NBA Players

12 Tallest NBA Players To Grace The League

By Bishow Adhikari / 3 December 2023 08:38 AM

Source : pinterest

Twenty-eight players in the NBA have been listed as 7 feet 3 inches or taller as of 2023. However, only four players are active.

The 7-foot-7-inch Romanian Gheorghe Muresan, selected by the Washington Bullets with the 30 overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft, currently holds the record.

The tallest player ever to be drafted for the NBA is Yasutaka Okayama, who is 7 feet and 8 inches tall. He is a Japanese basketball player selected 171st overall by the Golden State Warriors in the seventh round of the 1981 NBA draft. Unfortunately, he never participated in NBA play.

At 7 feet 6 inches, Yao Ming is the tallest player ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Apart from Yao, the only other players who were chosen for the Hall of Fame who were 7 feet 3 inches or taller.

Arguably, a basketball player's most significant inherent advantage on the court is their height. The perfect center is a tall, powerful player who can knock down layups like fly balls and dominate opponents at the rim.

12. Rik Smits - 7 Feet 4 Inches

Rik Smits was a talented Dutch center who stood 7'4" tall. His jersey No. 45 was retired by the Marist Red Foxes.

Smits guided Marist to its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance in 1986 where they won the ECAC Metro Conference tournament. He steered the Red Foxes to their first-ever 20 victories in Division I history and another trip to the NCAA tournament in 1987.

After being selected with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft he dedicated his whole career to the Indiana Pacers until he retired in 2000. 

Smits started in 71 games during his rookie year averaging 11.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Playing such a game in his early start earned him All-Rookie First Team honors.

Source : indystar

He was renowned for his nimble post moves and trustworthy mid-range jump shot which became crucial for the Pacers' 1990s success. His point-per-game during the 1995 - 1996 season was considered the highest after he averaged 18.5 points per game.

After contributing ten points and seven rebounds during the game with the New Jersey Nets he was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 1998.

Smits has also represented the senior Dutch national team on the field. He participated in EuroBasket 1987 and the FIBA World Championship in 1986.

11. Mark Eaton - 7 Feet 4 Inches

Mark Eaton played 875 games and scored 5,216 career points for the Utah Jazz. Eaton leads all players in scoring with 3.5 BGP.

Eaton was chosen by the Phoenix Suns with the 107th pick in the fifth round of the 1979 NBA draft following his freshman year at Cypress. Still, he decided to play basketball for his college again.

In his two seasons at Cypress, he averaged 14.3 points per game. As a sophomore in 1980, he helped the team win the junior college championship in California.

Source : instagram

After being chosen in the 1982 NBA Draft, Eaton played 11 years of professional career with the Utah Jazz. He won two Defensive Player of the Year titles in 1985 and 1989. He was also selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team five times.

The 7-foot-4-inch player became one of the NBA's top defensive centers. He is the single-season NBA player with a record of 456 blocks per point and 5.6 block shots per game.

The Utah Jazz retired his jersey number 53 in 1996. In 2010, he was inaugurated into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

After retirement, the big man was employed by Salt Lake City's KJZZ-TV as a color commentator and analyst during Utah Jazz and University of Utah basketball games.

10. Victor Wembanyama - 7 Feet 4 Inches

San Antonio Spurs selected Victor Wembanyama as the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft. He stands tall, with a height of 7 ft 4 in.

In 2019, Wembanyama joined Nanterre 92 of the LNB Pro A to commence his professional career. He moved to ASVEL two years later for his single season and won the Pro A title.

He joined the Metropolitans 92 for the 2022 - 2023 season. His leading scores, rebounds, and blocks made him the youngest player to win the Pro A MVP award.

The 19-year-old player also earned Pro A Best Defender honors. He is a three-time Pro A Best Young Player named an LNB All-Star twice. He has also won the MVP award at the LNB All-Star Game in 2022.

Source : britannica

He became the first French player to be drafted in the first overall pick-up by the NBA and the second European player. Victor debuted his game against the Charlotte Hornets with nine points and eight rebounds.

In addition, he made Spurs history as the first rookie to finish a game with 20 points and five blocks.

Wembanyama participated in the 2019 FIBA U16 European Championship on behalf of France.  After that, he participated in the Latvian FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup in 2021.

Victor was chosen for the senior team for World Cup qualifiers. In November 2022, he scored 20 points and pulled nine rebounds in a 90 - 65 victory over Lithuania.

9. Sim Bhullar - 7 Feet 5 Inches

At seven feet five inches tall Canadian born Sim Bhullar is among the tallest NBA players. He is a player for the Tainan TSG GhostHawks of the T1 League.

He was the first player of the Indian community who got to play in the NBA. He attended New Mexico State University for his college basketball career. Additionally, he helped New Mexico State advance to the NCAA tournament where he was named the 2013 and 2014 WAC tournament MVP.

Bhullar signed a contract with the Sacramento Kings in 2015 after entering the league as an undrafted player.

Although his height might be mighty it lacked flexibility and strength making it difficult for him to get a regular position in the NBA. Before leaving the NBA in 2014-15 the center played in just 3 games.

Source : sportsforecaster

Bhullar was acquired by Raptors 905 of the NBA Development League in October 2015. He averaged 9.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 39 games for Raptors 905 for the 2015-16 season.

In the 2016-17 season, Bhullar signed with the Dacin Tigers of the Taiwanese Super Basketball League where he won his first SBL championship.

Sim played for Canada in the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship and the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.

8. Pavel Podkolzin - 7 Feet 5 Inches

Pavel Podkolzin is standing at a towering height of 7 feet 5 inches, representing the Dallas Mavericks. He has played in the NBA and the NBA Development League.

In the 2001 - 2002 season, Podkolzin debuted in the Russian second division. He joined the Italian team Metis Varese in December 2001 and played there from 2002 to 2004.

After the Utah Jazz selected him in the 2004 NBA draft, he was quickly traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a first-round pick in the upcoming 2005 NBA draft.

Source : instagram

Podkolzin participated in the 2000 European Cadets Championship as a junior Russian national basketball team member and took home a silver medal.

He also participated in the Russian Super League for Lokomotiv Novosibirsk and Khimki BC in the 2006 -2007 season.

The 38-year-old player's career was hampered by his injuries and poor conditioning, which prevented him from having the impact he wanted in the NBA.

7. Chuck Nevitt - 7 Feet 5 Inches

Chuck Nevitt is one of the tallest players to win the NBA championship. With 7 feet and 5 inches in height, Chuck added a unique length to his team.

He was an NBA player for the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs, among other teams.

Nevitt played collegiate basketball for North Carolina State University. He played 90 games over four seasons in college with an average score of 3.0 points and grabbed 2.4 rebounds.

Source : fadeawayworld

He was selected in the NBA draft in the year 1982 by the Houston Rockets. During two seasons, he played 15 games with the Los Angeles Lakers. Nevitt played for the Lakers championship team in 1985.

Nevitt partook in 155 games during his nine seasons as an NBA player. His total time played was 826 minutes, averaging 5.3 minutes per game.

During five postseasons, he participated in 16 playoff games, two with the Rockets and seven with the Lakers and Pistons.

His fantasy nicknames were Chuck E. Cheese and the Human Victory Cigar.

6. Yao Ming - 7 Feet 6 Inches

Yao Ming is an eight-time NBA All-Star and the CBA champion in 2002. Yao Ming stands tall with his straggling height of 7 foot 6 inches and 310 lb.

Yao Ming filed to enter the 1999 NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets selected him with the first overall pick, making NBA history by becoming the first  Asian player to be chosen as the first pick.

Eight seasons of Yao Ming's NBA career were spent with the Houston Rockets. He quickly established himself as one of the most dominant centers in the NBA.

Source : nba

Throughout his career, he averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

Yao was chosen five times for the All-NBA Team and eight times to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game. At 2.29 meters, he was the tallest player in the NBA during his final season.

Yao was inducted into the Hall of Fame in September 2016, alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson. In keeping with the honors, the Houston Rockets retired Yao's No. 11 jersey on February 3, 2017.

Yao declared his retirement from basketball at a Shanghai press conference on July 20, 2011. He mentioned foot and ankle injuries were the reason. Although he announced his retirement, he remains active in the league as an ambassador and team owner.

5. Shawn Bradley - 7 Feet 6 Inches

Shawn Bradley is a German/American player standing at 7 feet and 6 inches. He is nicknamed the Stormin by his fans and teammates.

He averaged 14.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while starting all 34 games for BYU in his rookie campaign 1990.  

He was also named the All-WAC defensive team, newcomer team, and the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. The Associated Press also named him an Honorable Mention All-American.

Source : pinterest

He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the second overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft and was issued jersey number 76.

Throughout his 18-season career, Shawn Bradley was a fixture in the NBA. He was a great asset to teams like the Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers because of his defensive and shot-blocking capabilities.

Over his career in the NBA, he averaged 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. He took his retirement in 2005. He played an average time of 23.5 minutes per game.

4. Slavko Vranes - 7 Feet 6 Inches

Slavko Vranes is one of the tallest players in the world, standing at a height of 7 feet and 6 inches. He won a EuroCup champion in 2011.

His NBA career was cut short. After being chosen in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. Bu was waived in December 2003.

He spent ten days playing with the Portland Trail Blazers in January 2004 before leaving for Europe.

Source : instagram

Slavko then made a brief appearance for Crvena Zvezda. He collaborated with Buducnost Podgorica for the second time in his career from 2004 to 2007. He bonded with a legal obligation of a three-year deal with Partizan in October 2007.

The last franchise he played for was Metalac Valjevo for the 2017 - 2018 season.

The giant playing in the center has been the ABA League champion three times from 2008 to 2010 and the Montenegrin League champion in 2007.

3. Tacko Fall - 7 Feet 6 Inches

Senegalese native Tacko Fall is an impressive 7'6" tall with a wingspan of 8 ft 4. Currently, he is associated with the Nanjing Monkey Kings of the CBA.

During his collegiate career, he was a center for the University of Central Florida Knights. Fall was selected as one of 80 players for the NBA G League Elite Camp in May.

Fall signed with the Boston Celtics after undrafted in the 2019 NBA draft. He gained popularity among the Boston crowd during his two seasons there. On a free-agent contract, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021.

Source : facebook

After leaving the Cavs, he played in the CBA with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers and later joined the Milwaukee Bucks summer league roster in 2023.

His incredible shooting percentage and blocking capacity made him a fascinating player on the court.

Tacko was part of the NBA G League All-Defensive Team twice in 2020 and 2022. He was also the NBA G League blocks leader in 2022.

2. Manute Bol - 7 Feet 7 Inches

Manute Bol, the Sudanese basketball player, was the second tallest NBA player with a towering height of 7 ft 7 inches. His arm span is 8 feet 6 inches.

The Washington Bullets chose Bol in the 1985 NBA draft. He was a member of the Bridgeport Purple Knights while playing collegiate basketball.

In his rookie season, he set an all-time record for a rookie by scoring 397 blocks in 80 games at an average of 4.96 per game. Throughout his career, he averaged 3.3 blocks per game.

Source : yahoo

From 1985 to 1995, he played for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat during his NBA career. In terms of blocked shots per game and total blocked shots, he was ranked second in NBA history as of December 2022.

Bol was renowned for his outstanding three-point shooting ability and his defensive prowess. Unfortunately, his life was cut short at the age of 47.

NBA awarded him twice with the NBA blocks leader in 1986 and 1989. He was also the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1986.

1. Gheorghe Muresan - 7 Feet 7 Inches

Standing at a gigantic height of 7'7" and weighing a solid 315 lbs Gheorghe Muresan beats Bol by a few millimeters, making him the tallest NBA player ever. 

Muresan began his professional journey by playing competitive basketball at Universitatea Cluj. That made him a national champion in 1992.

The Washington Bullets selected the Romanian center in the second round of the 1993 NBA Draft. His remarkable size and skill allowed him to carve out a successful career in the NBA.

In 307 games with the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets throughout six seasons, Muresan averaged 9.8 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game.

Source : facebook

He won the NBA Most Improved Player Award in the 1995–1996 season, averaging the highest shooting percentage in the NBA at 58.4%, along with 9.6 rebounds, 2.26 blocks and 14.5 points per game.

Sadly, not even before he was in his thirties, he took retirement in 2000 following a significant string of injuries.

Aside from his professional life, he has established a Giant Basketball Academy program which provides proper education and training for boys and girls of all age groups.

He is also an ambassador for the Washington Wizards, overseeing the team's marketing and public relations department.

Related post of NBA Players