You can’t mention Hall of Famer Charles Barkley’s height without delivering a bit of a chuckle in the process. The NBA listed (and still lists) Barkley at 6-foot-6, when the current TNT analyst has admitted multiple times that he’s closer to the 6-4 mark.
“They lie,” Barkley said via The New York Times in 2008. “I’ve been measured at 6-5, 6-4 3/4. But I started in college at 6-6.”
Barkley is far from the first or last NBA player to have his height exaggerated, and it even goes the other way. Kevin Garnett, who is still listed at 6-11 on NBA.com, was referred to as “6-foot-13” by his late former Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders, a nod to the archaic stigma of 7-footers being listed as centers and placed in the post rather than on the perimeter. Another Kevin — Durant — is listed as 6-9 but has admitted that he’s actually closer to the 7-foot mark.
Those days of little height lies, however, appear to be coming to an end. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the NBAfor players (without shoes) within the first week of training camp. This could prove itself to be somewhat problematic for players who have been listed at one height for the duration of their careers, but then check in significantly shorter in the coming weeks.
Recently retired NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki poked fun at (relatively) diminutive ex-teammate JJ Barea, who is listed at 6-feet by the NBA, but is likely more in the 5-10 range — maybe even shorter.
But Barea isn’t the only player who could be affected by the new NBA measurement rule. Here are a few who could lose the most inches once the real truth comes out.
Listed height: 5-9
Thomas was surely one of the first names that popped into your head when thinking about players who look shorter than their listed height. The former All-NBA point guard referred to himself as 5-8 in a 2016 essay in The Players’ Tribune, so it won’t be a surprise if he drops an inch or two once the official measurements are in.
Listed height: 6-0
This one could be close, but the eye test doesn’t really support Paul hitting the 6-foot mark without shoes. Looking at photo evidence, Paul appears to be about the same height as Barea, who Nowitzki seems to think is not as tall as his listed height.
Listed height: 6-1
Yeah, this one might be a bit of a stretch. Walker has blossomed into an All-NBA point guard, but it wouldn’t be much of a shock if he came in at under 6-1.
Listed height: 6-6
Much like Barkley, Tucker is an undersized power forward who is probably an inch or two shorter than his listed height. Most of his draft profiles before he entered the NBA listed him at 6-5, so unless he’s grown an inch since then he’s going to take a hit in his bio.
Listed height: 6-7
Green was a second-round pick despite being an undersized power forward, so you can see why he might bump up his height to give NBA teams more incentive to draft him. But according to his own coach, Steve Kerr, Green is more like 6-foot-5, which makes what he does defensively even more impressive.
Listed height: 6-11
During his prime, Howard was one of the most dominant centers in the NBA. Turns out he was pretty undersized all along. The combine measurements published on NBA.com list Howard at 6-9 without shoes and 6-10 1/4 with shoes. He could have grown since then because he entered the league so young, but Howard will likely drop a couple of inches in height when the new measurements come out.