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Blake Griffin’s height is no illusion; he’s really 6-foot-9 (in socks)

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 18, 2009 at 7:30 am •  Published: May 18, 2009
"Score” the basketball. "Get to the rim,” used even in the women’s game, when no one is coming within an area code of iron.

But "long” is different. Long combines height and arm length. Wing span transforms a player to a higher scale. Scottie Pippen, for example, was a long-armed phenom whose versatility helped jettison the Jordan Bulls. Oklahoma City’s own Kevin Durant is a rare jewel not just because he’s a 6-foot-10 sharpshooter, but because those long arms make him even taller than your average 6-10 ballplayer, if there is such an animal.

Griffin’s arms don’t seem abnormally long, though if he’s 6-9, 6-10, they don’t have to be for him to be effective.

Griffin is supremely athletic, rugged in the paint and 6-foot-10 in his Nikes. That’s why he’s the best prospect in this draft.

There’s been no doctoring of Griffin’s height.

Funny thing in basketball, the taller the player, the less the fudging. A quick check of some of the sport’s freakishly tall players reveals virtually no padding.

Manute Bol was listed at 7-7; he measured 7-6 3/4.

Gheorge Mureson was listed at 7-7; he measured 7-6 1/2. Shawn Bradley was listed at 7-6; he measured 7-5 3/4. Yao Ming is listed at 7-6; he measures 7-6.

At the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, Yao passed me in the tunnel. I promise the 7-6 is legit. Shaquille O’Neal had walked past not 30 seconds before, so my mental picture of Shaq was vivid. Yao towered over Shaq. Made him look small.

That will cure your pessimism.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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