The quick answer is: his height is 6′9 (206cm) and his weight is 240 lbs (109 kg).
In the NBA, it pays to be big. While not everyone is particularly massive, even the smallest players in the league are much larger than the average person. That’s especially true for forwards and centers, as they tower over most of the general population.
To study that further, the following article looks at Al Horford’s dimensions. Analyzing the all-star’s height and weight won’t just show why he’s had such a long and successful NBA career, but also reveal why having a bit of extra heft is so important at the top.
The Size of Bigs
Before looking at Horford’s height and weight, it’s first important to give context to his dimensions. While he’s played center for a good amount of his career, he’s also embodied the power forward role as well. That’s largely due to his skillset and ability to adapt.
Currently, the average NBA center stands right around seven feet tall and weighs north of 250 pounds. In contrast, power forwards are similar in weight but a few inches shorter. That’s extremely tall, especially since the average height of an NBA player is just under 6’7.
For the most part, centers and forwards need to have a lot of height and a lot of size to back it up. There are exceptions to that rule, however, and that’s exactly where Horford fits in.
Tall, but Not Enough
Taking the above statistics into account, it may be surprising to find out that the Celtics big man stands at just 6’9. That’s tall, but nowhere near where an NBA forward or center should be. He’s never been particularly large, nor has he been that heavy either. Still, he’s a force in the paint.
That sustained success is due to a number of different reasons. The first is Horford’s craftiness. Where many undersized forwards simply get outmatched against taller competition, Horford developed amazing footwork and a game based on finesse rather than power.
If he tried to go up above other centers, he never would have made it. He can back people down when the time comes, but most of his moves are the result of quick spins, fadeaways, and up and unders.
He does those moves with a lethal efficiency and quickness that slower big men can’t quite catch up to. That helps him work in the paint and is the number one way he managed to score time and time again on much taller opponents. He knows who he is, and he plays it well.
Strength, When Needed
As Horford is a bit shorter than his competition, it seems that he would be much lighter too. However, that’s not the case. The big man clocks in at 240 pounds, which adds a lot of heft and power to his frame.
He’s not the most built big man, especially when compared to other centers, but he fits right into a lineup of power forwards. Not only that, but he has some of the best body control in the league. It’s not just that he has a lot of strength, it’s that he has the moves to back it up.
A forward can only do as much as their body allows. Horford typically relies on crafty moves and a strong IQ to maneuver around the court, but that’s not his only out. He can bump and grind down on the block when he gets a mismatch.
It’s not a big part of his game, but it comes up more than a few times per contest. That adds another layer of versatility that opponents need to account for.
The Dawn of a New Age
On paper, Horford is not a typical NBA big man. In fact, there are some wings that are his height. Still, he’s crafted a niche for himself across several different teams. Part of that is due to his basketball IQ, and part of is the result of a change in the NBA.
The league has become much more three-point oriented over the past few years. That has led to more scoring, spread offenses, and an emphasis on speed. Big men, while still incredibly valuable, have gotten both smaller and quicker across the board.
That played directly into Horford’s hands. While he had to overcome his size during the 2000’s, it became a valuable asset in the 2010’s. He’s always had the skill, but now he fits perfectly into the new world.
Horford is not the biggest or strongest player in the league. Despite that, he’s had an incredibly long and successful career thanks to his high IQ and ability to freely adapt to a changing league. He could have been left behind, but kept developing his game in a concrete way.
That ability is worth more than his size. Of course he would not be able to make it in the NBA without being so big, but he doesn’t lean on it like some other players. He’s a true swiss army knife who always finds a way to succeed.