How Tall Was Kobe Bryant?


Sometimes in the sporting world a player comes along who will never be forgotten, and Kobe Bryant falls into that category, being a legendary Basketball star who spent his whole 20-year pro-career with the Los Angeles Lakers.

As can be expected, Kobe was a tall man, standing well above the 5'9" (175.3 cm) average for American men. However, his real height is up for debate, as while looking into his height, we can find information of him being anywhere from 6'4-6'7" tall.

So let's dig deep and investigate his height, including his NBA listings, height claims, and some height comparisons between Kobe and other basketball stars.

how tall was kobe bryant?

So How Tall Was He Really?

After investigating Kobe Bryant's real height, I believe that he woke up in the morning standing at 6'5.5" tall, maintaining a solid 6'5" through the majority of the day, and falling to 6'4.75" before sleeping at night. Therefore it is fair to say that he was 6'5" (195.6 cm) tall. 


How Tall Was He As a Teenager

In high school when Kobe was 13 years of age, there are reports of him being 5'9" tall. Then, a few years later when he was a freshman aged 14-15, there are reports of him being 6'1" tall. Whether playing Basketball made him taller, we will never know!


If these reports are correct, he would have had a huge growth spurt of 4 inches between the ages of 15 and when he entered the NBA at 17 years old.

 

The NBA

Average Height For a Shooting Guard

Kobe's main position while playing in the NBA was shooting guard. The average height of this position from the year 2000-2016 was 6'5", falling in line with Kobe's real height. This number has actually fallen slightly in recent years, to nearer 6'4" today. 


His Height Listings

When he first entered the NBA he was listed at 6'7", yet this quickly changed to 6'6", and throughout the rest of his career, Kobe was listed at 6'6" tall. As NBA players have been known to have their heights measured in shoes, this could have easily been an accurate shoe height listing.


Next to Other Basketball Players

Let's compare Kobe's height to some other NBA Basketball stars to gain a greater understanding of his real height. 


For the height comparisons, I have chosen 3 prominent players who were regularly pictured with him both on and off the court.


Michael Jordan 6’4.75 (194.9 cm)

Michael Jordan was once accurately measured at 6'4.75" at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. however, akin to Kobe he was listed at 6'6" throughout his NBA career (in basketball shoes).

In an article written by sports presenter ESPN Sports presenter Skip Bayless, when comparing Kobe to Jordan, he states. "Kobe is a little taller" (1). This is true, and when together either on or off the Basketball court, on close examination, Kobe appears slightly taller than Jordan, by around 0.25 of an inch. This puts him at 6'5" next to Jordan.


Vince Carter 6'5" (195.6 cm)

Alongside both Jordan and Kobe, Vince was also listed at 6'6" during his basketball career (shoe measurement), and appears slightly taller than Kobe both on and off the court, by around 0.25 inches. This puts Kobe at 6'4.75" in height. 


LeBron James 6'7.25" (201.3 cm)

Officially listed in the NBA at 6'8" (shoe measurement) Lebron is a very tall man. When pictured alongside him, Kobe consistently looks 2.25" shorter. This puts his height at 6'5" tall. 


The results: When comparing his height standing next to other Basketball stars, Kobe appears between 6'4.75" to 6'5" tall. 


Height Claims

Similar to other celebs, Kobe's height claims have ranged throughout the years.


1: In an interview for the Los Angeles Times in 1998, Kobe stated “I’m 6-7” “Barely 6-7.” and the article then says this is "only if you count the afro. Otherwise, Bryant is more like the 6 foot 6 and 205 pounds" (2)


2: On discussing his height in 2006, Kobe mentioned to a Lakers fan that while everyone thinks he is 6'7", that he is actually shorter than that, saying "I'm really 6'4". (3)


3: In a discussion on the television show "Strahan & Sara", interviewer Sara Haines asks Kobe how tall he is, and in response, Kobe mentioned his height as "six-six, but my kids are quick to remind me that I'm really six-four and a half without shoes". He also states "you don't play basketball without shoes, what difference does it make", and then reaffirms he is six-six without shoes. (4)


4: In Kobe's 2018 Autobiography 'The Mamba Mentality', he states that "Lebron is bigger than me in height and width, but I enjoyed hitting, and getting hit, a lot more than him. That impacted our head-to-head matchups." and "I'm 6-5". (5)


So, Kobe's height claims over the years range from 6'4" to 6'7" tall.


What Others Say

Vanessa Bryant (Wife) 5'4" (162.6 cm) 

Kobe's wife (now widow) Vanessa Bryant once posted on Instagram a happy picture of the pair together, alongside writing that she was once suspicious of Kobe's 6'6" NBA listing. So, she measured him, and he was actually 6'4.75" without shoes on and 6'6" with his Nikes on.

However, things that are unaccounted for here are:


  1. Did she measured him in the morning, afternoon, or evening as this could have accounted for up to 3/4 of an inch difference in height.
  2. The method she used to measure him may or may not have been accurate.

Regardless, 6'4.75" is a specific measurement, and also one that falls in line with his 6'6" NBA listing with shoes on.


The Verdict

I have analyzed Kobe's height claims, what others have said about his height, his NBA listings, and also height comparisons of him standing next to other players on and off the court such as Michael Jordan.


I think Kobe would have woken in the morning standing comfortably over 6 feet 5, gradually losing height throughout the day, and in the evening he would go to bed slightly under 6 feet 5.

Therefore I believe that Kobe Bryant stood at 6'5" (195.6 cm) tall throughout the majority of the day, and that is what I will list him as on this page.


R.I.P 'Black Mamba'. 


Heights Related to Kobe Bryant

  1. Vanessa Bryant, Wife, 5'4" (162.6 cm)
  2. Pamela Cox Bryant, Mother, 5'8" 172.8 cm)
  3. Joe Bryant, Father, 6'8" (203.2 cm)
  4. Bruce Lee, Inspiration to Kobe, (5'7" (170.2 cm)
  5. Magic Johnson, Manager of Los Angeles Lakers, 6'7.5" (201.9 cm)
  6. Shaquille O'Neal, Teammate/Friend, 7" (213.4 cm)
  7. Snoop Dogg, Friend and avid Lakers fan, 6'3.75" (192.4 cm)

References

1: ESPN: Jordan rules compared to Kobe By Skip Bayless

2: Los Angeles Times: A Dilemma for Kobe

3: The New York Times: ‘Where’s Kobe? I Want Kobe.’

4: ABC NEWS: Michael and Sara welcome basketball great Kobe Bryant

5: Kobe Bryant: The Mamba Mentality: How I Play

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