Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
Tallest players in NBA history
These are the tallest players in the history of the NBA. To date a total of 11 players in league history were or are 7' 4" inches in height or taller and these are all those players.
The average height of an NBA player today is roughly 6' 7". The two tallest players on this list are both about a foot taller than that.
Two of the three tallest players in NBA history played for the team I root for the New Jersey Nets so I saw both play and one of them play a decent amount. Neither player was a great athlete and both were on the court entirely due to their great height.
Tallest Players in NBA History
1. Gheorghe Muresan - 7' 7"
Romanian Gheorghe Muresan is the tallest player to ever play in the NBA. Muresan played in the NBA for 6 seasons from 1993-94 to 1996-97 for the Washington Bullets and then from 1998-99 to 1999-2000 for the Nets (he only played in one game the entire 1998-99 season).
Muresan was not a great player but at his best he was decent averaging 14.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game during the 1995-96 season. He led the league in shooting percentage that season and also the next year. By the time he played for the Nets he was not any good at all. For his career he averaged 9.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Muresan is so tall due to an abnormality in his pituitary gland. After playing in the NBA he played in France for a few years. In 1998 he starred in the Hollywood movie My Giant with Billy Crystal. He wore the number 77 because of his height.
2. Manute Bol - 7' 7"
Manute Bol is listed at 7' 7" tall but he was slightly shorter than Gheorghe Muresan and is the 2nd tallest player in NBA history. Bol was born in the Sudan and came to the United States in the early 1980's. The then San Diego Clippers drafted him without ever seeing him play in the 1983 draft but the NBA voided the pick saying Bol was ineligible.
Bol then played one season of basketball at Division II Bridgeport in 1984-85 where he averaged 22.5 points and 13.5 rebounds. The Washington Bullets drafted him in the 2nd round of the 1985 draft. Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA and is the only player in league history to average more blocks per game than points (3.3 blocks vs 2.6 points).
Bol led the NBA in blocked shots twice in his career including his rookie year when he blocked the 2nd highest total in league history for a season with 397. Bol played that season with Muggsy Bogues who is the shortest player in NBA history. The other year Bol led the NBA (1988-89) with 345 blocks which is the 7th highest all time total for a season. Bol has the highest career average in blocks per 48 minutes played at 8.6.
While playing in the NBA and in retirement Manute Bol was very active in charity causes. He once suited up for a hockey game and another time as a horse jockey to raise money for charity. He also tutored and helped his friend from the Sudan Luol Deng(notes) who now plays in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls. Manute Bol passed away in 2010 from acute kidney failure.
T-3. Shawn Bradley - 7' 6"
Shawn Bradley was born in Germany, grew up in Utah and played in the NBA for 11 years for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. He retired from the NBA with career averages of 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. He led the NBA in blocked shots during the 1996-97 season which he split between my Nets team and the Mavericks.
What I remember about Bradley is how Nets announcer Bill Raftery would keep saying how much better a player Bradley was going to be as he got older but Bradley had no real coordination. Without coordination you can't get better and Bradley never really did.
Yao Ming is the most talented tallest player to ever play in the NBA. For his career he is averaging 19 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in 486 games played. His biggest problem is staying healthy as he has only played in 5 games over the last two years because of his foot and ankle problems. He will be 31 next season.
Three players in NBA history have been 7' 5" tall (Chuck Nevitt, Slavko Vranes and Pavel Podkolzin). None of them are notable however three of the four players who have played in the NBA who were 7' 4" tall are.
Mark Eaton led the NBA four times in blocked shots. Rik Smits played 12 years and averaged 14.8 points per game and Ralph Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds his first 3 years in the league before injuries ruined his career. The other 7' 4" player was Priest Lauderdale.
Ralph Sampson made the cut this year and could be elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame on April 4, 2011. If Sampson is chosen he will become the tallest player to be so honored (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the tallest player currently in the hall at 7' 2" in height).
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.