Traditionally, the game of basketball is for tall people. The average height was roughly 6ft 7in (200 cm) but as we well know, the world is full of rule breakers. Some were several inches below the average height and some others have succeeded at beating the average height. We’ll be taking a look at the height chart for some of the most successful basketball players. From the shortest who were daring enough to succeed at this sport to the ones who have an ‘excess’ of height.
Muggsy Bogues 5ft 3in (160 cm)
Even in the face of a major disadvantage, Muggsy refused to give up on his dream to become a professional basketball player. His name is originally Tyrone Bogues but because he was so good at defence that other players said he was ‘mugging’ them, he got the moniker ‘Muggsy’. He is the shortest player till date in the NBA history and his biggest drive is people’s negative comments about his obvious deficiency.
Earl Boykins 5ft 5in (165 cm)
Earl was so small that as a kid, he learnt the art of dribbling with a tennis ball. From a young age, he was determined to play professionally and he followed rigorous trainings. Even when he was not drafted by an NBA team post college graduation, he made sure he made his indelible mark through all his short-term contract opportunities.
Spud Webb 5ft 7in (170 cm)
Like his vertically deficient mates, Spud made up for his shortage through sheer skill and energy. He is fondly remembered as a ‘satellite who could practically leap into orbit’. His dunking skills were out of this world for a man of his height and Webb became the shortest man to ever win the 1986 NBA slam-dunk contest.
Wataru “Wat” Misaka 5ft 7in (170 cm)
Wat who is now 93 may have been small in stature but he suffered more contempt and discrimination relating to his Japanese origin than due to his height. He was daring enough to become the first Asian-American to join the NBA.
Charlie Criss 5ft 8in (173 cm)
Criss did not have to be told that his height was a disadvantage to his chosen career. He can be described as a dynamite whose ambition came true thanks to pure determination and perseverance.
Nate Robinson 5ft 9in (175 cm)
Short but is a fighter nonetheless. Robinson became the first three-time slam dunk champion.
Ty Lawson 5ft 11in (180 cm)
Lawson was a college champion who later played for the Sacramento Kings.
Jameer Nelson 6ft 0in (183 cm)
When you see him on the pitch, you’ll realize that he has indeed made up for his height deficiency with an ardent passion and drive to succeed. Jameer was named an All-Star in 2009 as he helped his team Orlando Magic reach the NBA finals.
Stephen Curry 6ft 3in (191 cm)
Curry is no doubt on the list of the best players in the history of basketball. Several analysts and players alike have bestowed on him the title of the greatest shooter they have ever seen. The many-time Most Valuable Player did not achieve all of these only because of his height as in the real sense of it, he is still below the average height for the sports.
Michael Jordan 6ft 5in (196 cm)
From his leaping ability to his amazing defence skills to his fighter spirit, His Airness has qualified for the title of ‘greatest player of all time’.
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Kobe Bryant 6ft 6in (198 cm)
He is now a retired player and holds the records for playing with just one franchise through his entire career.
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LeBron James 6ft 8in (203 cm)
He is a many time Championship winner and has won several other awards. LeBron is wealthy for his multiple endorsement contracts off the courts.
Kevin Durant 6ft 9in (206 cm)
Kevin Durant has been a valuable asset to the game since he was in college. The promising freshman evolved into one of the best professional players
Dwight Howard 6ft 11in (211 cm)
Dwight is another intimidation for the shorter players when seen on the pitch. He an outstanding defence player and is an eight-time All-Star.
Andrea Bargnani 7ft 0in (213 cm)
Bargnani’s brilliant performances have helped his team the Raptors to their first ever Division title.
Shaquille O’Neal 7ft 1in (216 cm)
In his 19-year NBA career, O’Neal played for six different teams and in all of these teams he was a very valuable asset. He won multiple awards and titles despite being one of the heaviest players to be a part of the National Basketball Association at 325lbs (147kg).
Hamed Haddadi 7ft 2in (218 cm)
Haddadi is the first Iranian to lay in the National Basketball Association. In his country, he is indeed one of their most gifted stars.
Hasheem Thabeet 7ft 3in (221 cm)
Hasheem did not start playing till he was 15 and since then he has found his way to the NBA team Memphis Grizzlies.
Shawn Bradley 7ft 6in (229 cm)
Bradley is now a retired player and also one of the tallest to have walked the basketball pitch. The dual citizen player was a centre for three different teams in the NBA, not all at the same time though.
Gheorghe Muresan 7ft 7in (231 cm)
He has become one of the all time tallest in sporting history. In 1996, Muresan was named NBA’s most improved player. For the retired basketball player, his height was only an advantage for him but it made no spectacular difference in his career success.
Manute Bol 7ft 7in (231 cm)
Sudan-born American player Manute in his time was the only NBA player to secure a higher number of blocked shots than scored points.
Paul Sturgess 7ft 8in (234 cm)
His height is not a result of any disorder but he rather possesses a familial tall stature. For someone who has been known for his height since he was a kid, basketball was only natural since he was more than qualified for it. With all of the above mentioned names we see that the men who have made a lasting impact in the game were not the tallest in fact some of the shortest have blown our minds away.