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Tallest Players in NBA History


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


Seven-foot phenomenon

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

 

Check out our article on the Shortest Players in the NBA and Heaviest Players in the NBA.




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