The short answer is: Allen Iverson is 6’0 (183 cm) in height and his wingspan is 6’3 (191 cm).
Basketball has always been a big man’s sport, but being tall or heavy aren’t set requirements to succeed on the court. There have been tons of excellent short NBA players too. While there are plenty of big names who stood on the shorter side, few are as famous as Allen Iverson.
This guide breaks down the hall of famer’s career by looking at his different dimensions. Studying his height and wingspan will show, not just how he attacked the game in a unique way, but how he managed to thrive despite being undersized.
Undersized, but Not Overmatched
The average NBA player stands 6’6, with point guards averaging a height of 6’3. However, the position used to be smaller. The average guard height dipped down to 6’1 during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Iverson fell even below that mark.
The flashy guard stood a modest 6′0, which made him one of the smallest to ever play the game at a high level. There are some players with a good amount of success on the lower end of the spectrum, but they are few and far between. Even Stephen Curry stands at 6’3.
Despite that, Iverson was an incredible all-around player. Part of that came from his innate abilities and incredible basketball IQ, but his other dimensions helped immensely as well. There are more than a few ways to overcome height while on the court.
Reaching (and Jumping to) New Heights
Iverson’s height may have held him back, but he more than made up for it with his wingspan. His arms measured a full 6’3 across, which gave him a lot of length in different facets of the game. Long arms are amazing assets on both sides of the ball, and he took full advantage.
Iverson’s reach is four inches longer than his height. That’s not incredibly impressive when compared to some other NBA athletes, but it’s enough length to give a skilled player an advantage when going for steals, blocks, rebounds, or contests.
Not only that, but Iverson could jump too. His vertical measured right around 40 inches, with his vertical leap (with a running start) clocking in at 41 inches. Both of those put him in the top 0.01 percent of all players.
That combination of length and spring made him extremely valuable on the court because it allowed him to take full advantage of his wingspan in a way that pushed past his height. Where some players have long arms but can’t jump, he had a combination of the two.
Taking all of those dimensions into account, Iverson could jump up and reach past ten feet. That gave him the ability to dunk quite easily, and he could also get out to block or contest shots. In that way, while he did stand 6’0, he played much, much taller than that.
The Complete Package
Iverson’s wingspan and vertical were two reasons why his shorter stature never held him back, but they weren’t the only way he rose up to the competition. He was an incredible player who paired unmatched quickness with one of the best IQ’s of all time.
Being able to jump is a great skill, but shorter players also need to be quick. That gives them a huge advantage against taller players, and enables them to drive or shoot without getting blocked. It’s how they never fall out of position on defense as well.
Iverson was incredibly quick. So quick, that almost nobody could guard him. He even crossed up Michael Jordan once. It is those skills that helped take him to the next level.
Beyond that, Iverson also knew the game inside and out. Being small is always going to come with some disadvantages, but those can all be mitigated if someone always makes the right play at the right time. That’s what Iverson did, especially in big moments.
Where some smaller players crumbled when trying to find the right passing lane or when the play broke down, Iverson had amazing improvisation. That made him a great point guard who could run an offense almost as well as he could score.
Being a dual threat is more than enough to make up for any drawbacks. Especially when you can be a dual threat that almost always makes the right play.
Allen Iverson is one of the best guards of all time. He also happened to be on the shorter end of the spectrum. Though a shorter stature has held many players back from elevating and reaching the next level, he thrived due to a combination of talent and hard work.
Few NBA players have ever had Iverson’s work ethic or raw basketball IQ. He thrived in numerous situations, never backed down from a challenge, and refused to quit. That’s why he’s such a legend in the game, and why so many consider him one of the best points guards ever.