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Rajon Rondo Shares 1 Michael Jordan Trait That Not Many NBA Stars Possess, as Per 38YO Veteran

Published 04/18/2024, 9:00 AM EDT

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We often see players who share a similar skill set as Michael Jordan. However, most of them don’t have MJ’s one physical gift. Even Kobe Bryant didn’t have this quality. While Bryant used to strengthen his hands to be able to palm the ball, Jordan was naturally able to do so thanks to his big hands. At 9.75″/11.375″ length/span, the 6x NBA champ had an upper hand (no pun intended) against his opponents. Jordan’s best buddy Rex Chapman also shared that MJ’s big hands helped his game. Among today’s stars, Kawhi Leonard also has the same physical gift. Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair revealed that another player who shares this quality is Rajon Rondo. 

Rondo got the hands. He could palm the ball all crazy. Fake the ball this way bring it the other way yeah. Them big hands in the league is crazy,” Telfair said in an interview with DJ Vlad.

Explaining the difference between himself and guys with “Michael Jordan hands, he said, “For me to Palm the ball I have to grab the ball and I got to like put it in my hand and I’m holding it with my strength. They’re holding the ball right. Like their hands is wrapped around the ball.”

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Having big hands certainly saves the players from spending extra time and effort on strengthening forearms. Unlike those players who grip the ball, 2x NBA champion Rondo and those with big hands can easily pick up the basketball. The wide gap between the index finger and thumb helped the players to hold it like a random ball and control it. That’s the only thing that Bryant wanted to change. 

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Rex Chapman was astounded by Michael Jordan’s massive hands

Even Phil Jackson once agreed with this fact. When he was asked about who would win in a one-on-one match between Jordan and Kobe, Jackson mentioned how the Bulls legend is likely to win. And the reason is just one which this quality that Jordan had. The Chicago Bulls legend had an edge over the Black Mamba because of his skills.  

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Michael picked the ball up off the floor and grabbed it, dunks it like it’s a grapefruit…Softball maybe, Chapman said in an interview with DJ Vlad. But it came with a disadvantage of its own. He further explained, “Try shooting a softball sometime. See how that feels because it’s weird.” 

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Another legend who got the benefit of being physically gifted was Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving. This is certainly not the only reason for their greatness, but it was a huge advantage in passing, shooting, and ball handling that cannot be ignored.

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Written by:

Pritha Debroy

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Pritha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. After reporting on the luxurious lifestyle of celebrities for a year, she used that experience to cover the glamor side of the basketball world. She has expertly covered Larsa Pippen and Marcus Jordan's complicated love story and the lavish vacations of NBA superstars, among other off-court scoops.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth