The Shortest Basketball Player Ever – It may come as a surprise, but there are many other players under six feet tall who are allowed in the NBA. One could argue that a short player can work harder than his shorter counterparts. While most of the court catchers in the league are much, much taller than your average guy, there are loads of guys who are below average height, but way above average.
The shortest player ever to play for an NBA team is famous, and has an amazing reputation.
The Shortest Basketball Player Ever
Bogues, at just 5 feet, 3 inches, and 136 pounds, is the shortest player in NBA history.
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At that height, short though he was, a professional basketball player, Bogues played 889 games in 14 seasons.
In fact, he played 15 full professional seasons, as his first campaign was with the defunct American Basketball League, playing for the Rhode Island Gulls (not a great name) in 1987.
The now 57-year-old Bogues even played on the same team as the second tallest player in NBA history, Manute Bol.
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His full name is Tyrone Curtis Bogues, so Muggsy is just a name and not just his real name, but his game, his name, and his style were evident every time he was on the court.
Teams took Bogues seriously as a strong and nifty defender. He finished in the top 10 in triple steals and in the top seven in assists in six straight seasons, from 1989 to 1995, playing for the Toronto Raptors, Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, and most notably, the Charlotte Hornets.
He got the name Muggsy from a character that appeared in the early 1940s and 50s known as “The Bowery Boys”, a group of people based in New York City.
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By the end of his playing career in 2001, Bogues was 12th on the all-time assists list and had the 13th-best assist rate in NBA history.
Even those who don’t follow the NBA may know who Bogues is, either because of his role as the league’s shortstop, or more because of his role in the original Space Jam movie.
Playing 13 seasons and 652 games over two seasons in the NBA, Boykins was a skilled passer.
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Boykins also became the shortest player in league history to score 30 points when he did it in 2004 for the Denver Nuggets, scoring 32. In three straight games against Denver, Boykins averaged just a shade under 13 points, four assists, and one steal over 15 games. .
He also finished the season playing abroad to secure a lucrative contract with Virtus Bologna of the Italian A League.
Hirsch you probably don’t know much about him, if at all. He played one season, and only 13 games, for the Boston Celtics in the 1946-47 season.
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We’re not sure he fits the bill, but admittedly, he’s perfect for the NBA.
At just two inches taller than Hirsch, it’s safe to say that Webb may have made the biggest name of anyone on the roster. He’s listed as 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches, but we’re going to NBA.com’s list here.
The high-flying Webster – who is also competing for the best title on this list with Muggsy – broke out and became a sensation when he won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986.
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Even better, Webb promoted fellow Hall-of-Famer (and legendary dunker) Dominique Wilkins to claim the coveted crown, which took place that season in Dallas, Webb’s hometown.
From there, fame followed, as it often did for dunk-champs back in the day. Webb’s face was everywhere for a while as he starred in commercials for Coca-Cola, Chips Ahoy!, Hardee’s Hamburgers, Sunkist Oranges, Pony Shoes, and Chicken Fried Chicken, among others.
Webb also helped raise another Slam Dunk champion, as he coached the five-foot, nine-inch Nate Robinson to the trophy in 2006. They remain the only NBA players under six feet to win the championship.
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The 58-year-old Webb currently holds the title of president of basketball operations for the NBA G League team, the Texas Legends, based out of his hometown of Dallas, Frisco, Texas.
Over 814 career games and 12 seasons, Webb scored a hair under 10 points per game and averaged 5.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.1 rebounds, playing mostly for the Atlanta Hawks, but also for the Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Orlando. The magic.
There are few other NBA players who stand taller than five feet, seven inches, so without stopping them all it’s hard to know exactly who was taller.
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Red Klotz – One who had gone on a train, playing only 11 games in the 1947-48 season, but for a reason, because he was serving in World War II.
Monte Towe – Towe only had one season but scored 51 games for the Nuggets in ’76-’77.
Charlie Criss – He won eight seasons in the NBA and was named the National Basketball Association MVP in 1976.
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Overall, the links here take us to all 24 players on our list, but three players in particular stand out above the crowd.
A Hall-of-Fame player, he may be best known for his time off the court after retirement as a fan wearing Houston Rockets colors.
Of course, Murphy was a hell of an actor. Known as the shortest player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall, he was the Rockets’ leading scorer when he retired in 1983, a record that stood for 11 years until it was broken by another. Hall of Famer, Hakeem Olajuwon.
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The 74-year-old still holds the second-highest free-throw percentage in a single season at 95.8 percent in 1980-81, and helped Houston reach the NBA Finals that season, where they lost 4.-2 to the Boston Celtics.
On another course, Murphy was also a national champion in pole twirling, winning the title in 1963, and won the Texas State Twirling Championship during his career in 1977. He was also involved in court controversy.
The aforementioned second-shortest player to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, he added to his all-time record for winning the dunk contest twice and becoming the first to win the slam dunk three times.
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Robinson played for eight teams during his career, totaling 618, mostly with the New York Knicks. He also won a special award in his one season with the Chicago Bulls, when he became the fourth player to score at least 25 points and make nine appearances in the Bulls’ playoffs, joining legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, together. and Derrick Rose.
You may recall that Robinson also participated in one boxing match, a knockout loss to Jake Paul in 2022.
Thomas is known for a few things now. There is, of course, his stature and standing as the NBA’s most active shortstop, but also because his name is similar to Hall of Fame guard Isiah Thomas.
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The 33-year-old became the Boston Celtics’ all-time leading scorer, winning two All-Star games during his tenure and playing through emotions, pain and physical pain, leading Boston to two. The playoff finals shortly after learning of his sister’s death in a car accident, and playing with a hip injury kept him out of the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 23.3 points per game through 15 contests during that time while averaging nearly seven rebounds per game.
That injury ended up changing the course of Thomas’ career, as he played through the injury and it seemed to get worse, eventually requiring surgery and having trouble not only regaining his former All-Star form, but also getting out on the court.
To make matters worse, even after completing all of that in Boston, interim general manager Danny Ainge traded Thomas the following offseason, which did not sit well with many inside and outside of the game.
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So far, he has played one complete game of 82 games, and started 75 games during that famous season with the Celtics in 2016-17 but has won only 17 games in a season since then, 40 with the Washington Wizards in 2019-2020. .
Thomas continued to persevere and play, trying to stay in the NBA, recently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Charlotte Hornets this season.
Even in a game where height seems like an easy ticket in, there are plenty of myths raised about the difficulty of making it in the NBA regardless of size.
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