As a stick-thin 19 year-old in 2012-2013, New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis became the tenth first-year player since the new millennium to block at least 2.1 shots per 36 minutes of play. Such rare rim-protecting wasn’t due to positioning or comfort, but rather an incredible package of physical gifts highlighted by a 7-5 wingspan. Davis followed up that impressive debut by leading the league with 2.82 blocks per game last season, an improvement mostly owed to additional strength and experience. Another surefire if heretofore unknown reason behind that spike? That The Brow’s birdlike wingspan has apparently continued to grow since he was drafted two years ago.
The Pelicans official Instagram account posted a photo last week of multiple youth campers comparing their wingspans to a life-size picture of Davis’. The banner listed his finger-to-finger length at an incredible 7-7.75 inches, a 2.25 inch increase since he was officially measured at the 2012 pre-draft combine.
It’s certainly possible that the Pelicans are fudging Davis’ length for effect. He only had the third-best wingspan of 2012 draftees, after all, behind Detroit Pistons center and fellow Team USA hopeful Andre Drummond and Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli.
NBA teams have never been under strict obligation to list players at their actual size and weight, either. LeBron James, for instance, came into the league at 245 pounds as an 18 year-old; according to the Miami Heat, he weighed 250 pounds the past few seasons. Let’s just say we find it hard to believe that King James – even at his newly-svelte form – is only five pounds heavier than he was during high school graduation.
It’s also conceivable that Davis was simply measured incorrectly at the combine or by the New Orleans staff. Discrepancies in measurements like this are fairly common due to simple human error.
Given the growing legend of Davis’ basketball exploits, though, what seems just as plausible is that the Pelicans’ burgeoning superstar is actually still growing. An article posted on New Orleans’ website in June highlighting Davis’ offseason training regimen and ensuing weight gain subtly mentioned that likelihood.
The University of Kentucky product said he hasn’t measured himself lately, but it’s possible he’s no longer 6-foot-10, as he’s been listed in the pros. He half-jokingly added that he wants to stay in the 6-something range.
“I hope not,” Davis said on whether he’s still growing. “I don’t want to be 7 feet. It just (sounds) weird, to be a 7-footer. I’d like to be 6-10, but if I grow, you can’t really do anything about it. You can’t help it.”
Think about this: Davis was a 20 year-old All-Star last season that played the basketball of his young career in March; he’s bulked up to at least 237 pounds; he’s working to add a corner three-point shot to his offensive arsenal; he’s finally playing alongside a traditional center now in Omer Asik; reports of his play from Team USA training camp have been absolutely glowing…
…and the length that’s made him such a devastating shot-blocker might be even longer.
Yup, we’re pretty sure Davis is due for a big season in 2014-2015.
Do you think Davis’ new wingspan will prove helpful?
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