Despite having an impeccable skill set and mindset of a champion, one of the biggest advantages Michael Jordan had in comparison to other players were his physicality and big hands. His ability to grab the ball with one hand easily and do with it whatever he wants gave Jordan more options to operate on both ends of the floor. What is interesting is that Jordan’s big hands are actually in one way extraordinary when you actually do compare them with some measurements of much taller players in the league.
Listed at 6’6″ Jordan’s hand length is 9.75 inches while his hand span is 11.37 inches. Jordan’s hand length would be normal for someone who is around 7’9″, and to put things into perspective a bit, this is significantly longer than Bol Bol’s who is listed at 7’2″. The average hand length for someone Jordan’s size is about 8.7 inches.
It’s unbelievable that for example Wilt Chamberlain who was listed at 7’1″ had shorter hands than Jordan, despite the fact he was over seven inches taller. There are also other centers in today’s NBA who have relatively small hands compared to Jordan.
When it comes to Jordan’s hand span it’s a lot wider than the average for someone his height, and which is around 9.4 inches. His hand span would be normal for someone listed at an astonishing 8’0″. For example, Steven Adams who is around 7’0″ has a 3.4% smaller span than Jordan while Rudy Gobert who is listed around 7’1″ span is over . 13% narrower than Jordan’s despite the massive height advantage.
Phil Jackson who coached Michael for years said his hands were one of his biggest advantages compared to most players guarding him. Jackson often compared Jordan’s hands to gloves since he was able to easily pick up the ball and do with it whatever comes to his mind.
“He’s got that hand, or glove when a guy can pick the ball up with one hand and dribble the ball like Michael can do and take the ball to the basket. It’s very difficult [to defend],”
Surprisingly enough, there were a few players in NBA history and the ones that are currently playing in the league, have bigger hands than Jordan. However, almost all of them are either power forwards or centers several inches taller than Jordan so his hand size truly is unique and helped him a lot in his illustrious career.