This is an odd one: Kings guard Buddy Hield celebrated his 25th birthday Monday. I know this because the NBA, ESPN, Basketball Reference, Draft Express, CBS Sports, Yahoo Sports, RotoWire, something called Roster Source, and The Official Site of the Sacramento Kings all tell me that he was born in December of 1993.
But what does Buddy Hield have to say about it? Well, turns out, Buddy Hield says he in fact celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, and the whole of the basketball universe has just had his birth year wrong since, well, at least 2016. Per NBCSKings:
“That’s their fault, not my fault,” Hield said when asked why everywhere, including the NBA’s website, has him listed as 25. “The first time I saw it on Wikipedia, my mom said, ‘Why do they have your age wrong?’ I said, ‘I have no idea.’ ”
Born in Freeport, the main city on the island of Grand Bahama, Hield came to the U.S. with identification and, according to the Kings star, all of it has the correct date.
“I came over with a passport,” Hield said. “My passport has 1992 on it. My driver’s license has 1992 on it. I just think people got their information from Wikipedia or wherever, and they just went with it. They just got it wrong.”
Hilariously, Wikipedia is maybe the one site on the internet that has his birth year and age listed correctly. But here it is on NBA.com:
And on Basketball Reference:
And on ESPN.com:
And on the Kings’ own damn website:
This relatively minor discrepancy shouldn’t much at all now that Hield has established himself as a useful NBA player. But where it gets at least a little interesting is in the context of the NBA draft, where teams and talent evaluators tend to place a lot of value on youth, reasoning that a young player at the same competitive level has more developmental upside than a player who’s had a few more years of physical maturation. But maybe the only people who matter have had Hield’s birthday right the whole time? Hield says he believes Oklahoma had his information correct during his four years there; Kings general manager Vlade Divac says that at least his department has Hield’s birthday down as 1992.
It seems likeliest that the misinformation started with the NBA’s website and moved outward from there, which suggests that basically every NBA roster database in existence is grabbing profile information from that one source. Which makes sense! You’d expect the NBA to know the ages of its players. But for tonight, at least, Wikipedia has them beat.