Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what sport they’re involved in, of course. In some sports, it’s alright have a bit of a paunch or to not look like an Adonis, but in others, it’s not acceptable to be flabby. You’ve got to be a fantastic physical specimen, in tremendous shape, fit and healthy. That’s one thing you can generally control – your weight and physique. But height is something that can’t be helped - you’re either tall or you’re not. Some are blessed with height and it gives them an advantage in certain sports, like in basketball for example. It all boils down to genetics; being that tall and some may say, lanky, can’t be helped, not that the tall athletes who are earning megabucks are complaining.
So, being taller than average is great in some aspects, especially when it comes to playing pro sports and earning a paycheck. But in other areas of life, it can come as a real hindrance. One of those areas of day to day life where being tall might not be such a good thing, is dating and finding love. Not many women want to go out with someone who, when standing side by side, is looming over them, and appears to be twice as big as them. Forget going out with someone like that, many wouldn’t even want to be pictured next to these gargantuan figures, just because it’s not really a great look. But for these athletes, luckily for them, height hasn’t been a factor in their dating lives as their current partners have been able to see past their height, and how small they look in comparison. It’s pretty comical seeing these athletes with their petite wives or girlfriends, just because of the height difference, not that they seem to care; they’re dating hotties so, short or tall, these 15 athletes can count themselves lucky.
15 Kevin Garnett - Brandi Padilla
All these big dudes on the basketball court seem to be calling it a day around the same time; Kevin Garnett is another ex-pro basketball player who called it quits just a year ago. He had a glittering career which started the moment he was drafted; he became the first player to be drafted straight out of high school in over 20 years, becoming a young – but not little – superstar overnight. He didn’t disappoint, and earned a ton of accomplishments, and achieved plenty of accolades during his 21 years in the NBA.
Kevin’s also another guy on this list who’s had a long and successful marriage, one that’s still ongoing. He got hitched to Brandi Padilla, his long-time girlfriend, in 2004, missing the Olympic Games to do so, and you can see why he made that decision. Brandi soon became known as one of the hottest NBA WAGS, due to her sizzling physique and natural beauty, which she’s managed to maintain even after having two kids. One thing about Brandi is that she is small. She’s miniscule. A lot of people would be standing next to the 6 ft. 11 in. Kevin, but when they appear next to each other, it becomes evident just how small she is – in fact, it’s a struggle just to get them both in the same frame - wide lens please!
14 Chris Bosh - Adrienne Williams
Chris Bosh has been doing his thing on the basketball court since 2003, and although he’s not really regarded to be one of the world’s best basketball players, he’s got a well-rounded game which has meant he’s an incredible asset to any team who acquires his services. Those lucky teams have been Miami Heat, who he currently plays for, and the Toronto Raptors, with whom he’s enjoyed the best days of his career. But there’s certainly something that would make him thank his lucky stars he got drafted to Miami. It’s where he met and married his wife, Adrienne Nicole Williams. A former model, Adrienne is now regarded to be an entrepreneur and philanthropist who’s dedicated to helping community charitable causes, not to mention cheering on her hubby.
At 5 feet tall, Adrienne really is tiny, and looks even more so when pictured next to her 6 ft. 11 in. hubby, but one thing’s for sure, she’s a hottie, and the couple look really cute together – happy families.
13 Magic Johnson - Earlitha Kelly
Magic Johnson is a man mountain standing at 6 ft. 9 in., a colossal figure that helped him reach heights not many people have reached before him on the basketball court. He’s regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, and since retiring from the game, he hasn’t slowed down, and he’s still involved in NBA in one capacity or another. Despite the fame and fortune, being the busy bee that he is, and being such a massive bloke, in terms of both height and weight, you’d have thought that Johnson might have had a little trouble finding love, but that hasn’t been the case.
He got hitched to Earlitha Kelly, affectionally known as “Cookie,” in 1991, and she helped him through a hell of a lot. That same year, Johnson discovered he had HIV due to his sexual promiscuity, but despite the struggles being HIV positive has entailed, they’re still together, Johnson’s still strong, and so is his relationship with Cookie.
Little and large they certainly are, but that doesn’t matter one bit after everything they’ve been through, and in today’s day and age where celebrity couples are getting divorced left, right, and centre, they’ve remained together, so kudos to them.
12 Ivo Karlović – Alsi
Despite his massive frame, Ivo Karlović probably hasn’t enjoyed the success he thought would come his way. Due to his height and imposing frame, he’s often able to blow opponents away on the court, but the Croatian tennis player is still pretty mediocre in terms of his achievements. He’s one of the tallest tennis players in history, which has made him somewhat of a celebrity figure on the tennis circuit, but his relaxed attitude and humorous antics has also endeared him to the fans and has made him a fan favorite. He’s also a favorite of a woman called Alsi, his spouse of 12 years. Not a whole lot is known about Ivo’s other half, it appears as if she’s not too fond of basking in the limelight, but one thing we do know, due to the efforts of the paparazzi, is that she’s miniscule compared to her 6 ft. 11 in. hubby. In some pics it appears as if she is quite literally half his size!
11 Big Show - Bess Katramados
Even if you’re not into wrestling, chances are you’ve heard of the Big Show. He’s the very definition of a giant: he’s a mass monster, weighing in at around 383 lbs, and all of that weight is packed onto his massive 7 ft. frame – imposing and threatening to say the least, perfect for wrestling, perhaps not ideal for dating. See Big Show on the street and you’d expect a lot of women to gawp and then run in the other direction, but having said that, Big Show has had plenty of luck – or lack of it, depending on how you look at it – with the opposite sex. There’s been a ton of rumors over the years about Big Show dating this woman or that woman, and because he’s best buddies with Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, you can imagine they had plenty of fun times on the road together back when they were all with WWE. Big Show was also married back in the day, a marriage that lasted for five years before getting hitched a second time to his current wife, Bess Katramados. She’s absolutely gorgeous – Big Show’s done well for himself – although the height and size difference makes the notion of them being together pretty comical.
10 Kobe Bryant- Vanessa
Kobe Bryant only called it quits on his NBA career pretty recently, probably wanting to spend more time at home chilling and getting up to other stuff with his other half, Vanessa, and looking at Vanessa, it doesn’t take a genius to work out why. She’s drop dead gorgeous, a Latina beauty, and although she’s another so-called WAG, she spends a lot of her time out of the limelight.
But back when Kobe was going through his whole sexual assault trial, we came to know a lot more about Vanessa. She initially stood by him, then instigated a divorce, but things eventually simmered down and they’re still together, for better or for worse, but only time will tell.
Vanessa’s the very definition of a hottie. She’s done some modeling – set eyes on her pictures and it’s apparent why. She’s also a pretty petite hottie; Kobe must be thanking his lucky stars that he still gets to wake up to Vanessa in the morning!
9 Andrei Kirilenko - Masha Lopatova
Here’s another recently retired pro basketball player; yes, understandably there are going to be a lot of basketball players on this list! Andrei Kirilenko was a highly versatile player on the court, and consequently when he called time on his playing days, achieved legendary status with many people deeming him to be one of the greatest of all time. Someone who’s been by his side – his rock as he’s gone about achieving all of his accomplishments – is his wife Masha "Marina" Kirilenko. She’s a celebrity in her own right, and hers is a prominent name in her and her hubby’s native Russia. She’s a former recording artist and is the founder of FashionIQ, but Masha was used to the glitz and glamor even at a young age, being the daughter of Russian basketball player Andrey Lopatov. Being Lopatov’s daughter, you’d have expected Masha to be a bit taller than she ended up being, because she really is dwarfed by her husband.
8 Phil Mickelson – Amy
Here’s a bit of a change, let’s move on from these basketball players for a sec and get onto a bit of golf. Yes, I said golf, not really a sport renowned for breeding massive players. Having said that, Phil Mickelson isn’t exactly massive at 6 ft. 2 in., but he certainly is to his wife, Amy.
Phil and Amy are another couple on this list who have been together for quite a significant amount of time. They got married in 1996 after meeting at uni, and have been together ever since, establishing themselves as one of golf’s most recognized and popular couples. She’s a constant as Phil goes about doing his thing on the golf course, and golf fans just love seeing her, cheering her hubby on as he goes on tour. She was once a member of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns Cheerleading Squad too, so she’s a hottie and she’s got the moves to impress too – no wonder Phil doesn’t mind having Amy around on tour!
7 The Great Khali - Harminder Kaur
If the Big Show is one of the biggest, most imposing guys in wrestling – in the world, or at least in sports entertainment in general for that matter – The Great Khali, Dalip Singh Rana, isn’t too far behind. He’s right up there in terms of being one of the biggest mass monsters walking this planet, and he’s not the most handsome of blokes either – great for wrestling, not so good when it comes to trying to find love.
Dalip suffers from gigantism, which, when he was growing up in a very poor area of rural Punjab, India, meant that unfortunately he was considered to be a bit of a freak, and not in a good way. Having that kind of a stigma, you can imagine that it would’ve been pretty hard to date. But Dalip didn’t have to worry about that; he comes from a traditional Indian family, so an arranged marriage was always going to be on the cards, and that’s what happened in 2002, before he became known to the world as The Great Khali in WWE, when he got married to a woman named Harminder Kaur. Being stoutly religious and being from a traditional family, I don’t reckon Dalip would take too kindly to hearing his wife being referred to as a hottie, but she is an attractive woman – Dalip certainly thinks so and that’s all that matters.
6 Nikolai Valuev - Galina
Big Show and Khali might be massive, huge scary guys, but we'd say Nikolai Valuev would have to be on par with them. He’s just massive, standing in at 7 ft. 2 in. and weighing 328 lbs, and those of you who don’t know your sports history may think that the reason I’ve put Valuev and Big Show and Khali in the same bracket – aside from the obvious similarities when it comes to their physical attributes – is because they’re all wrestlers. But Valuev was actually a pro boxer, a heavyweight in every sense of the word, which is really scary because boxing is actually a real sport, whereas wrestling, for all extents and purposes, is scripted. People were standing toe to toe in the ring with this monster and were getting punched by him – it’s scary to think what his opponents went through.
Galina is his other half, and she does actually seem to be half his size. She really is tiny compared to her hubby, although most people would be standing side by side with someone of Valuev’s epic proportions.
5 Pau Gasol - Silvia Lopez Castro
7-footer Pau Gasol is a Spanish pro basketball player and is certainly one of the best around, winning a ton of stuff and achieving plenty over the course of a glittering career to date. He’s also one of the most liked guys in the NBA, he steers clear from controversy, and is an incredibly intelligent athlete – we'd argue one of the most intelligent guys in the NBA. He was in medical school before he left because his basketball career was gaining momentum. Fun fact: he can speak five languages, and loves visiting piano concerts and operas – not your average basketball player. You can therefore understand why he’d be quite a catch, and it was Silvia Lopez Castro who caught him and the pair began dating. Silvia’s a cheerleader for Dream Cheers, a traveling dance troupe that performs at sports events. She’s hot beyond belief, super fit, and is also a diminutive figure compared to her hubby.
4 Joe Flacco – Dana Grady
Joe Flacco's a pretty tall dude for a guy who plays in the NFL. He’s an American football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, and being 6 ft. 6 in. has certainly allowed him to pack a considerable amount of size onto his frame, which is always going to come in handy on the football field where size and physical prowess is a must.
Joe has spent his entire career with Baltimore, which is pretty amazing considering players tend to be traded left, right, and centre and drafted to new franchises. It’s certainly meant he’s been able to have continuity in his life, set up base in Baltimore, and make the city his home, which has come in handy because it’s enabled him to meet and marry his beautiful wife, Dana, and raise his family in Baltimore without being constantly shifted about the place.
Dana Grady’s another one who must get a crook in the neck living day to day life with her hubby. Joe’s tall for a football player, but Dana’s titchy, although she’s super hot and he’s been voted as being the most attractive player in the NFL, so they certainly fit.
3 Peter Crouch - Abbey Clancy
From American football to what the rest of the world calls football, soccer, English Premier League player Peter Crouch is next on this list.
Since this article’s about tall individuals, for those of you who don’t know your football, you’d probably expect Peter’s position to be between the sticks; after all, goalkeepers are generally the tallest guys on the field. But it’s also handy to be a giant at the other end of the pitch, up front, and that’s where Peter’s earned his living, not only for a number of top Premier League sides, but for the English National Team too. Due to his 6 ft. 7 in. frame, Crouch – kind of a funny last name considering his height – is often used as a target man, with people whipping in crosses and expecting him to get on the end of them, or certainly to make his presence felt, a role he’s been very successful in. A lot of people also deem him to be incredibly successful in terms of his dating life. He managed to get hitched to a woman like Abbey Clancy. Let’s face it, Crouchy isn’t the best-looking bloke in football, but lingerie and catwalk model, and you can add TV presenter to that too, Abbey Clancy, is an absolute stunner. She’s beautiful beyond belief and is the perfect size for a model, at 5 ft. 9 in., but is still dwarfed by her hubby.
2 Dirk Nowitzki - Jessica Olsson
German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki has been around for years, since 1994, and during this time he’s amassed some pretty impressive stats, and is regarded to be one of the best power forwards in the history of the game. To be a power forward – well, the name of that position’s pretty self-explanatory – you need to be versatile on the court, have a number of skills, and be powerful driving forward, and boy is Dirk that. At 7 feet and 245 lbs, Dirk’s powerful alright, and these physical attributes have certainly held him in good stead throughout his playing days.
Dirk can thank basketball for a lot, including being the sport that introduced him to his beautiful wife, Jessica Olsson. They met at a charity event where Dirk was auctioned off for charity and agreed to go on two dates, but the woman he really wanted to go on a date with was working in the art gallery. They married in 2012 and have built up a nice little family for themselves; everything appears to be roses.
1 Wladimir Klitschko - Hayden Panettiere
This really is the superstar couple on this list. It’s also the couple that have had a lot of mockery come their way, due to the height and overall size different between the two.
Wladimir Klitschko is a legend in the sport of boxing. His style might not be attractive, he might not be the most flashy, entertaining fighter, but he’s been schooled in the sweet science of boxing, and when he laces up those gloves, his technique’s effective. This has enabled him to become one of the most successful heavyweight champions of all time. He’s also one of the fittest – you’re not going to see Wlad enter the ring with his gut hanging out anytime soon, as is the case with most of the heavyweights out there nowadays. He’s ripped to shreds, lean and muscular, and all of that size is packed onto his 6 ft. 6 in. frame, making him an imposing figure in the ring.
Wlad and actress Hayden Panettiere began dating back in 2009. Hayden’s known for being rather small and petite, so it was kind of comical when we began seeing the two cosy up to each other at his fights and at various events. They split in 2011, but a couple of years later, they were back and fighting fit. Their first child was born a year later, they’re now engaged, and they make an adorable couple. Fans just love seeing Hayden ringside, and no doubt she’ll be there cheering on her hubby at his upcoming title fight.