Physical strength is important for the average NBA player, but nowhere near as important as it is for NFL players.
As such, at the annual NBA Draft Combine, players are tested for the number of times they can bench 185 pounds (roughly 84 kilograms), not 225 pounds (102 kilograms) like they do at the NFL Combine.
Regardless, just because you may not be strong enough to lift 185 pounds off of your chest, that doesn’t mean you aren’t strong enough to be a successful NBA player. The most famous case of that is, of course, Kevin Durant, who memorably failed at repping 185 pounds on bench even once at the 2007 combine.
One league MVP trophy and two NBA titles later, Durant has clearly proven that gym strength isn’t the end-all-be-all for NBA prospects.
Durant isn’t the only well-known NBA player to fail at benching 185 pounds at the combine, either. Below, every recorded NBA player who couldn’t bench 185 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine.
Jamal Crawford, 2000
14.6 ppg, 3.4 apg and 2.2 rpg in 20 NBA seasons
Jamario Moon, 2001
6.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 1.0 apg in five NBA seasons
Anthony Grundy, 2002
4.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg and 0.8 apg in one NBA season
Tito Maddox, 2002
1.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg and 0.6 apg in one NBA season
Luke Ridnour, 2003
9.3 ppg, 4.5 apg and 2.3 rpg in 12 NBA seasons
TJ Ford, 2003
11.2 ppg, 5.8 apg and 3.1 rpg in eight NBA seasons
Sasha Vujacic, 2003
5.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 1.3 apg in 10 NBA seasons
Martynas Andriuskevicius, 2005
Six games in one NBA season
Monta Ellis, 2005
17.8 ppg, 4.6 apg and 3.5 rpg in 12 NBA seasons
Brandon Rush, 2005
6.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 1.0 apg in nine NBA seasons
Rudy Fernandez, 2005
9.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 2.2 apg in four NBA seasons
Kevin Durant, 2007
27.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 4.1 apg in 12 NBA seasons
Austin Daye, 2009
5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 0.7 apg in six NBA seasons
Tyshawn Taylor, 2012
2.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg and 0.9 apg in two NBA seasons
Will Barton, 2012
11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 2.5 apg in eight NBA seasons