On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumference, or 9.4 inches in diameter. I scaled the image so the basketball in J.J.'s hand is close to one inch, and I repeatedly used my cursor to measure 0.99+/-0.01 inches on the image scale. I then measured J.J. to be about 7.11+/-0.02 inches on the image (I tried to measure down to where his heal would be in his shoe, and did several trials for each foot). So J.J. is about 7.18 +/- 0.08 basketballs tall, which is much less than 6 feet! In fact, according to my estimate, he's only 5 feet 8 inches tall, maybe 5' 10" at 3-sigma, or his shoes on, or an overinflated ball in that stock photo.

So there you have it. J.J. Barea is pretty short---for an NBA star---and the NBA website cannot be trusted for player heights. But we knew that already, right?

mama mia said…
I want to send this to a math teacher friend of mine for problem solving ideas for his class.
JohnJohn said…
go ahead and send it to them. It's a fun problem!

An annual note to all the (NSF) haters

It's that time of year again: students have recently been notified about whether they received the prestigious NSF Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Known in the STEM community as "The NSF," the fellowship provides a student with three years of graduate school tuition and stipend, with the latter typically 5-10% above the standard institutional support for first- and second-year students. It's a sweet deal, and a real accellerant for young students to get their research career humming along smoothly because they don't need to restrict themselves to only advisors who have funding: the students fund themselves!
This is also the time of year that many a white dude executes what I call the "academic soccer flop." It looks kinda like this:

It typically sounds like this: "Congrats! Of course it's easier for you to win the NSF because you're, you know, the right demographic." Or worse: "She only won because she's Hispanic."…