Over the years of the existence of the National Basketball Association, hundreds of players have passed through the League, and only a few of them can be called giants. We are talking about current and ex-NBA basketball players, whose height exceeds 220 cm.
10 NBA Tallest players
|Player||Nationality||NBA Career Years||Height (cm)|
|Sean Bradley||USA / FRG||1993-2005||229|
Tallest teammates in NBA history
The first place in the list of the tallest NBA players in history is shared by Gheorghe Muresan (231 cm) and Manute Bol (231 cm). Both giants were acquired by the Washington Bullets (today the Wizards) at different times. Bol was drafted 31st in 1985, while Mureshan picked 30th pick in 1993.
However, the pair of giants briefly crossed in the same team only in the 1993/1994 season. At that time, the Bullets consisted of two of the tallest basketball players in the world at the same time, but this did not help the team achieve high results.
Manute was already at the end of his career and played only 2 games in that championship, spending an average of 3 minutes on the court. Despite modest performance statistics, Ball made NBA history as the only basketball player in the Association to block more shots than he scored (2,086 vs 1,599 points).
Muresan showed more outstanding performance. On average, throughout his career, Romanians collected the following collection per match: 9.8 points – 6.4 rebounds – 1.48 block shots. In 1996, he was even recognized as the most progressive player in the NBA, showing phenomenal numbers at the end of the season: 14.5 points – 9.6 rebounds – 2.3 block shots
He played at a good level the next season, but later he was tortured by injuries and he completed his performance in the Association.
Tallest NBA Champion
The tallest basketball player to become an NBA champion in the history of the Association is Charles Nevitt (226 cm). It happened in the 1984/1985 season when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers. The legendary Karim Abdul-Jabbar (218 cm) was the soloist on the court then, while Charles got only crumbs of playing time.
Russian center Pavel Podkolzin (226 cm) was close to repeating Nevitt’s original record. The Novosibirsk native spent two years in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks. In the 2005/2006 season, when the Texans lost in the final to the Miami Heat led by Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neill (216 cm), Podkolzin played one match. Pavel scored 3 points, collected 7 bounces, and made 1 block shot in 18 minutes on the court, so formally, if Dallas won, then Podkolzin would become the highest NBA champion along with Nevitt.
Tallest NBA Player in the Basketball Hall of Fame
One of the most talented and popular giants to ever play in the NBA – Chinese center Yao Ming (229 cm) – never managed to become the champion of the Association. Despite this, Yao remains the tallest player to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame to this day.
Yao did not manage to get the championship ring largely due to health problems. After spending eight incomplete seasons with the Houston Rockets, the good-natured Chinese was forced to hang his sneakers on a nail.
After completing his career, Min remained in basketball. He is the owner of the Shanghai Sharks club, where he once played in China, and occasionally works as a sports commentator. In 2017, Yao became president of the China Basketball Association. Min is also known on the Internet for an Internet meme drawn along the contour of his face.
Tallest long-standing basketball players in NBA history
The stories of Gheorghe Muresan, Manute Bola, and Yao Ming show that it is very difficult for basketball players over 220 cm to maintain their health over a long distance. At the same time, there are many examples when giants spent many years on the basketball court.
Sean Bradley (229 cm), Mark Eaton (224 cm), Rik Smits (224 cm), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (221 cm) – each of these centers have played over 800 games in the NBA. At the same time, none of the listed basketball players was an extra on their team, who simply wiped the bench. The giants regularly appeared on the site and scored points.
For example, Smits has accumulated 12,871 points throughout his career at Indiana. Unsurprisingly, fans included the Dutchman on the Pacers’ 40th-anniversary squad.
Eaton played all 11 seasons in the NBA in the form of “Utah”, becoming one of the best blockers in the Association in history (3.5 blocks per game). In “Jazz” Mark is forever assigned No. 53, under which he played.
The Ilgauskas jersey has also been removed from circulation. The Lithuanian center spent almost his entire career defending Cleveland’s colors.
Bradley was less visible on the court. Having played in the NBA at three clubs – Philadelphia, New Jersey (now Brooklyn), and Dallas – he scored just over 6.5 points. But Sean turned out to be not only a talented basketball player but also an actor.
Tallest NBA players in movies
One of the interesting facts that are associated with the highest basketball players in the NBA and the whole world is their relevance in the film industry. The same Gheorghe Muresan in 1998 starred in the Romanian-American comedy “My Giant”.
In May 2019, the action movie John Wick 3 was released, in which the Serbian center Boban Marjanovic (222 cm), playing for Philadelphia, played a cameo role.
But Sean Bradley distinguished himself more than others. He co-starred in the hit basketball movie Space Jam, made a cameo in Steep Walker: Texas Justice, and acted as an auto mechanic in The Singles Ward.
Tallest NBA player to date
The currently tallest NBA player playing is Boban Marjanovic. Behind him is the Latvian Kristaps Porzingis (221 cm), who moved from New York to Dallas last season.
However, Boban and Kristaps’ positions may soon be shaken. The 2019 draft brought two more giants to the National Basketball Association: Bol Bola (221 cm) and Taco Falla (231 cm).
The son of the already known Manute Bola was selected by the Miami Heat under the overall 44th overall pick in the 2nd round of the draft and was then traded to the Denver Nuggets. Experts predicted that Bol would be taken away from the “talent fair” much earlier, but apparently, the teams did not dare to choose the injury-prone player with a higher peak.
If Bol had been picked in the 1st round of the draft (among the first 30 players), then he would have received an automatic right to sign a contract with the team and entered the top 3 highest NBA players.
As part of the University of Oregon team, the giant showed impressive statistics: 21 points – 9.6 rebounds – 2.7 blocks per game on average. At the same time, he implemented 52% of the shots from beyond the arc, which fully corresponds to modern basketball trends, where every person on the court should be able to hit 3-points, regardless of position. The experts naturally compared Bol with Kristaps Porzingis, who in a few years became one of the stars of the Association.
He managed to play only 9 matches at the student level before suffering a left leg injury that left him without basketball for the rest of the NCAA season.
The 231-centimeter Senegalese Taco Fall was not selected by any of the Association’s clubs in the draft. The African giant, despite its impressive size (arm span – 2.5 meters; reaches the ring, standing on the floor), is absolutely awkward, and coaches will need more than one year of work to properly develop his basketball skills.
And yet, shortly after the draft, the Celtics were seduced by the Senegalese’s growth and offered him a contract that would allow Fall to play at Boston’s farm club in the Development League. If necessary, this contract can be converted into a bilateral agreement. With a fortunate coincidence, already in 2019, we can witness the debut of the tallest NBA player to date. So these are the 10 NBA Tallest players of All-Time.