As anyone who’s been stuffed into a locker knows, athletes are bigger and stronger than anybody else and there is no better example of this than basketball, where even the average player can set a drink on top of the head of the biggest guy you know and if he objects, punt him in the ass with a giant shoe not seen outside the confines of a circus big-top.
Not just in sports but in life, being taller has its advantages—better pay, a greater likelihood of becoming president than if you were a leading light in the airborne half of the national dwarf tossing circuit, a magnet to attractive women, but all of these benefits are literally short-lived — you’ll notice there are no 8-foot-tall geriatrics. At some point your knees give out, and you spend the rest of your short life being carted around in a giant sled by a grumbling lot of the aforementioned dwarfs, now retired.
In every other sport, being tall is, much like our stock market investments of late, an issue of diminishing returns. Big fighters have to punch down, then face the embarrassment of being bested by someone who looks like they shop in the children’s department, too tall baseball players have a massive strike zone and giant tennis players, like the vending machine that’s stolen your quarters, lack lateral mobility. In basketball however, the sky (and the constraints of modern eugenics) is the limit and players can enjoy a lengthy career if they’re tall enough— even if their posteriors climate control the end of the bench for league minimum.
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