NBA

How Large Are Kawhi Leonard’s Hands, and How do They Compare to NBA Greats?

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is one of the best two-way players in the NBA today and is arguably the best defender in a one-on-one situation. Nicknamed “The Claw” because of his enormous hand size, Leonard is always at the top of the leaderboard in steals per game each season.

With the ability to swat away passes with ease, Kawhi is a force on the defensive end of the floor. However, his skill set may leave you asking the question: ‘How big are his hands?’ Here is the answer to that burning question regarding one of the NBA’s premier talents.

His hands are how big?!

Kawhi Leonard has hands that measure 9.75 inches long and 11.25 inches wide. This gives him the ability to pick off passes through the air without an issue, and he has even pulled off an amazing no-look steal. His defense has been one of the key components to Toronto’s dominance in the Eastern Conference.

His excellent length and hand size help him average more than 27 points, nearly eight rebounds, and two steals per game in the 2018-19 season. He currently sits at fifth in the league in steals. That stat is a testament to the size of his hands and defensive awareness.

Kawhi Leonard isn’t the only player with enormous hands to grace the league. Here’s a look at a few NBA legends with large hands.

Wilt Chamberlain

Arguably the best center to ever lace up shoes on an NBA hardwood, Wilt Chamberlain’s hands were one of the reasons he dominated the NBA during the 60s and early 70s. His hands were 9.5 inches long and 11.5 inches wide. He averaged 30 points and 23 rebounds per game in his Hall of Fame career, and his hand size was one of the contributing factors.

Michael Jordan

Widely considered the greatest player to play the game, Michael Jordan’s popularity is unrivaled in sports history. His ability to palm the ball with ease thanks to his large hands provided highlight plays for fans almost every night.

The most feared competitor in the game during his prime, Jordan was consistently landing on the All-NBA defensive teams due to his ability to read the eyes of the player in front of him, and taking the opportunity to swat the ball away for a steal.

Jordan was named the 1987 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and he led the league in steals three times. An exceptional all-around defender whose skill on that side of the ball often gets overlooked due to his scoring prowess.

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaq was one of the biggest physical marvels of the 90s and 2000’s NBA. Standing at 7 feet, 1 inch tall, and over 300 pounds in his playing days, Shaq’s hand size was astounding. With hands estimated at 10.25 inches long and 12 inches wide, the big man was able to easily pull down rebounds and keep the ball away from opponents.

He averaged over 23 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks per game during his career, and dominated on both ends of the floor as one of the game’s best big men.

Leonard isn’t the only player with amazing physical attributes

After looking at where Kawhi Leonard’s hands compared to some of the greatest to ever play the game, who else would you include in the conversation?

Does the Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo come to mind? Or would you include a former NBA legend such as Julius “Dr. J” Erving? Having big hands provides favorable matchups on both ends of the floor and could be the difference between winning and losing one on one battles. At the very least, Kawhi Leonard deserves to be paid like a defensive star. The fact he excels at both ends of the floor is a nice bonus.