Kobe Bryant isn’t as tall as you think he is

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

You know how it took Kevin Durant an eternity to admit he is 7-foot and not 6-foot-9? It turns out that Kobe Bryant has been doing something similar.

According to Bryant’s wife Vanessa, he is actually 6-foot-4 and 3/4 as opposed to the 6-foot-6 everyone believes he is, which she found out by measuring him herself a few years ago. It might sound trivial on the surface — who really gives a damn about how tall Bryant is at this stage of his career? — but it becomes more interesting when you consider NBA players constantly lie about their height. As Chris Herring revealed in the Wall Street Journal last year, some say they are smaller than they are (like Durant) while others try to add a couple inches onto their height (like Mavericks guard J.J. Barea).

In Bryant’s case, the only time he’s 6-foot-6 is when he has his shoes on. And if you’re a part of the “barefoot height doesn’t matter because they play basketball in shoes” club, here’s some more reading for you to do. There’s a lot of confusion around that stuff.

Editor’s note: It appears Vanessa Bryant changed her Instagram post after this post was published. Per NBA Reddit, this was the original message: “My fav :kissing_heart::blush::purple_heart::yellow_heart:Since I get asked how tall I am: Fun fact- I’m 5’4″ and Kobe is 6’4″ and 3/4 to be exact. :blush:I know this because I didn’t think he was as tall as the announcer said he is so I measured him (without shoes) however, he is 6’6″ with his Nikes on.”

The funny thing is this isn’t new news. Google “Kobe Bryant height” and you’ll immediately get slapped with a picture of him with 6-foot-6 next to it, but you’ll also find some forums about how he’s a couple of inches shorter than what he’s actually listed. Most of that information comes from a New York Times article 10 years ago in which Bryant told a young Lakers fan he was 6-foot-4 and not the 6-foot-7 everyone thinks he is.

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Still, it was easy to play that off as Bryant joking. It’s a little more believable now that Vanessa is in on the act. Or they’re just teaming up to flat earth us, Kyrie Irving and Shaquille O’Neal style. It’s hard to tell nowadays.