In case you need something to distract you from the dual specters of Baby’s shooting and Shaq’s rebounding, here’s the biggest waste of time ever confronted by a human being.
A while ago I was participating in a Daily Dime Live chat when a chatter whose name I’ve forgotten suggested that the Celtics “have to be the fattest team in the NBA.” The presence of Shaq and Baby alongside the seemingly incurable flabbiness of Paul Pierce’s arms probably led the chatter to this conclusion, and it seemed like a pretty logical one. Still, as a boring, arrogant basketball blogger, I obviously couldn’t offer an opinion until the subject had been analyzed using objective data.
But now I’m ready to weigh in on this, as a hilarious person might say. Because I calculated every team’s average BMI.
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a metric used to measure your obesity by comparing your weight to your height. You get it by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703 and dividing that by your height squared. For example, I’m three feet tall and weigh six hundred pounds, so my BMI is 325.5.
“Normal weight” is considered to be between 18.5-24.9. Overweight is from 25-29.9. Anything above that is obese, and anything below normal is underweight.
I used the heights from Basketball Reference because they were easier to compile in a spreadsheet, but I had to use the weights from ESPN.com because the BR ones were so crazily wrong. They tried to convince me that I live in a universe where Jermaine O’Neal weighs 220 pounds. I’m serious.
So let’s answer this question once and for all: are the Celtics the fattest team in the league? According to this data, no they are not. They’re the second fattest. The Clippers are way fatter.
The Celtics shatter the scales with an average BMI of 25.99, lugged upwards by the league’s fattest player in Shaquille O’Neal (31.62) and its fourth fattest player in Glen Davis (30.97). Most teams average in the low 25s-high 24s. But the Clippers, thanks to the contributions of fireplug Craig Smith, check in with a disgusting 26.28. They actually don’t have quite as many fat guys as the Celtics do, but they also don’t have any skinny guys except Farouq Aminu.
Here are the Celtics figures, from slimmest to tubbiest:
OBVIOUS CAVEATS: Many NBA players are in much better shape than these figures imply. LeBron’s BMI is over 27 and he’s doing okay, physically. So this is really more about “bulkiness” than fatness, or the relationship between height and weight. Also, height and weight listings on NBA rosters are a morass of deception and ignorance, so consider them with a pinch of salt.
I’ll figure out how to put up the rest of this precious data soon. Until then I will answer any urgent questions about individual player or team BMIs in the comments.