wide now that he's wearing a jacket on TV.

    Right.

    A general lesson I should have learned by now is that NBA players who look average on TV playing other NBA players are amazing specimens in real life.

    I’ve only recognized one baseball player in daily life — Steve Garvey. But it’s hard to avoid noticing, say, that the giant black man with all the tattoos on the Harley in the next lane of Lakeshore Drive is Dennis Rodman or that the shirtless giant driving a purple Bentley thru Santa Monica is Wilt.

    • Replies: @Anon242
    Also NFL: one of the few athletes I have recognized up close in Daily life is John Elway. Seeing him next to O linemen and D lineman doesn’t due justice to what a big stocky guy he was/is. He wouldn’t have needed to scramble if I was trying to make the tackle; I would have bounced right off.
    , @Anonymous

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.
     
    Shoulder width may be inversely correlated with fine motor skills and accuracy. Perhaps, in part, a similar phenomenon to space between two eyes.
    , @Anonymous
    That same web page has another interesting article on tall NBA players with relatively short parents. Apparently Wilt's parents were only 5'8" and 5'9". Michael Jordan's parents were 5'9" and 5'5":

    https://howtheyplay.com/team-sports/Tall-NBA-Players-With-or-Who-Had-Relatively-Short-Parents

    There are lots of interesting random sports articles on that page. This shows you how to build an indoor golf simulator in your house for less than $700:

    https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/How-to-Create-a-Home-Golf-Studio-With-Simulator-For-Under-700
  109. @anon
    "My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons. Walton, for example, had hugely wide shoulders, as I observed following him down Rush Street in Chicago in 1999, which I suspect is why people didn’t talk as much about how long his arms were. McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone."

    It should be finer than just shoulder width and arm length, and include hand length and width. I have no doubt that NBA (and NFL, MLB, NHL) data crunchers have done these analyses, which is why these measures are taken in predraft camps. Bigger/longer hands are certainly an advantage in basketball, given the same overall wingspan/arm length. Many of the greats had enormous hands for their height (Jordan, Bob Cousy, John Stockton, now Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounpo come to mind).

    Regarding McHale's shoulder width, I think it's an illusion because of his floppy posture and thinness. His shoulders look enormously wide now that he's wearing a jacket on TV.

    Some NBA players try to physically stretch their hands out using gimmicky products like the old Bigball:

    https://vault.si.com/vault/1991/04/22/for-better-shooting-think-big-a-team-of-ohio-entrepreneurs-insists-that-their-oversized-basketball-will-improve-your-touch

    The thinking was it was like a baseball player putting a doughnut on his bat to warm up (ball was heavier), but would also stretch the hands since it was a physically larger ball.

  110. @Anonymous
    Jones is the rarity amongst blacks at being good at wrestling.

    Daniel Cormier, Yoel Romero (who beat Cael Sanderson twice, and Sanderson won olympic gold and 4 NCAA championships and never lost to anyone in college). Usman is well decorated at NCAA level. Tyron Woodley also.

    For 13% of the USA they don't seem too bad at it, although only Jones and Cormier are born in the USA of those I mentioned. Maybe exception that proves the rule. Whites still doing well at wrestling and MMA, but there are a few who are very good at it.

    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so…..). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn’t a champion wrestler, I didn’t have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA’s rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

    Certainly the large percentage of whites being successful in MMA has helped that sport grow exponentially in the last two decades. If the sport had been black-dominated from the get go it wouldn’t have taken off like it did.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so…..). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn’t a champion wrestler, I didn’t have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.
     
    Makes sense given the fast twitch preponderance generally. Some use it to good effect, another is Randleman. I also wonder if the better athletes in general still going to football and basketball is still a factor. E.g. Jones being beat up by his brothers, but they get paid more in NFL than UFC ever would. He also can't shoot. MMA matched up well with what he could do.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA’s rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

     

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline, only downside is height stunting with weight cutting. With weight classes. (Imagine weight classes for football or basketball. It is all absolute.) So quite a big depth of field in wrestling.

    Totally agree with the white athlete thing being a factor in the rise of the sport.

    It does seem that Adesanya/Jones/Silva have come up with a way to use reach in MMA that is hard to counter. I guess we'll see though.

    , @Needs untangling
    Virtually all modern sports were pioneered by whites, and since they're still the majority in the US and have higher income on average than NAMs, it's no wonder they would also popularize MMA.

    If you follow the sport, however, you'd be blind not to notice that blacks are steadily increasing in number in the top echelons. Many of the current and recent black champions have a wrestling background (Jones, Woodley, Usman, Cormier, to name a few). They're good enough in wrestling to defend against wrestling techniques and they easily acquire striking skills to be able to KO opponents. A lot of white wrestlers never manage to transition to MMA with such success.

    On the other hand, technique, precision and fight IQ often trump pure athletic ability; that's why there are a lot of black fighters (the codeword for them in the MMA world is athletic and explosive lol) who start off their careers impressively knocking people out left and right, only to be smothered or choked out by a white or non-black high-level wrestler or grappler.

    Be prepared to see more of them around, though I doubt MMA will end up like boxing was in its heyday, since there are many different skillsets involved, so non-black fighters have more of a chance to neutralize black fighters' athletic advantage.
  111. @Steve Sailer
    Right.

    A general lesson I should have learned by now is that NBA players who look average on TV playing other NBA players are amazing specimens in real life.

    I've only recognized one baseball player in daily life -- Steve Garvey. But it's hard to avoid noticing, say, that the giant black man with all the tattoos on the Harley in the next lane of Lakeshore Drive is Dennis Rodman or that the shirtless giant driving a purple Bentley thru Santa Monica is Wilt.

    Also NFL: one of the few athletes I have recognized up close in Daily life is John Elway. Seeing him next to O linemen and D lineman doesn’t due justice to what a big stocky guy he was/is. He wouldn’t have needed to scramble if I was trying to make the tackle; I would have bounced right off.

  112. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Right.

    A general lesson I should have learned by now is that NBA players who look average on TV playing other NBA players are amazing specimens in real life.

    I've only recognized one baseball player in daily life -- Steve Garvey. But it's hard to avoid noticing, say, that the giant black man with all the tattoos on the Harley in the next lane of Lakeshore Drive is Dennis Rodman or that the shirtless giant driving a purple Bentley thru Santa Monica is Wilt.

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.

    Shoulder width may be inversely correlated with fine motor skills and accuracy. Perhaps, in part, a similar phenomenon to space between two eyes.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Who is the widest quarterback? Roethlisberger? Josh Rosen is superbly skilled at throwing the ball but I suspect he is just too narrow too stand up to the kind of beating he takes in the NFL.
  113. @Anonymous

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.
     
    Shoulder width may be inversely correlated with fine motor skills and accuracy. Perhaps, in part, a similar phenomenon to space between two eyes.

    Who is the widest quarterback? Roethlisberger? Josh Rosen is superbly skilled at throwing the ball but I suspect he is just too narrow too stand up to the kind of beating he takes in the NFL.

  114. I walked by kevin McHale in parking lot once during his playing days,he almost looked delicate.Larry Brown tells a story about a 43 year old Wilt Chamberlain that is the best I’ve ever heard,worth a google.

  115. @kaganovitch
    Yet there are 5’6″ flame throwers in baseball with short arms.

    Such as?

    Billy Wagner’s listed height was 5’10”, true height 5’6″. The hardest thrower ever was the legendary Steve Dalkowski, who was “listed” at 5’11”. The farther below 6′ the greater the number of inches added. This is universal. Evaluators were for a long time discouraged from promoting pitchers under six feet, but it extended out to position players. Dustin Pedroia is listed at 5’9. Ha. Jose Altuve is listed at 5’6″ so he’s really tiny, 5’1″ or 5’2″.

    Most of the very hard throwing little guys are lefties. All of the pitchers who have literally broken their arms pitching are lefties.

    • Replies: @Liberty Mike
    Do you remember those photos of Altuve standing next to Aaron Judge?

    5'6 alright - in heels.
  116. @Anonymous

    McHale appeared to have fairly narrow shoulders, although, keep in mind, that’s relative to all the Specimens in the NBA like Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone.
     
    McHale looked to me to have very wide, broad shoulders that go out to his arms at a 90 degree angle, as opposed to arms that slope down and taper off from the shoulders, like most normal, more narrow shouldered guys have. I always thought his wide shoulders and long, ape like arms were why he scored so well in the post. He would pivot back and forth, up and down in the post, and because of his long arms carrying the ball in different directions with the pivot, it was very difficult to defend against and he would always find an angle to extend his long arms into.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqEZzhybujI

    McHale doesn’t have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.

    • Replies: @anon
    McHale was just never interested in developing his lateral deltoids, the way Dwight Howard or Karl Malone were inclined to do. Or Shaq had just naturally.
    NBA scouts talk a lot about "frame", with wider framed draftees being able to put on more muscle as they age. Shaquille O'Neal is the epitome of a wide frame; Jermaine O'Neal or Penny Hardaway are the opposite. Obviously, a wide frame has its pros and cons in basketball, as it affords a bigger wingspan and more muscle, but also more weight to elevate and lug around, and less endurance.
    We'll see how wide-body poster boy Zion Williamson holds up.
    , @The Last Real Calvinist

    McHale doesn’t have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.

     

    Yes, and he also seems to have not much neck for a man that tall, meaning his shoulder level was even higher off the ground than usual, even for a man of his great height.

    All these factors -- extremely tall; long arms; high, square shoulders -- translate into exceptional standing reach, which is perfect for playing the post, like he did so well.

  117. @Steve Sailer
    Who can forget how unpopular boxing was in the 1970s when Ali, Frazier, and Foreman were the leading boxers?

    If Tyson fights Holyfield again, or Joshua, I think he might be able to revive it.
    How long would Tyson last against Joshua?

  118. res says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Chamberlain was a magnificent specimen his last two years in the NBA, leading the NBA both seasons with 19 rebounds per game, before he got bored and retired at 36. He probably could have played into his mid-40s if he'd stayed interested.

    He just didn't have any shots that were reliable. He was a terrible free throw shooter. He never took jump shots, almost never any hook shot. Chick Hearn yelled at him once over the radio when he tried his famous old fall-away bank shot. He had a finger roll shot that wasn't very accurate. And he could dunk and tip in loose balls. He averaged about 15 ppg his last two seasons, setting records both years for shooting percentage because he took so few shots. He was, on the other hand, and excellent passer for a center.

    Basketball shooting wasn't very sophisticated when Wilt entered high school around 1950. The modern jump shot wasn't universal and apparently Wilt never learned it.

    He got into weightlifting at Muscle Beach when he was traded to the Lakers in 1968, so he was the first modern-looking famous athlete in terms of being ripped. Was he on the juice? Did he hang out with bodybuilders, movie musclemen, and Olympic track and field athletes in Venice? Was Wilt the kind of guy who was always looking for something new and interesting to try?

    The two years I watched Wilt play on TV, the last two of his career, he was amazing. But he wasn't the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn't have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.

    But he wasn’t the complete player that Kareem (who beat him out for the 1972 MVP) was. I think the most obvious explanation was that Wilt didn’t have exceptional small motor skills in his fingers.

    Perhaps Kareem being coached by John Wooden for four years had an effect as well?

  119. anon[370] • Disclaimer says:
    @james wilson
    McHale doesn't have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.

    McHale was just never interested in developing his lateral deltoids, the way Dwight Howard or Karl Malone were inclined to do. Or Shaq had just naturally.
    NBA scouts talk a lot about “frame”, with wider framed draftees being able to put on more muscle as they age. Shaquille O’Neal is the epitome of a wide frame; Jermaine O’Neal or Penny Hardaway are the opposite. Obviously, a wide frame has its pros and cons in basketball, as it affords a bigger wingspan and more muscle, but also more weight to elevate and lug around, and less endurance.
    We’ll see how wide-body poster boy Zion Williamson holds up.

  120. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Right.

    A general lesson I should have learned by now is that NBA players who look average on TV playing other NBA players are amazing specimens in real life.

    I've only recognized one baseball player in daily life -- Steve Garvey. But it's hard to avoid noticing, say, that the giant black man with all the tattoos on the Harley in the next lane of Lakeshore Drive is Dennis Rodman or that the shirtless giant driving a purple Bentley thru Santa Monica is Wilt.

    That same web page has another interesting article on tall NBA players with relatively short parents. Apparently Wilt’s parents were only 5’8″ and 5’9″. Michael Jordan’s parents were 5’9″ and 5’5″:

    https://howtheyplay.com/team-sports/Tall-NBA-Players-With-or-Who-Had-Relatively-Short-Parents

    There are lots of interesting random sports articles on that page. This shows you how to build an indoor golf simulator in your house for less than $700:

    https://howtheyplay.com/individual-sports/How-to-Create-a-Home-Golf-Studio-With-Simulator-For-Under-700

  121. @james wilson
    Billy Wagner's listed height was 5'10", true height 5'6". The hardest thrower ever was the legendary Steve Dalkowski, who was "listed" at 5'11". The farther below 6' the greater the number of inches added. This is universal. Evaluators were for a long time discouraged from promoting pitchers under six feet, but it extended out to position players. Dustin Pedroia is listed at 5'9. Ha. Jose Altuve is listed at 5'6" so he's really tiny, 5'1" or 5'2".

    Most of the very hard throwing little guys are lefties. All of the pitchers who have literally broken their arms pitching are lefties.

    Do you remember those photos of Altuve standing next to Aaron Judge?

    5’6 alright – in heels.

  122. @anon
    I think soccer megastars, like Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, surpass McGregor, Tyson, Lebron in terms of worldwide popularity and fame because of the simple fact that a lot more people care about soccer than the fighting and North American sports combined. Perhaps not Jordan, who was a global brand name because of Nike, Coke etc. ad campaigns and his psychopath-magnetic personality.

    As for white athletes, in America, Connor McGregor is no where near the cultural icon that is Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Mike Trout or Brooks Koepka or Clayton Kershaw.

  123. @kaganovitch
    Wilt could score at will when he was 5 inches taller than the rest of the league. Once the NBA got big, skilled centers like Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, and Kareem, Wilt’s lack of fine motor skills meant he was an offensive liability. So he played 90% defense/rebounding for his last two seasons in the NBA and was awesome at it.

    Absolutely not true that Wilt was ever an offensive liability. His last season in the league, when as you say he was focused on defense, he was third in the league in Offensive win shares. Fwiw Willis Reed was one of the players he was 5 inches taller than and Nate Thurmond entered the league only four years after Wilt and they were teammates for Thurmond's 1st two years. In their last 4 head to head games in the '65 season(the 1st season they were on different teams) Wilt toasted Thurmond for 38, 45, 33, & 30 points. I don't think it was Wilt's lack of fine motor skills that caught up to him in his final seasons, as much as age and wear and tear. He famously played almost every minute of every game. He was perhaps the greatest athlete that ever played in American sports.

    The Babe, Brady, and Nicklaus all beat Wilt.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    The Babe, Brady, and Nicklaus all beat Wilt.

    By "athlete", I didn't mean dominated his sport(though a case could be made for that as well). I meant athlete as in running, jumping , strength etc. I think Wilt had perhaps the most impressive combination of physical gifts.
  124. @Anonymous

    Once that happened, blacks took over and killed boxing.
     
    How did blacks kill boxing?

    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.
     
    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?
  125. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    My guess is that in the future, the NBA will refine its wingspan measurement into arm length vs. shoulder width, with the shoulder width being considered an all-around good, but arm length having pros and cons.
     
    Interesting thought, but I don't think it is that simple. One big (the biggest?) advantage of a long wingspan is being able to reach far above your head. That is all arm length. I also wonder if extremely wide shoulders have agility and/or vertical leap negatives.

    This article and paper look at wingspan in four groups: US army recruits (male and female), MMA fighters, and NBA players.
    https://www.inverse.com/article/47080-nba-wingspan-advantage-positionless-basketball
    http://www.jaspe.ac.me/clanci/JASPE_July_2018_Monson_3-8.pdf

    Figure 3 of the paper shows some individual NBA players (and MMA fighters) on a height/arm span scatterplot with a regression line. That makes clear just how much of an outlier Steph Curry is with respect to the average for the NBA and especially compared to other stars. Not sure if it is obvious, but the solid line is the regression line and the dashed line is arm span = height.

    https://imgix.bustle.com/inverse/cf/b7/00/f3/6001/409e/bd25/de53de92e67c/on-average-monson-noted-that-the-ratio-of-armspan-to-height-was-117-but-this-proportion-was-sligh.png

    Figure 1 and Table 3 show that the arm span/height ratio tends to increase with height in general. NBA players are the outliers there in that their slope is 1. Which I take to mean that having a proportionally larger arm span is more important the shorter the player is.

    Unfortunately she did not break out shoulder width and arm length.

    NBA2k used to allow you to specify both wingspan and shoulder width when creating players. Here is some discussion of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/7ha8ur/tip_for_creating_playerswingspan_and_shoulder/
    But it looks like they got rid of that:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments/9camje/no_shoulder_width_in_2k19/

    Rock climbers call this the Ape Index: when reaching for a handhold, it’s useful to be a nimble little acrobat but with long arms.

    Is wingspan advantageous for climbing trees and swinging on tree branches?

  126. Anonymous[401] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.

    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.

    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?

    • Replies: @anon

    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?
     
    Once whites stopped Boxing, the white audience went too.
    It will happen with Football and Basketball too.
    Has taken longer because Government sees propaganda value in pro team sports and keeps it going.
  127. Anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @R.G. Camara
    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so.....). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn't a champion wrestler, I didn't have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA's rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

    Certainly the large percentage of whites being successful in MMA has helped that sport grow exponentially in the last two decades. If the sport had been black-dominated from the get go it wouldn't have taken off like it did.

    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so…..). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn’t a champion wrestler, I didn’t have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.

    Makes sense given the fast twitch preponderance generally. Some use it to good effect, another is Randleman. I also wonder if the better athletes in general still going to football and basketball is still a factor. E.g. Jones being beat up by his brothers, but they get paid more in NFL than UFC ever would. He also can’t shoot. MMA matched up well with what he could do.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA’s rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline, only downside is height stunting with weight cutting. With weight classes. (Imagine weight classes for football or basketball. It is all absolute.) So quite a big depth of field in wrestling.

    Totally agree with the white athlete thing being a factor in the rise of the sport.

    It does seem that Adesanya/Jones/Silva have come up with a way to use reach in MMA that is hard to counter. I guess we’ll see though.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline
     
    Where does the discipline element come into wrestling?

    With regard to your comment about safety, what about herpes?
    , @R.G. Camara

    Also no one does boxing hardly
     
    I think this is actually a big reason. For generations, boxing was a thing offered in schools for boys. Catholic high schools, I think, used to always have a boxing team. And, classically, if two school boys got into a fight, a teacher would throw boxing gloves on them, toss them in a ring, and let them beat it out of each other---so long as they shook hands at the end. Babe Ruth had to box it out with another kid at the orphanage back in his youth.

    Nowadays, with all the head trauma worries and helicopter parenting, there's no boxing anywhere.

    So there's probably a large untapped pool of whites who would be good at boxing but never had an opportunity and/or were barred by their parents from doing it.

    I note how the Netherlands specifically recruits soccer players in their countries very young and develops them and cultivates them. If whites in America did that for boxing there'd probably be a lot more white dominance in boxing.

    Wrestling doesn't get banned like boxing because no head trauma. There's no stereotype of an old wrestler being punchy. But wrestling wasn't a glamour winter sport (and still isn't) unless you were a Midwestern kid in some pockets of the country. Basketball and ice hockey are the big glamour winter sports.

  128. @Steve Sailer
    Wilt in the NBA in 1962 was like if Dwight Howard were 7'6" in 2010.

    But the game is a lot more sophisticated today. Bill Simmons talks about NBA coaching in the 1960s: the coach would give great advice like "Don't let Willis kill us on the boards. Try to block him out." Simmons thinks that Bill Sharman being hired by the Lakers for 1971-72 was the beginning of sophisticated coaching in the NBA. That was when Sharman talked Wilt into not shooting and just play like Bill Russell on defense. It worked. Wilt probably blocked at least 5 shots per game that year and the Lakers won the title.

    If Dwight Howard could have learned to shoot as great and as often as Wilt Chamberlin, NBA experts would be ranking Dwight on their short lists of all time greatest NBA players, period. 100 points in a single game, is still 100 points in a game. Aside from Kobe, no one has come within sight of breaking it in nearly 60 yrs. So for all the sophistication of the NBA, coaching, etc, that record isn’t likely to ever be matched.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Actually, hindsight is 50/50. People selectively remember certain things that they want to and of course those things remembered after the fact are 20/20. The winners write the history, and are quite selective of what they wish to preserve for posterity.

    How was Wilt viewed by his peers during his career? As one of the all time greats, one who put the NBA on the same footing as other major sports, or was he just a flash in the pan. No one is arguing the point that every superstar athlete who would be considered “great”, has at least one flaw in their game that persists even throughout their career. The point is, was Wilt Chamberlin one of the NBA’s all time greats? That would include the question, if Wilt were in his prime playing today, would he still be the most dominant player today? As he was voted right before his passing as one of the all time greats, (and that was during the era that MJ, Shaq, and a young Kobe Bryant was getting started)

    In other words in the last twenty years, the only superstar great player that could be matched vs Wilt is Lebron. Who perhaps could go down as being the NBA’s greatest (assuming he wins a couple more championships, for one thing).

    Also, for all the sophistication of coaching, strategy, compared to other sports (MLB and NFL) the NBA remains a fairly simplified game. After all, many players have gone straight from HS into the NBA. They didn’t need the NCAA to work on their fundamentals. They were ready to play in the pros at 18. Some of them, like Kobe, Howard, Lebron demonstrated that they were all that at 18/19. Unlike the NFL, were going straight to the pros from HS isn’t done, period. Still not sure as to why the NBA won’t allow HS grads to be eligible for the draft. Unless its to keep rookie salaries down and there is some kind of kickback in tandem with the NCAA, who wants to have the elite players play at least a year to make the NCAA Tournament more watchable and hence, more profitable for the NCAA.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    By the 1970s, Wilt's 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA. He had so many other skills left over, though, that he was still runner-up for the NBA MVP (behind only Peak Kareem) at age 35 in 1972 while barely shooting.
  129. @R.G. Camara
    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so.....). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn't a champion wrestler, I didn't have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA's rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

    Certainly the large percentage of whites being successful in MMA has helped that sport grow exponentially in the last two decades. If the sport had been black-dominated from the get go it wouldn't have taken off like it did.

    Virtually all modern sports were pioneered by whites, and since they’re still the majority in the US and have higher income on average than NAMs, it’s no wonder they would also popularize MMA.

    If you follow the sport, however, you’d be blind not to notice that blacks are steadily increasing in number in the top echelons. Many of the current and recent black champions have a wrestling background (Jones, Woodley, Usman, Cormier, to name a few). They’re good enough in wrestling to defend against wrestling techniques and they easily acquire striking skills to be able to KO opponents. A lot of white wrestlers never manage to transition to MMA with such success.

    On the other hand, technique, precision and fight IQ often trump pure athletic ability; that’s why there are a lot of black fighters (the codeword for them in the MMA world is athletic and explosive lol) who start off their careers impressively knocking people out left and right, only to be smothered or choked out by a white or non-black high-level wrestler or grappler.

    Be prepared to see more of them around, though I doubt MMA will end up like boxing was in its heyday, since there are many different skillsets involved, so non-black fighters have more of a chance to neutralize black fighters’ athletic advantage.

  130. @james wilson
    McHale doesn't have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.

    McHale doesn’t have wide shoulders, he has square shoulders.

    Yes, and he also seems to have not much neck for a man that tall, meaning his shoulder level was even higher off the ground than usual, even for a man of his great height.

    All these factors — extremely tall; long arms; high, square shoulders — translate into exceptional standing reach, which is perfect for playing the post, like he did so well.

  131. Any comments on the Irish Traveler boxer?

  132. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    If Dwight Howard could have learned to shoot as great and as often as Wilt Chamberlin, NBA experts would be ranking Dwight on their short lists of all time greatest NBA players, period. 100 points in a single game, is still 100 points in a game. Aside from Kobe, no one has come within sight of breaking it in nearly 60 yrs. So for all the sophistication of the NBA, coaching, etc, that record isn't likely to ever be matched.

    Hindsight is 20/20. Actually, hindsight is 50/50. People selectively remember certain things that they want to and of course those things remembered after the fact are 20/20. The winners write the history, and are quite selective of what they wish to preserve for posterity.

    How was Wilt viewed by his peers during his career? As one of the all time greats, one who put the NBA on the same footing as other major sports, or was he just a flash in the pan. No one is arguing the point that every superstar athlete who would be considered "great", has at least one flaw in their game that persists even throughout their career. The point is, was Wilt Chamberlin one of the NBA's all time greats? That would include the question, if Wilt were in his prime playing today, would he still be the most dominant player today? As he was voted right before his passing as one of the all time greats, (and that was during the era that MJ, Shaq, and a young Kobe Bryant was getting started)

    In other words in the last twenty years, the only superstar great player that could be matched vs Wilt is Lebron. Who perhaps could go down as being the NBA's greatest (assuming he wins a couple more championships, for one thing).

    Also, for all the sophistication of coaching, strategy, compared to other sports (MLB and NFL) the NBA remains a fairly simplified game. After all, many players have gone straight from HS into the NBA. They didn't need the NCAA to work on their fundamentals. They were ready to play in the pros at 18. Some of them, like Kobe, Howard, Lebron demonstrated that they were all that at 18/19. Unlike the NFL, were going straight to the pros from HS isn't done, period. Still not sure as to why the NBA won't allow HS grads to be eligible for the draft. Unless its to keep rookie salaries down and there is some kind of kickback in tandem with the NCAA, who wants to have the elite players play at least a year to make the NCAA Tournament more watchable and hence, more profitable for the NCAA.

    By the 1970s, Wilt’s 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA. He had so many other skills left over, though, that he was still runner-up for the NBA MVP (behind only Peak Kareem) at age 35 in 1972 while barely shooting.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    By the 1970s, Wilt’s 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA.

    As TLRC pointed out above, Wilt and Shaq had very similar offensive games. If Shaq could dominate in the '90s and '00s , it stands to reason Wilt could do the same in the '70s with the same limited offensive repertoire.
  133. Anonymous[330] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so…..). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn’t a champion wrestler, I didn’t have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.
     
    Makes sense given the fast twitch preponderance generally. Some use it to good effect, another is Randleman. I also wonder if the better athletes in general still going to football and basketball is still a factor. E.g. Jones being beat up by his brothers, but they get paid more in NFL than UFC ever would. He also can't shoot. MMA matched up well with what he could do.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA’s rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

     

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline, only downside is height stunting with weight cutting. With weight classes. (Imagine weight classes for football or basketball. It is all absolute.) So quite a big depth of field in wrestling.

    Totally agree with the white athlete thing being a factor in the rise of the sport.

    It does seem that Adesanya/Jones/Silva have come up with a way to use reach in MMA that is hard to counter. I guess we'll see though.

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline

    Where does the discipline element come into wrestling?

    With regard to your comment about safety, what about herpes?

  134. @Liberty Mike
    The Babe, Brady, and Nicklaus all beat Wilt.

    The Babe, Brady, and Nicklaus all beat Wilt.

    By “athlete”, I didn’t mean dominated his sport(though a case could be made for that as well). I meant athlete as in running, jumping , strength etc. I think Wilt had perhaps the most impressive combination of physical gifts.

  135. @Anonymous

    Fair enough, but when I wrestled back in school this stereotype about opposing black wrestlers was usually very true and noticeable in person (then again, my team also had a black captain, so…..). There was never a black kid as the best in his weight class on any team in the state, public or private. And although I wasn’t a champion wrestler, I didn’t have much trouble with black opponents after the initial flurry in the first round.
     
    Makes sense given the fast twitch preponderance generally. Some use it to good effect, another is Randleman. I also wonder if the better athletes in general still going to football and basketball is still a factor. E.g. Jones being beat up by his brothers, but they get paid more in NFL than UFC ever would. He also can't shoot. MMA matched up well with what he could do.

    Perhaps part of it is the fact that whites are much more visible in wrestling/MMA as being successful and not in boxing In boxing, The Great White Hype-type nonsense has given rise to the stereotype of blacks just being racially better at the sport, as in basketball. With MMA’s rise, lots of white collegiate and Olympic wrestlers found a professional place their skills were useful.

     

    Yes. Also no one does boxing hardly. But wrestling is a fairly safe sport/self defence for kids. Lots of discipline, only downside is height stunting with weight cutting. With weight classes. (Imagine weight classes for football or basketball. It is all absolute.) So quite a big depth of field in wrestling.

    Totally agree with the white athlete thing being a factor in the rise of the sport.

    It does seem that Adesanya/Jones/Silva have come up with a way to use reach in MMA that is hard to counter. I guess we'll see though.

    Also no one does boxing hardly

    I think this is actually a big reason. For generations, boxing was a thing offered in schools for boys. Catholic high schools, I think, used to always have a boxing team. And, classically, if two school boys got into a fight, a teacher would throw boxing gloves on them, toss them in a ring, and let them beat it out of each other—so long as they shook hands at the end. Babe Ruth had to box it out with another kid at the orphanage back in his youth.

    Nowadays, with all the head trauma worries and helicopter parenting, there’s no boxing anywhere.

    So there’s probably a large untapped pool of whites who would be good at boxing but never had an opportunity and/or were barred by their parents from doing it.

    I note how the Netherlands specifically recruits soccer players in their countries very young and develops them and cultivates them. If whites in America did that for boxing there’d probably be a lot more white dominance in boxing.

    Wrestling doesn’t get banned like boxing because no head trauma. There’s no stereotype of an old wrestler being punchy. But wrestling wasn’t a glamour winter sport (and still isn’t) unless you were a Midwestern kid in some pockets of the country. Basketball and ice hockey are the big glamour winter sports.

  136. @Steve Sailer
    By the 1970s, Wilt's 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA. He had so many other skills left over, though, that he was still runner-up for the NBA MVP (behind only Peak Kareem) at age 35 in 1972 while barely shooting.

    By the 1970s, Wilt’s 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA.

    As TLRC pointed out above, Wilt and Shaq had very similar offensive games. If Shaq could dominate in the ’90s and ’00s , it stands to reason Wilt could do the same in the ’70s with the same limited offensive repertoire.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    But when Wilt stopped trying to dominate offensively in 1971-72, the Lakers got radically better, won 33 straight games, set a record for most wins in a season with 69, and won the NBA title, and Wilt was second in the MVP voting.
  137. @kaganovitch
    By the 1970s, Wilt’s 1950s-style offensive skills had been left behind by the evolution of better defense and bigger players in the NBA.

    As TLRC pointed out above, Wilt and Shaq had very similar offensive games. If Shaq could dominate in the '90s and '00s , it stands to reason Wilt could do the same in the '70s with the same limited offensive repertoire.

    But when Wilt stopped trying to dominate offensively in 1971-72, the Lakers got radically better, won 33 straight games, set a record for most wins in a season with 69, and won the NBA title, and Wilt was second in the MVP voting.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Wilt had more diverse skills than Shaq; he was a better defender and passer both.

    I think if Wilt had come through the NBA in recent years he'd still have been a consistent MVP-caliber player, but without the gaudy scoring records.

    He was such an unbelievable specimen he might still have had some seasons averaging over 20 boards a game. His passing and shot blocking skills would have had him hunting quadruple doubles, since getting 15+ points a night just on pick-and-rolls and put-backs would have been a breeze.

  138. anon[351] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Who is/was interested in paying to attend the fights every week to watch blacks fight?
    So boxing went on TV.
    After a while, not many were interested in watching blacks fight on TV either.
     
    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?

    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?

    Once whites stopped Boxing, the white audience went too.
    It will happen with Football and Basketball too.
    Has taken longer because Government sees propaganda value in pro team sports and keeps it going.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    It will happen with Football and Basketball too.
    Has taken longer because Government sees propaganda value in pro team sports and keeps it going.
     
    Football and basketball are already majority black, but they are as popular among Whites as ever, aren’t they?
  139. @Steve Sailer
    But when Wilt stopped trying to dominate offensively in 1971-72, the Lakers got radically better, won 33 straight games, set a record for most wins in a season with 69, and won the NBA title, and Wilt was second in the MVP voting.

    Wilt had more diverse skills than Shaq; he was a better defender and passer both.

    I think if Wilt had come through the NBA in recent years he’d still have been a consistent MVP-caliber player, but without the gaudy scoring records.

    He was such an unbelievable specimen he might still have had some seasons averaging over 20 boards a game. His passing and shot blocking skills would have had him hunting quadruple doubles, since getting 15+ points a night just on pick-and-rolls and put-backs would have been a breeze.

  140. Anonymous[194] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Is it your contention that whites would rather watch whites flight than blacks fight? Why would that be the case?
     
    Once whites stopped Boxing, the white audience went too.
    It will happen with Football and Basketball too.
    Has taken longer because Government sees propaganda value in pro team sports and keeps it going.

    It will happen with Football and Basketball too.
    Has taken longer because Government sees propaganda value in pro team sports and keeps it going.

    Football and basketball are already majority black, but they are as popular among Whites as ever, aren’t they?

  141. @Stephen Dodge
    About 20 years ago, I - a VFW member, for the record - having entered civilian life, decided well, if I am a civilian now, I should sign up at a civilian gym.


    So a week after I start my membership, I hit the gym and I notice that the stair master next to a friend is empty. So I get on it, and start conversation with my friend (her husband, by the way, is a highly decorated law enforcement officer).

    Some angry middle-aged woman in unbecoming "workout gear" blindsides me with nasty language to my left rear. I wonder, well, are crazy women a regular feature at civilian gyms (if you have not been in the military, let me fill you in on something. Living on a military base is like living in a world where there are few old people, almost no boring Apserger people, zero adult autistic people, and almost everyone is either healthy or extremely healthy. It is not a bad way to live, assuming there are no wars going on.)
    So I just figured, I will listen to this crazy bitch for a second or two to see why her heart is so full of hate.

    Apparently, the stair master I had stepped on at 6:55 had been reserved (who the hell (hat tip GC) reserves a stair master?) for 7 PM, and this awful woman wanted me to know she hated me because I was using it for those last five minutes before she had the right to call over a "gym supervisor" and ask him to order me off.

    There are many ugly, ugly people in this world. I am no George Patton, and definitely no General Krulak, but I think that the absolute expression of disdain and contempt I sent her way made her look even uglier to herself than she had known she was. Of course I could have been deluded - I have a soft spot in my heart for aging crazy women, and I was, in fact, off the stair master by 7:00.
    She perhaps though she had triumphed in that little episode. I shudder to think what her husband has suffered all these years.

    My friends, that woman's parents rejoiced when she was born, probably, and many times in her life she was a beacon of kindness to others, I Like To Think. It is SAD when someone who was born to be a kind and loving person indulges in the sort of thing that poor woman indulged in, yelling at me that day.
    Oh well, she is 20 years older now, and those "angry woman wrinkles" that she brought upon herself are, one hopes, matter for reflection in her quiet moments.

    Sad story, and I did live on a military base in the early 70’s. Treasure Island. All the cute sailers used to call out to me and tell me to go home and bring back my big sister! Fun times.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    All the cute sailers used to call out to me and tell me to go home and bring back my big sister! Fun times.
     
    Why big sister? What is the joke?
  142. Anonymous[346] • Disclaimer says:
    @Michelle
    Sad story, and I did live on a military base in the early 70's. Treasure Island. All the cute sailers used to call out to me and tell me to go home and bring back my big sister! Fun times.

    All the cute sailers used to call out to me and tell me to go home and bring back my big sister! Fun times.

    Why big sister? What is the joke?

  143. @Tony
    Is he/you negro?

    Possibly? My father, despite being almost entirely of Scottish heritage, tans tremendously well. Nothing facially reminiscent of blacks though.

    Both of my sisters excelled at basketball as well, despite being 5’4 and 5’2. I am unusually explosive for a guy of my weight, and could almost dunk a basketball as a scrawny high schooler. But nothing out of the ordinary in my experience, there were better white athletes around me growing up. A few in particular made you wonder if there was any black admixture.

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