17 NBA Players With Huge Hands – They Can Palm Everything!

We’ve all seen it. A photo of a basketball player with both of their arms outstretched, holding a basketball with ease in each hand. Inside their large palms and fingers, the ball looks smaller than normal, and the players look gigantic.

Much like height, having large hands is a natural advantage in a sport centered around ball control and the ability to dominate on the court.

How is hand size measured?

Hand size is measured in two different ways. Hand length is measured from the base, or bottom, of the palm to the tip of the middle finger. Hand span is determined by spreading the fingers as far apart as possible, then measuring from the tip of the pinky finger to the tip of the thumb.

There are some notoriously large hands in NBA history. While size usually helped players dominate on the court, some are actually hindered by their massive hands. For instance, Shaq struggled with free throws his entire career.

These are some of the biggest hands in NBA history.

Boban Marjanović

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 10.75”/12”
  • Height: 7’3”

Boban arguably has the largest hands in NBA history, edging out Shaq with his slightly longer hand length. He may even have the largest hands in the world. This could be proven if his hands were ever measured, but right now his measurements are just based on images of him comparing his hands to other players.  

His hands are so large that they even have their own Reddit following called Boban Holding Things. The images include him holding a wine bottle, a baby, a steering wheel, and other everyday items that he makes look miniature.

Shaquille O’Neal

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 10.25”/12”
  • Height: 7’1”

Shaq’s hands are legendary in the NBA. With his huge hands and size 22 shoes, he was an immovable force during his time on the court. 

While his biggest impact was towering over others around the rim, he struggled offensively with some of his shooting. He was specifically criticized for his inability to make free throws, which many people attributed to his massive hands. Many claimed the ball was too small for his hands, and although that didn’t hinder some of the other players on this list, it may very well be true. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.85”/12”
  • Height: 6’11”

With hands this big, it’s no wonder he earned himself the nickname “The Greek Freak”. His monstrous mitts and large grip give him the ability to control and handle the ball with ease and precision. They are also, by all measurements and comparison, not only some of the largest hands in NBA history, but the largest hands of any current NBA player.

He is an incredibly talented forward who plays like a point guard. He’s not afraid to run a court, take any open shot, throw down extraordinary dunks, or play defense against anyone in the league.

Gregory Smith

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.8”/12”
  • Height: 6’10”

Despite one of the most impressive hand measurements in NBA Draft Combine history, Smith has not had the most stable or impressive career. Offensively, he has not produced as hoped, but defensively he excels as both a center and a power forward. He is quick and coordinated. Add this to his natural size advantage and he is able to produce, especially in the paint.

Michael Jordan

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.75”/11.375”
  • Height: 6’6”

MJ is a genetic and physical anomaly. He is tall despite short parents, has small feet, and was blessed with huge hands. Known to many as the greatest player of all time, Jordan could do it all. He was the person you wanted to take the buzzer-beater shot. He was the player you wanted on the foul line. He was the guy you wanted controlling the ball and running the floor. 

In his own words, he explains the importance of his hand size. “It’s like having a paintbrush and being able to create.” He knows it gave him a better grip, more control on the dribble, and the ability to sense whether a shot would be good or bad based on the fingers that delivered the shot. 

He knows his hand size was important, and he attributes a lot of his success to his size. A true MVP, his big hands were just part of the reason he was able to dominate (both offensively and defensively) on the court.  

Connie Hawkins

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 10.5”/11”
  • Height: 6’8”

While he is not a household name, he is a New York City playground street ball legend. Hawkins has some of the largest hands in NBA history, despite being shorter than others with the same hand size.

His ability to palm the ball created control and allowed him to be one of the strongest finishers at the rim. His ability to rebound the ball with one hand - a talent learned while playing for the Harlem Globetrotters - was one of his biggest defensive weapons. Few players could challenge or defeat him when he went up for the ball.

Rajon Rondo

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/10”
  • Height: 6’1”

As one of the shortest players on the list, Rondo’s measurements are like no other. Some call him a freak of nature because the size of his hands are so out of proportion with his height. One of the only point guards on the list, his wingspan and hand measurements are not at all a reflection of his 6’1” stature. In fact, his hands and wingspan measurements are more like players who stand 6’11” or 7’0”.  

His freakishly huge hands and talent even earned him a spot on an ESPN SportsCenter commercial.

Noah Vonleh

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.75”/11.75”
  • Height: 6’9”

Vonleh recorded both the longest hand and the widest span measurements in the 2014 NBA Draft Combine. Although his career didn’t take off the way many hoped, he is known as one of the hardest workers on the court. His goal is to improve his game step by step, and these are sometimes small steps at a time. Depsite a brief stint in the CBA, his natural talent and size certainly plays a role keeping him a relevant name in the league. No matter what else happens, he will be remembered for the size of his heart and his hands.

Julius Erving

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/11.75”
  • Height: 6’7”

Dr. J is known as one of the greatest dunkers and ball handlers in NBA history. It’s said that his hands have always been huge, and that he could palm the ball off the dribble in junior high school. His size, speed, and gigantic hands have always made him one of the all-time greatest audience pleasers, with the ability and speed to perform crazy dunks. 

Kawhi Leonard

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.75”/11.25”
  • Height: 6’7”

The small forward, nicknamed “The Claw,” is one of the players on this list who seemingly can do it all - shoot, dunk, pass, drain free throws, and flawlessly control the ball as he crosses up an opponent. While he excels offensively, his defense has elevated his game and value on the court. Two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, there’s no doubt his massive hands contribute to his abilities. 

Leonard took to social media to show off just how big his hands are, holding two water bottles in one hand.

Wilt Chamberlain

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/11.25”
  • Height: 6’11”

Though he is slightly shorter than other dominant players of his time, his huge hands helped him stand apart from those others players. He possessed a ball control unlike others, and retired with numerous records. Unlike other players that struggle with shooting because of large hands, Chamberlain is among the best shooters to ever play the game (despite a low percentage of made free throws), achieving Herculean feats such as 100 points per game and a 50.4 scoring average in one season.

Elgin Baylor

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.75”/11”
  • Height: 6’5”

According to those that witnessed his grace and talent on the court, Baylor’s large hands didn’t hinder him or his game in any way. An asset both offensively and defensively, Baylor could score from anywhere on the court. Magic Johnson recalls how Baylor “could shoot from the outside, midrange, and drive the ball to the basket.”

Baylor recalls that his coaches (and most teams during his era) focused on rebounds, and getting rebounds was one of the key elements to winning games. His size overall, but especially his large hands, helped him succeed on both ends of the court, elevating him to superstar status with the Lakers. 

Jahlil Okafor

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/11.25”
  • Height: 6’11”

Duke alum Jahlil Okafor is one of few people that can hold thirteen tennis balls in one hand. The average person can’t even hold half of that! Most people can hold six, maybe seven.

His massive hands became a topic of discussion during Duke’s championship run in the 2015 season, as the picture of the tennis balls circulated around the internet. These big hands allow him to make outstanding catches and also give him a soft but aggressive ability at the rim. On the other hand, his large hands have created difficulties for Okafor when it comes to his jump shots.

More Players with huge hands

Royce White:

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/11.5”
  • Height: 6’8”

Wayne Embry

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.25”/11.75”
  • Height: 6’8”

Trevor Mbakwe

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 9.5”/11.5”
  • Height: 6’8”

Andrew Nicholson

  • Hand Size (Length/Span): 10”/10.75”
  • Height: 6’9”

Obviously size isn’t all that matters in basketball, whether the discussion is about hands or height. However, large hands can definitely benefit basketball players in many ways, and they can also help garner attention to players both on and off the court. 

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