Sacramento Kings

Investigation: How tall is Kings’ Marvin Bagley III? Team insists he’s really tall

Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (35) blocks a shot against the Dallas Mavericks forward Maximilian Kleber (42) on Thursday, March 21, 2019 during their game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif.
Sacramento Kings forward Marvin Bagley III (35) blocks a shot against the Dallas Mavericks forward Maximilian Kleber (42) on Thursday, March 21, 2019 during their game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento Bee file

A bit of a kerfuffle unfolded over the weekend when Kings forward Marvin Bagley III was purported to be 6 feet 8 inches tall and random dudes on the internet challenged the team’s assertion that he is still 6-11.

The confusion began during pregame introductions when the Kings played preseason games against the Indiana Pacers on Friday and Saturday in Mumbai, India. A public address announcer introduced Bagley as a 6-8 forward and Buddy Hield as a 6-3 guard.

The Kings told The Sacramento Bee they correctly listed Bagley at 6-11 and Hield at 6-4 in the pregame notes they distributes to the media and their preseason media guide, but some people weren’t buying it in online discussions. The Inquisitr, an aggregation news site with over 50,000 Twitter followers, included Bagley on its list of players who “lost an inch (or three, in the case of Marvin Bagley),” when teams submitted certified information to the NBA, wrongly implying the Kings had informed the league Bagley was 6-8.

The rumor led to debate on social media platforms and elicited a response from Bagley himself, who took to Instagram to say: “I haven’t even been measured yet, that’s crazyyy.” The Team Bagley Twitter account also took note, deploying a series of laughter-with-tears-of-joy emojis to mock the false reports.

Interest in the heights of various NBA stars is unusually high right now following recent news that the league now requires team doctors to certify each player’s age and height without shoes. The league implemented the new rule in the interest of transparency “to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the data” it disseminates to the public, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told The New York Times.

The move was motivated in part by the 2018 revelation that Kings guard Buddy Hield, 26, is a year older than previously believed. A team official told The Bee in December the discrepancy dated back to Hield’s days as a college star at Oklahoma, but the Kings maintain they knew his real age all along. Hield said he never lied about his age, but he didn’t correct the false information after his mother first noticed it on Wikipedia years ago.

Each team had one week from the start of training camp to submit newly certified information. The Kings told The Bee they submitted that information Sept. 29 and Bagley was measured, contrary to what he said on Instagram.

Many players are being listed as an inch shorter than before, including Zion Williamson, Joel Embiid and Isaiah Thomas. Boston Celtics rookie sensation Tacko Fall lost two inches, going from 7-7 to just 7-5. Former MVP Kevin Durant actually gained an inch, but that’s because he always preferred to be listed at 6-9.

Fans have long suspected some players of inflating their listed heights. Most of the downward adjustments could be due to players being measured without shoes now, but some players are being listed at the same height. That includes Hield, Bagley and each of the other six returning players on the Kings roster. Some may find that odd – and maybe the debate will continue to rage on the internet – but the Kings told The Bee late Monday night there’s a good reason for that. They were measured without shoes last year, too.

Sacramento Kings preseason schedule

Oct. 4: Indiana Pacers 132, Kings 131

Oct. 5: Indiana Pacers 130, Kings 106

Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix Suns, 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Utah Jazz, 6 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. Melbourne United, 7 p.m.

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