Being tall is pretty much a prerequisite in the NBA. But some of these guys take that to a new level. Broken down by position, we look at the tallest players to hit the court in NBA history.
For a few, their size helped them get into position and make things happen both offensively and defensively. Others couldn't find their way to stick around being the tallest at their position in an already tall man's league. One things certain, if you can shoot, it doesn't matter how tall you are, you'll have a good career.
Tallest NBA Players in History
Manute Bol - Center, 7 feet, 7 inches
The well-known Manute Bol strung together a career that spanned almost 10 seasons. Bol's stature was enough for the Washington Bullets to take the University of Bridgeport product from Sudan with the seventh pick in the second round of the 1985 draft. Bol led the league in blocks in his rookie season as well as in his career year of 1988-1989 with the Golden State Warriors. That season, Bol dumped in 314 points including 20 three-pointers, which was amazing for a player who specialized in shot blocking. Following his career, Bol used his stature to raise money for his former war-torn home of Sudan. He died in 2010 due to kidney failure
Gheorghe Muresan - Center, 7 feet, 7 inches
The Washington Bullets liked Manute Bol so they figured they'd draft another giant in the second round of the 1993 draft. Muresan, a native of Romania, spent six seasons in the league, ending his NBA run with the New Jersey Nets in 2000. Using his size to throw down from short range, Muresan, nicknamed "Ghitza," led the league in back-to-back seasons in 1995-1996 and 1997-1997 with a 58.4% and 60.4% field-goal percentage. Muresan is considered the tallest NBA player in history but often shares the distinction with Bol.
Tallest NBA Players By Position
Kosta Perovic - Forward, 7 feet, 2 inches
Perovic played just a handful of games in the 2007-2008 season with the team who drafted him, the Golden State Warriors. He dressed in seven games and scored his first points against the Milwaukee Bucks on January, 19, 2008. Although Perovic was taken in the second round, with the 38th pick, he chose to play in Europe before coming over to the States. His short stint in the NBA wasn't the end of his career though, playing in Spain the last couple years.
Dan Langhi - Small Forward, 6 feet, 11 inches
The 6-11 Vanderbilt product was taken in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks, but ended up getting his first action with the Houston Rockets. His short career lasted just four seasons and 133 games. His career year came in 2002-2003 with the Phoenix Suns when he knocked down 183 points in 60 games.
Steve Smith - Shooting Guard, 6 feet, 8 inches
Smith entered the league as a solid shooter and a top draft pick in 1991 as the fifth overall selection of Miami Heat. The slick shooting guard set records at Michigan State and didn't disappoint in the NBA. Despite his 80-inch frame, Smith drained threes with the best of them, including 116 with the San Antonio Spurs in 2001-2002. That led the league in three-point shooting percentage. His 15-year career ended in 2005 back with the Miami Heat for a dozen games.
|Name||Position||Last season||Height||Weight||Birth Date||Birth Country||Draft Round||Draft Pick||Drafted by|
|Manute Bol||Center||1995||7'7"||225||10/16/1962||Sudan||2||7||Washington Bullets|
|Gheorghe Muresan||Center||2000||7'7"||303||2/14/1971||Romania||2||3||Washington Bullets|
|Kosta Perovic||Forward||2008||7'2"||240||2/19/1985||Yugoslavia||2||8||Golden State Warriors|
|James Edwards||Forward-Center||1996||7'1"||252||11/22/1955||United States||3||2||LA LAkers|
|Yi Jianlian||Power Forward||2011||7'||250||10/27/1987||China||1||6||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Jonathan Bender||Forward||2010||7'||235||1/30/1981||United States||1||5||Toronto Raptors|
|Dan Langhi||Small Forward||2004||6'11"||220||11/28/1977||United States||2||2||Dallas Mavericks|
|Mike Dunleavy||Guard-Forward||2013||6'9"||230||9/15/1980||United States||1||3||Golden State Warriors|
|Steve Smith||Shooting Guard||2005||6'8"||220||3/31/1969||United States||1||5||Miami Heat|
|Tracy McGrady||Guard||2012||6'8"||225||5/24/1979||United States||1||9||Toronto Raptors|
|Zoran Planinic||Point Guard||2006||6'7"||210||9/12/1982||Yugoslavia||1||22||New Jersey Nets|
Many NBA players dwarf other athletes, but it's actually quite rare to see players over 7-feet tall stick around in the league. None of the Top 20 Tallest NBA players of all time are currently still playing and most of the tallest by position are under 7 feet tall - albeit still head and shoulders among average folks like you and I.
Tallest Players for the 2012-2013 Season