Charles Barkley always was listed as 6-foot-6 in his NBA career, though he admitted in his book that he was 6-4. The Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony, listed at 6-8, measured 6-6 1/4 at the NBA pre-draft camp. Michael Beasley was listed at 6-10 while a Kansas State Wildcat, is listed at 6-9 with the Miami Heat and measured 6-7 at the camp a year ago.
So you can’t blame ESPN.com’s Chad Ford for what he wrote a few weeks ago about Blake Griffin: "A surefire NBA stud if he doesn’t measure 6-foot-6, which, in this pessimistic environment, a few GMs fear he might.” Skepticism is recommended when it comes to heights. Basketball players have been fudging their stature for decades. But NBA general managers can rest a little easier. Griffin, the plum of this mediocre draft, stands 6-foot-9 in his bare stockings, 6-10 in shoes, which he is likely to wear during important games. This information comes from multiple sources, including my eyeballs. I’ve stood next to basketball players for going on 30 years. I know a fraud when I see one. Griffin is no fraud. He’s a long tall boy who clearly stands a hand above the 6-foot-6 crowd that heavily populates college hoops. Mike Houck is an even better primary source. OU’s long-time basketball publicist measures all the Sooner players himself. "I don’t like being accused of fudging numbers,” Houck said. His findings on Griffin? Six-foot-10 in shoes, which is legitimate size for an NBA power forward and should answer what might be the only question left about Griffin’s pro potential. Not that it matters much. Height is the most overrated attribute in basketball. Quickness is the most underrated. Height without arm length is goofy. Barney would make one bad basketball player. Nobody plays, except maybe Vlade Divac, with their arms at their sides. That’s why "long,” a modern basketball term, has some validity. Much of the sport’s new lexicon is ridiculous.