The Shortest NBA Players of All Time
Even though height is almost synonymous with basketball players, not all professionals are seven feet tall. In case you've just realized your growth spurt might not come, don't ditch your jersey yet.
These 30 men are some of the shortest basketball players of all time. Through hard work and dedication, they proved that heart is more important than height.
Scott Brooks: 5 Feet 11 inches
Scott Brooks went undrafted initially, but he went on to become a successful coach. As a 5 feet 11 inches guard, he was on the shorter side for a basketball player but still a decent height for a point guard.
Terrell Brandon: 5 Feet 11 Inches
In high school, Terrell Brandon and his teammates made it to the 1988 Class AAA Oregon Boys High-School Basketball Championship. Upon his selection as the 11th overall pick in the 1991 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Brandon began a steady 11-year career in the NBA, playing for three teams.
Craig 'Speedy' Claxton: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Claxton's nickname 'Speedy' is pretty self-explanatory, but just to confirm, he was indeed quick on his feet. Speedy led his college team to a championship game before embarking on his NBA career. He was first drafted in 2000 by the Philadelphia 76ers as the 20th overall pick.
Allen Iverson: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Allen Iverson is revered for his influence both on and off the court and is known for having dedication and skill in equal measure. His 5 feet 11 inches height hasn’t stopped him from being an NBA legend, and he remains one of the most iconic football players of all time.
Shane Larkin: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Shane Larkin had a rough start in his professional basketball career. He was selected by the Atlanta Hawks as the 18th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft but was immediately traded to the Dallas Mavericks that night.
Tywon Lawson: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Ty Lawson also stands at 5 feet 11 inches and plays the point guard position. For the draft, he was disadvantaged not only was his height, but also his known ankle injury. Regardless, he was still able to snag the 18th pick in 2009.
John Lucas III: 5 Feet 11 Inches
After going undrafted in 2005, Lucas decided to take another route and joined the NBA Summer League. During his decade-long career, he jumped around from team to team, playing for several in the NBA, the NBA D-League and overseas as well.
Chris Paul: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Chris Paul continues to be a big name in basketball. Despite his small stature’s he’s proven himself to be an all-around exceptional player. He was selected 5th overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the New Orleans Hornets.
Michael Adams: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Compared to some of the other players on this list, 5 feet 10 inches might not seem short. In a sport where the average height is 6 feet 7 inches, however, Michael Adams still struggled to get noticed because of his size.
Avery 'Little General' Johnson: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Avery Johnson initially went undrafted in 1988 but went on to have a 16-year long career in the NBA. His 5 feet 10 inches along with his leadership skills as a point guard earned him the nickname 'The Little General.'
Andre Barrett: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Barrett's career had a rocky start. Following his departure from playing basketball at Seton Hall, he went undrafted before signing with the Houston Rockets. The 5 feet 10 inches guard then spent years bouncing between teams, including the Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns in a frenzy of signings and transactions.
Tyus Edney: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Tyus Edney was a tenacious, quick-footed point guard who now uses his basketball knowledge as a coach. His game winning shot back in college at UCLA is arguably one of the most famous plays in NCAA history.
Khalid El-Amin: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Khalid had a promising future as a professional basketball player, coming fresh off an NCAA championship-winning team prior to the draft. He was chosen by the Chicago Bulls as the 34th overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft.
Chris Garner: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Garner played collegiately at the University of Memphis but was never drafted by an NBA team. The 5 feet 10 inches point guard did, however, play parts of two seasons with both the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors.
Brevin Knight: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Brevin Knight is now a retired player, but in his prime, his talent as a guard was undeniable. Although he is only 5 feet 10 inches, his basketball skills completely outshined his height. He still ranks third in scoring for the teams he played for.
Damon 'Mighty Mouse' Stoudamire: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Damon Stoudamire was a top pick in the 1995 NBA draft, being chosen seventh overall by the Toronto Raptors. He took the honor and ran with it, reaching great heights in his first season as a Raptor by winning the Rookie of the Year award.
Mike Wilks: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Wilks had a solid 4-year college basketball career at Rice University averaging 20.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3 assists per game in his final year, but he still went undrafted in 2001, perhaps due to his height. He played the point guard position.
Kay Felder: 5 Feet 9 Inches
Standing at the height of the average man, Kay Felder's 5 feet 9 inches stature didn't open any doors for him when it came to basketball. During his college years, he was seen as an NBA prospect and placed on the watch-list for the Naismith College Player of the Year, but he still barely made the NBA draft.
Calvin Murphy: 5 Feet 9 Inches
Even though Calvin Murphy is only 5 feet 9 inches, his presence on the court was huge. Considered legendary by basketball fans, Murphy had all the skills necessary to be an all-star. He spent his entire 13-year career in a Houston Rockets uniform playing as a guard.
Nate Robinson: 5 Feet 9 Inches
Nate Robinson stands at 5 feet 9 inches, but he showed his ability to reach outstanding heights when he soared over Dwight Howard in a slam-dunk competition. In fact, Robinson is a three-time Sprite Slam-Dunk Competition Champion, proving that height isn’t always a factor when it comes to basketball prowess.
Isaiah Thomas: 5 Feet 9 Inches
Isaiah Thomas definitely had to fight to get to the NBA. Teams were wary to draft him due to his height, but in 2011, he was selected by the Sacramento Kings as the final pick. Since then, Thomas has shown his worth as a player.
Charlie Criss: 5 Feet 8 Inches
When Criss entered the NBA, he was the league's shortest active player. At 5 feet 8 inches, his height was an issue for teams, so he went undrafted in the 1970 draft. Instead, he began his professional career in the Continental Basketball Association, playing for the Scranton Apollos and then for the Washington Generals.
Greg Grant: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Greg Grant didn't have a traditional entry into competitive basketball. He was discovered at a local New Jersey playground and consequently enrolled at Trenton State College in 1986.
Keith Jennings: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Keith Jennings began his NBA career as a free agent, spending three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. His short stature was difficult to ignore, and he went undrafted in 1991 despite his successful college career.
Wataru Misaka: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Wataru Misaka broke more than height barriers when it came to basketball. He was the first person of color in the Basketball Association of America and the NY Knicks number one draft pick in 1947. Back then, Misaka never thought his impact would be so powerful.
Monte Towe: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Monte Towe, like many of those previously listed, first achieved great success as a basketball star in college. He started out as a point guard for North Carolina State's 1974 NCAA championship team.
Anthony Jerome 'Spud' Webb: 5 Feet 7 Inches
‘Spud’ Webb is perhaps most well-known for winning the Sprite Slam Dunk contest in 1986. He even coached Nate Robinson for his first slam-dunk competition victory, and he remains the shortest contestant and winner in NBA history.
Mel Hirsch: 5 Feet 6 Inches
At a modest 5 feet 6 inches, Melvin Hirsch was the shortest player in NBA history for nearly half a century. He played for the Boston Celtics long before the NBA was even a thing.
Earl Boykins: 5 Feet 5 Inches
Starting off the list is Earl Boykins, the second shortest NBA player of all time. Although he's the second shortest NBA player, he takes the number one spot as the shortest player to have scored 30+ points. Despite his solid scoring and passing skills, however, Boykins was never drafted.
Tyrone Curtis 'Muggsy' Bogues: 5 Feet 3 Inches
The shortest basketball player in NBA history is Tyrone Curtis Bogues. Despite his significant lack of height, he was still drafted 12th overall in 1987 by the Washington Bullets and later played for several other teams.