The pairing of a tall athlete with a very short partner always tends to get some kind of reaction. Why? One has to consider that these athletes are very tall — most of them surpass the 1.98m mark that most professional athletes tend to come in at. Some people in this list are as tall as 2.30m, so it becomes quite obvious that their partners will be very short when they are put next to one another, which then looks really weird when they choose to attend red carpet events. Many people have stressed in the past that certain athletes and their wives look more like they are brother and sister or father and daughter than an actual married couple themselves, and it’s all played down by their height difference. It’s crazy what a difference the height of another person can make in a relationship, especially when it’s seen in pictures. Here are the 10 athletes with tiny lovers that may shock you.
10 Magic Johnson, Earlitha Kelly
Magic Johnson’s 2.06m tall frame is one of the things that supposedly attracted his wife Earlitha Kelly, in the first place, according to the couple themselves. Kelly, who has stayed with Magic throughout all of the HIV drama that erupted in the ‘90s, has kept a strong uphold as her own height only comes in at 1.68m. It’s still higher than some of the other people on this list, and when seeing these two in public, the difference isn’t that drastic — but then again, that could be because Earlitha is always wearing heels. Either way, in numbers, the height difference is pretty noticeable, but when Magic’s wife decides to put on her highest pair of heels, it looks just fine.
9 Kobe Bryant, Vanessa
Kobe Bryant and his longtime wife Vanessa, seem to be the perfect couple, but the difference between their height is quite noticeable. The athlete stands tall at 1.98m while Vanessa doesn’t even come close at a short height of just 1.64m. It is quite adorable to see the couple head on out to events together because Vanessa just about reaches to Kobe’s chest as they stand next to each other, so it’s kind of awkward at the same time. Especially when Kobe has to bend down for a kiss from his wife.
8 Carmelo Anthony, Lala
Carmelo Anthony is another NBA player who surpassed the 2m mark. The athlete is 2.03m tall, which makes a significant difference when comparing the height of his reality star wife, Lala Anthony, who is only 1.68m tall. Lala had previously spoken out about the couple’s height difference in an interview, saying that neither one of them are bothered by it. After all, when they are both laying in bed together, they can be any height they want. Good one, Lala.
7 Chris Bosh, Adrienne Williams
Chris Bosh is ridiculously tall, but still not the tallest on the list. The 31-year-old Miami Heat basketball player didn’t consider height difference an issue when he got together with his wife, Adrienne Williams, who is only 1.52m tall. Mind you, Chris’ height stands at 2.11m, so there is quite a huge gap in between them. And just like other male athletes, when the difference is that wide, it looks pretty weird on red carpets when the couple stand next to one another. It looks more like father and daughter than husband and wife, but hey — it works for them.
6 Joe Flacco, Dana Grady
Joe Flacco exceeds in the NFL as he continues soaring through his competition with the Baltimore Ravens while the word ‘exceeds’ could also be used to describe the massive difference in height between him and his wife, Dana Grady. The couple married in 2011, and while there’s no actual report on how tall Dana is, when looking at their wedding photos, one can easily tell that Flacco towers over his wife by a mile. Flacco is 1.98m tall, which could mean that Dana would be around 1.55m, assuming from the pictures seen.
5 Pau Gasol, Silvia Lopez
Can I be the first to say that Pau Gasol looks like his girlfriend’s older brother? The kind of brother that is super protective over his sister, and makes sure that anybody she dates is good to her. Gasol has been dating Silvia Lopez, and it’s quite funny when the couple stand next to each other in public because they really do look more like brother and sister than girlfriend and boyfriend. And the fact that Silvia looks so young really doesn’t help those thoughts from changing anytime soon. Nonetheless, they’ve been together for a while, so Pau’s 2.13m height doesn’t seem to be a distraction.
4 Shaquille O’Neal, Nicole ‘Hoopz’ Alexander
People have always wondered how Shaquille O’Neal and Nicole Alexander have made their relationship work. The couple, who are consistently breaking up and getting back together, shocked fans all over the world when they first confirmed their romance a couple of years back. And it’s not hard to guess why. Shaquille is almost 2.20m tall while Nicole is estimated to be around 1.60m, which is quite short in comparison to O’Neal, who looks like the father of Nicole when the twosome stand next to one another.
3 Hayden Panettiere, Wladimir Klitschko
Hayden Panettiere has managed to make her relationship work to partner, Wladimir Klitschko, despite the huge height difference. The Hollywood pair loves heading out to the beach together, and now that they have welcomed their firstborn to the world, it often looks like Wladimir is taking his two children out to the beach, simply because one wouldn’t think Hayden is Wladimir’s girlfriend. It looks pretty funny, but according to Hayden, she couldn’t care less on how short she is in comparison to her athlete beau.
2 Dirk Nowitzki, Jessica Olsson
German professional basketball player Dirk Nowitzki is another tall one with a relatively short wife. The professional NBA player, who plays for the Dallas Mavericks, married his longtime girlfriend, Jessica Olsson, in 2012, and their height difference is quite noticeable. Women can’t really compete with men when it comes to their height, and knowing that Dirk is 2.13m tall, Jessica would have no chance in matching those numbers. Olsson is only 1.58m tall, which makes quite a big difference when the two stand next to one another.
1 Shawn Bradley, Annette Evertson
I don’t know what’s more impressive: the fact that Shawn Bradley has been married for 22 years, or the fact that he is 2.30m tall. Jesus! The retired basketball player married his wife Annette Evertson, back in 1993, and their height has been one of the most talked about things in the history of athletes and their tiny lovers. There is no couple in the field of sports that comes close to matching the height difference between Shawn and his wife. While there are no official reports on her height, it is rumored that she stands at around 1.60m.