The first thing that comes in our mind when we think of basketball players is their extreme height. Some of the players are so tall that they can certainly be called giants as they are extraordinarily taller than average basketball players. At the professional level, most male players are above 6 feet 3 inches tall. According to a survey on National Basketball Association teams, the average height of all NBA players is just under 6 feet 7 inches. Gheroghe Muresan and Manute bol were the tallest players ever in the NBA history. Here is the top 10 list of tallest basketball players in the NBA.
10.Priest Lauderdale (7 feet, 4 inches)
Priest Lauderdale is one of the tallest athletes in NBA’s history and also Former American famous basketball player. He played only 2 seasons in the NBA (1996-1998), one season with the Atlanta Hawks and the other with Denver Nuggets. During his two-year career in the NBA, he averaged 3.4 points, 7.1 minutes and 1.9 rebounds. After his career in the NBA, Lauderdale played professionally in Bulgaria from 2002 to 2005 and received Bulgarian citizenship.
9.Rik Smits (7 feet, 4 inches)
Rik Smits, a retired Dutch basketball player spent his entire professional career with the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and is still one of the all-time favorites there. He was drafted by the Pacers out of Marist College with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft. Smits played 12 seasons in the NBA from 1988 to 2000. He scored in double figures each season he played, 1995-1996 being his best when he averaged 18.6 points per game.
8.Mark Eaton (7 feet, 4 inches)
One of the America’s professional basketball players Mark Eaton was a member of NBA’s Utah Jazz from 1982 to 1993. Eaton’s 7 feet 4 inches height helped him become one of the best defensive players in NBA history. During the 1985-1986 season, Eaton blocked 5.56 shots per game. His career average is 3.5 points per game which is higher than any other player in the NBA. Eaton remained a premier shot blocker and defender during the late 80’s until injuries started and forced Eaton to retire after the 92-93 season.
7.Pavel Podkolzin (7 feet, 5 inches)
Pavel Nikolaevitch Podkolzin is a Russian professional basketball player who formerly played in the NBA and the NBA development league. He was first selected by Utah Jazz in the 2004 NBA Draft. Soon after, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first round pick in the 2005 NBA draft. He was considered to be high drifts pick in the 2004 draft because of his size, strengths and blocking ability. Podkolzin played a total of six NBA games and scored four points for Dallas Mavericks.
6.Slavko Vranes (7 feet, 5 inches)
Slavko Vranes is a Montenegrin professional basketball player who was selected by the NBA’s New York Knicks in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft but didn’t get to play for Knicks as he was waived by Knicks in December 2003. In early 2004, he was signed by the Portland Trailblazers only for three minutes for the team before his entire NBA career came to an end.
5.Chuck Nevitt (7 feet, 5 inches)
Chuck Nevitt is a retired American professional basketball player. At 7 feet 5 inches, he played the center position throughout his career in the NBA. Chuck played for five different teams in NBA throughout his entire career: Houton Rockets, Derroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls Los Angeles Lakers and Aan Antonio Apurs.
Navitt played 9 seasons in the NBA from 1982 to 1994. He did not play more than 45 games in any season and just averaged 1.6 points per game his career. If we add up his career minutes played, his nine seasons of minutes played can be totaled up to be about the length of 18 full NBA games.
4.Shawn Bradley (7 feet, 6 inches)
Shawn Paul Bradley, born on March 22, 1972, is a retired American and German basketball player. Philadelphia 76’ers picked Bradley in 1993 NBA drift. Later, he played for New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. From 1993 to 2005, he played 12 seasons for these three different teams.
For much of his career, Bradley was inconsistent in scoring but always excelled in blocking shots. Like every tall player, injuries started mounting up on his back and legs, his playing time and availability that slowly started diminishing. He finally retired after 2004-2005 season.
3.Yao Ming (7 feet, 6 inches)
Yao Ming is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played for the Houston Rockets of the NBA. At 7 feet 6 inches, he was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA drift. He played 8 full seasons for the Houston Rockets. Yao announced his retirement from professional basketball in July 2011 due to a series of foot and ankle injuries.
2.Manute Bol (7feet, 6 ¾ inches)
Manute Bol was a Sudanese born basketball player who was officially measured at 7 feet, 6 ¾ inches tall in the Guinness book of world records. Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA from 1985 to 1995 for four different teams like Washington Bullets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors. Bol was considered the best shot-blocker in the history of the sports. Despite his blocking skills, he had many problems because of his thin physique which troubled him during the game. He indeed blocked more shots than he scored points during his entire career.
After first few healthy years he started missing large portions of the season due to injuries that eventually ended his career in the middle of the 94-95 season. Post NBA career, Bol played 22 games for the Florida Beach Dogs of the Continental Basketball Association during 1995 to 1996 season. Bol died from acute kidney failure on 19th June, 2010.
1.Gheroghe Muresan (7 feet, 7 inches)
Gheroghe Muresan, born on February 14, 1971, is a retired Romanian basketball player. At 7 feet 7 inches, he is the tallest player in the NBA history or perhaps the tallest basketball player in the world, also the tallest man in Romania and second tallest living person in the European Union.
Muresan initially played professionally in the French League during 1992-93. Later in 2003, Washington Bulletins showed interest in him and selected him in the 1993 NBA drift. He played in the NBA from 1993 to 2000 showing signs of a promising career, but his best season came only during 1994-1995 campaign when his average points per game was 14.4. The 1996-1997 time was not as good for him. Injuries plagued the rest of his career in which he was able to play only about 31 games. After the end of his NBA career, he played another 3 seasons back in Europe before retiring and moving to live in the United States.