Find six honest seven-footers, and one will be in the NBA

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

There is such a premium on extra height in the NBA, David Epstein explains (in The Sports Gene), that the probability of an American man between the ages of twenty and forty being a current NBA player rises nearly a full order of magnitude (10x) with every two-inch increase in height starting at six feet:

For a man between six feet and 6’2″, the chance of his currently being in the NBA is five in a million. At 6’2″ to 6’4″, that increases to twenty in a million. For a man between 6’10″ and seven feet tall, it rises to thirty-two thousand in a million, or 3.2 percent. An American man who is seven feet tall is such a rarity that the CDC does not even list a height percentile at that stature. But the NBA measurements combined with the curve formed by the CDC’s data suggest that of American men ages twenty to forty who stand seven feet tall, a startling 17 percent of them are in the NBA right now.

Find six honest seven-footers, he suggests, and one will be in the NBA.

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