Kobe Bryant had a listed height of 6 ft 6 (198cm). Kobe Bryant had a listed weight of 212lb (96kg).
When he entered the NBA as a rookie in 1996 the average shooting guard was 6 ft 5 and 196lb. When he retired in 2016 the average shooting guard height remained the same, however the average weight had increased to 206lb.
Michael Jordan Height
Michael Jordan was listed as 6 ft 6 during his playing career. He won 6 of 6 trips to the NBA finals. Broken up by a sabbatical to play Baseball. On his return from this break in 1995 he came up against Shaq and Penny’s Orlando team and found himself physically wanting, losing in the conference finals. He spent the summer bulking up and came back bigger and stronger than ever before. After 3 more back to back titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998 he would retire again. During his career Jordan played shooting guard, in today’s NBA he would probably see a lot of time at Small Forward.
This is very similar to Kobe’s measurements. Like Jordan, Kobe too added weight as his career evolved and his game changed. Relying less on his vertical leap and more on his ability to hold off defenders and control them physically to make those trademark Jordan-esq shots he is famous for.
Let’s have a look at some other NBA stars from the ages and how their physical attributes influenced their career.
Lebron James Height
Lebron James stands at 6 ft 8. The 3-time NBA Champion has spanned many styles of play since entering the league straight from High School in 2003. His electric combination of skill, height, weight and speed have seen him ascend to the other side of the GOAT debate vs Michael Jordan. Deployed most of his career officially as a Small Forward, he is one of the elite passers in the game often negating the need for a traditional Point Guard. As he ages many believe that a move to Power Forward to maximise his skill set and physical attributes.
Steph Curry Height
At 6 ft 3 Steph Curry is one of the most dynamic scorers the NBA has ever seen. He is small and slight and relies on his skill level to stay one (or 5) steps ahead of his opponents at all times. He’s famous for his shooting, able to get a shot off in the tiniest gap and bomb away efficiently from anywhere over the half court line. He has warped the dynamics of the game, constantly moving off the ball and with handling and passing skills that stop defenders physically imposing themselves on him. He is the first player to ever win MVP with a unanimous vote as he guided the Warriors to a record 73 wins in the 2015/16 season. He competes on defence and has developed that side of his game, but as he’s often the smallest player on the court, it’s always an angle other teams will try and expose.
Yao Ming Height
Yao Ming stands at 7 ft 6 and is one of the largest humans ever to play in the NBA. He had no small amount of skill either. During his all too short career with the Houston Rockets he had many battles with Shaq often besting him. In the modern NBA he may struggle to defend against the pick and roll when forced to switch. However, he’d more than make up for it with rim protection and point production on the other end.
Shaquille O’Neal is arguably the best centre in the game. At 7 ft 1 with a weight that fluctuated around 300lbs he was able to move with a speed and gracethat set him apart. In his prime he was to strong, to skilled and to fast to be stopped. Aside from his significant ego (which was probably a strength) he had one weakness. Free Throws. A weakness that Spurs Coach Greg Popovich exploited mercilessly, creating the “Hack-a-Shaq” technique that stopped the big man paying offence, forcing him to shoot (miss) free throws instead. It was so successful that it is still used today on much less dominant players.
Kevin Durrant Height
Kevin Durrant is listed as 6 ft 9. However, he is often referred to as being 7 feet tall. Either way with his long arms and flawless shooting stroke he was the first true unicorn. He can handle the ball and pass like an elite point guard, knock down shots in any situation and when called upon can protect the rim like he’s a 250lb centre. After his move to Golden State and winning back to back titles combined with finals MVP’s his ascendancy to best player on the planet was cut short by an injury in the 2019 Playoffs. His career will resume soon with the Brooklyn Nets.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Height
Giannis is a 6 ft 11 monster. Jason Kidd pushed him to play at point guard during his time in charge of the Bucks. He is skilled, fast and strong. He dominates at both ends of the floor. Winning his first MVP in the 2018/19 season he even started to add a 3pt shot to his game by the end of the Playoffs. Able to play offence and defence in all 5 positions and with seemingly no weaknesses in his game if he becomes a good long-range shooter, he could dominate the NBA like no one has before him.
Bol Bol Height
Bol Bol is 7 ft 3 and is set to follow his father’s footsteps and enter the NBA in 2019. Manute Bol, 7 ft 7, still holds the record as the tallest NBA player ever.Bol Bol is only 7 ft 3, but in theory possess a lot more skill than his father. After an injury plagued time in college the jury is still out.