“I keep telling him to stop standing by me, man,” Cousins said jokingly at the time, according to Sporting News. “I think people are starting to figure out I might be about 6-7. He’s every bit of 7 feet, every bit.”
It’s clear Durant is just as tall as his counterparts, if not taller. He actually addressed the height controversy that year in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, asserting bluntly that he’s actually 6-11.
Although Durant will be sidelined with an Achilles’ injury in his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, we finally will learn this year how tall he and other NBA players truly are. The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported Tuesday the league told teams this week that they must submit the “precise height and age” for every player.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass confirmed the report to The Washington Post on Thursday, adding, “A consistent process has been created to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the data on team rosters.”
This year, heights will be recorded definitively by measuring players with their shoes off, Stein reported. The rules for weight will be less strict because the number changes so frequently for many players.
On the opposite side of the height spectrum from Durant is Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, who has been listed as 6-foot but told the Journal he’s actually “5-foot-10 on a good day.”
Embellishing your height is commonplace in society (particularly in men’s dating profiles). But advertising yourself as shorter than reality is less common. Durant’s reason for rounding down all these years was to play his preferred position — and to have a little fun.
“For me, when I’m talking to women, I’m 7 feet. … In basketball circles, I’m 6-9,” Durant told the Journal. “Really, that’s the prototypical size for a small forward. Anything taller than that, and they’ll start saying, ‘Ah, he’s a power forward.’ ”
Later, he told KNBR he fibs about his height because “I just like messin’ with people.”
But there’ll be no more messin’ with people anymore. And that goes for representing the correct age, too, although there are likely fewer false instances of that in the NBA.
The league’s focus on age seems to have stemmed from an issue last year with Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. In December, Hield acknowledged he had recently turned 26, even though the NBA had listed him at 25. He blamed the league for the disparity.
“I came over with a passport,” Hield, who is from the Bahamas, told NBC Sports Bay Area. “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.”
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