There’s a frequent false impression throughout the sport of basketball that you simply have to be tall, and at the very least 6ft to have the ability to attain the NBA. Nevertheless as historical past as proven, you’ll be able to play on the highest stage at any measurement.
As of July 2022, Isaiah Thomas is the shortest lively NBA participant at simply 5-foot-9, and has performed for the likes of the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Charlotte Hornets over his 11-year profession within the league.
“Dad how good was Isaiah Thomas?” pic.twitter.com/yVjrdE3ee3
— 𝙍𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙮 ☘️ (@CelticsRiley) July 22, 2022
A two-time All-Star, Thomas completed fifth in MVP voting in 2017 in top-of-the-line particular person seasons the NBA has seen in current historical past and the 33-year-old remains to be able to doing a advantageous rotation job in as we speak’s period.
Let’s have a look by way of the ten shortest NBA gamers of all time.
10. Charlie Criss – 5-foot-8 (Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks)
Charlie Criss performed eight seasons within the NBA and was the shortest lively participant all through his profession from 1977 to 1985, throughout spells with the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
Averaging 8.5 factors, 1.4 rebounds, and three.2 assists per sport within the NBA, Criss peaked in his rookie yr with the Hawks and performed 77 video games in that season averaging 11 factors and 4 assists.
9. Spud Webb – 5-foot-7 (Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic)
Spud Webb is finest remembered for his time within the NBA as being the shortest participant ever to win the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend in 1986, and performed 12 seasons within the league throughout groups such because the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings.
Webb, now 59-years-old, is the president of basketball operations for the Texas Legends, the NBA G League affiliate of the Dallas Mavericks.
8. Monte Towe – 5-foot-7 (Denver Nuggets)
Monte Towe, pictured on the proper, performed one season within the NBA in 1976-77 when the Denver Nuggets made the swap to the Nationwide Basketball Affiliation from the American Basketball Affiliation and was waived earlier than the beginning of the 1977-78 season.
Towe is now the pinnacle coach at Oak Corridor Faculty in Gainesville, Florida, and was an assistant coach at Center Tennessee State College from 2011 to 2014.
7. Wataru Misaka – 5-foot-7 (New York Knicks)
Wataru Misaka made historical past in 1947 by breaking the colour barrier in skilled basketball and turning into the primary non-white participant and the primary participant of Asian descent to play within the NBA, which was recognized as a substitute because the Basketball Affiliation of America (BAA) throughout that point.
Misaka impressed lots of the biggest Asian NBA gamers of all time similar to Yao Ming, Jordan Clarkson, Rui Hachimura, and Jeremy Lin.
The purpose guard performed simply three video games for the Knicks and was minimize mid-way through the season, and there have been no press conferences or interviews to mark Misaka’s first sport as ‘no one cared’.
6. Herm Klotz – 5-foot-7 (Baltimore Bullets)
Herm ‘Purple’ Klotz, pictured on the far left, performed as a degree guard for the Baltimore Bullets who existed from 1944 to 1954 and are nonetheless the one defunct NBA staff to have ever gained a championship.
Klotz shaped the 2 groups that performed in opposition to and toured with the Harlem Globetrotters, the Washington Generals and New York Nationals. He was the oldest-living NBA champion, and died at 93-years-old in 2014.
He was the shortest participant to ever play on a championship profitable staff.
5. Keith Jennings – 5-foot-7 (Golden State Warriors)
Keith Jennings spent three seasons within the NBA with the Golden State Warriors between 1992 and 1995, and scored a career-high 23 factors and added ten assists in one among his final ever video games with the Dubs in opposition to the Toronto Raptors.
Since 2017, Jennings has been the pinnacle coach of the Lees-McRae Faculty girls’s basketball staff in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
4. Greg Grant – 5-foot-7 (Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Denver Nuggets)
Pictured right here alongside Los Angeles Lakers legend James Worthy, Greg Grant spent 9 years throughout the NBA on six completely different groups and was the 52nd total choose within the 1989 NBA draft.
In 2010, Grant turned the pinnacle coach of Trenton Central Excessive Faculty the place he led his staff to an total file of 100-32 over 5 years with each single one among his gamers graduating.
3. Mel Hirsch – 5-foot-6 (Boston Celtics)
— Brooklyn Faculty Alumni Engagement (@BkCollegeAlumni) October 22, 2021
Mel Hirsch performed 13 video games for the Boston Celtics within the 1946-47 season, averaging 1.5 factors and eight assists per sport while being the shortest participant in league historical past for greater than 40 years.
Hirsch was a star participant at Brooklyn Faculty and likewise served within the US Military Air Corps.
2. Earl Boykins – 5-foot-5 (Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets)
Earl Boykins, right here pictured subsequent to LeBron James throughout his unique stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, is the second-shortest participant in NBA historical past and loved 16 completely different spells within the league from 1998 to 2012.
Boykins performed in 15 playoff video games with the Denver Nuggets and averaged 12.9 factors per sport within the postseason, taking part in 27.5 minutes per sport and capturing nearly 85% from the free throw line.
The 46-year-old is now an assistant coach on the College of Texas at El Paso.
1. Muggsy Bogues – 5-foot-3 (Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors)
At simply 5-foot-3, Muggsy Bogues is the shortest participant to have ever performed within the NBA and he performed level guard for 4 completely different groups throughout his 14-year profession within the league.
Bogues was a really profitable NBA expertise, and completed within the high seven in assists in six consecutive seasons between 1989 and 1995, and in three of these seasons reached the highest ten in steals.
He recorded a powerful 146 double-doubles within the NBA and averaged 7.7 factors, 7.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per sport throughout his time taking part in essentially the most elite stage of basketball on the planet.