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Why are players’ height and weight different in NBA and Olympics

The NBA has introduced a new height measurement policy, prohibiting shoes and socks, resulting in massive discrepancies.
DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant pose during Team USA practice session. 

DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant pose during Team USA practice session. 

“For me, when I’m talking to women, I’m 7 feet. In basketball circles, I’m 6'9''.” That's how Kevin Durant explained his height when asked about the famous Team USA photo where he's obviously taller than DeMarcus Cousins. At the time, KD was listed at 6'9'' and Boogie at 6'11''. We know players get creative with height and weight all the time, and every 4 years, a peek at their listed measurements for the Olympics reveals an interesting story.

USA players have different listed heights and weights in Olympics 

Who knows what kind of food was served on their flight to Japan, but Jrue Holiday must've like it. He left the NBA Finals listed at 205 and arrived in Japan weighing 229 lbs. KD, on the other hand, mysteriously lost weight - he's listed at 240 on NBA's official measurements, and Team USA had him at 225 lbs. Weight varies throughout the season, but a lot of measurements listed on NBA.com are blatantly wrong. Here's one fan's comment on the topic. 

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“It never made sense to me how Giannis and KD could both be 240ish lbs, KD being 225lbs sounds more accurate to me. Jrue's NBA weight of 205lbs also didn't make sense. The man is built like a linebacker, there was no way he was the same weight as Devin Booker. Bryn Forbes is also the same weight as Jrue according to the NBA, which is offensively wrong to anybody who has eyes.”

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It may have been due to old stats, which are not yet updated. Sometimes, a player’s height and heft can be tricky; they appear bigger and taller than they truly are. It is interesting to note that this is not an issue at all for other teams participating in the Olympics. Spanish guard Ricky Rubio is listed 6’3” in both NBA and Olympics websites, as well as Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić, who is measured at 6’7” in the Olympics and the NBA.

How height is measured in NBA

When asked about being 6'9'' in the NBA, KD explained he always wanted to shave a few inches off so coaches would let him play as a small forward. We don't even have to start with guys who add inches (Chris Paul is 6'0" as much as I am). Things got out of hand, and the NBA standardized the measurements system in 2019. 

The league imposed a new rule to take measurements without shoes or socks. Kevin Durant, who was popularly thought to be at least 6’10” o 6’11”, is now officially listed at 6 '9" although his wiry arms and thin frame make him look longer and taller. Dwight Howard's height was the worst kept secret in the NBA - he was downgraded from 6'11'' to 6'9.75''. You can bet he was fighting for that .75''. 

Still, the most legendary height heist was Allen Iverson, listed at 6'1'' - he even got the PA announcer in Philly to introduce him as 6'2". I guess NBA players haven't heard - size doesn't matter. 

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