One of the most important factors that stood behind an individual’s shot of becoming a successful basketball player was always their height. As you might expect, most basketball players that became legends were extremely tall, which enabled them to make very complicated plays seem very easy.
But as with all rules, there are exceptions to this as well. In the history of the NBA, there were some players who although very short, were able to play amazingly well. This article will talk about the shortest NBA players and, of course, the shortest player of them all.
The Shortest Basketball Player In NBA History
Muggsy Bogues is considered the shortest player to ever play in the NBA. His height was only 5’3″, which is the equivalent of 1.60m. The actual height of Muggsy Bogues is lower than that of the average American male, yet he still managed to play a great game.
He is actually called Tyrone Curtis Bogues, but his teammates gave him the nickname Muggsy because he was born in Maryland. Muggsy Bogues was an excellent defensive player. He was actually amazing at mugging opponents.
He managed to play a total of 889 games between 1987 and 2001. The team that Bogues played for the most time was the Charlotte Hornets, where he played between the tears 1988 to 1997. Muggsy Bogues announced his retirement when he was 36 years old. He was able to get an impressive average performance of 7.7 points and 7.6 assists per game.
The List Of The Shortest NBA Players Of All Time
So let’s go over the actual list of the shortest NBA players in the NBA history.
1. Muggsy Bogues – 5’3″ and 136 pounds
You can’t really have a list of the shortest basketball players without including the champion himself, Muggsy Bogues. Bogues’ presence in the NBA is still memorable, despite the fact that he was over one foot shorter than most of the other players on the court. He actually used his natural proportion to his advantage, becoming one of the world’s best ball passers and stealers.
Bogues actually managed to average 7.6 assists per game and got 38 blocks in those 14 seasons played in the NBA. One of the blocks was against the famous Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks.
2. Earl Boykins – 5’5″ and 135 pounds
Earl Boykins comes second on this list, being just a pinch taller, than Bogues. Even though he is about 2 inches taller than Muggsy, he still holds the title of the lightest player to ever participate in the NBA.
No team took the challenge to add him to its draft lineup due to his physical weakness, which is why Boykins had to change his unit a lot. His longest landing was for the Denver Nuggets between the years 2003 and 2007.
As incredible as it might seem, even though his size isn’t impressive, Earl Boykins is still a shooter. He even managed to get the title as the shortest player to ever score more than 30 points in a single game.
3. Mel Hirsch – 5’6″ and 165 pounds
Before his career in the NBA, Mel Hirsch was a Pilot in the South Pacific in the United States Air Force. It’s here where he showed his skill, by playing on the squadron officers’ basketball team. He played with the Boston Celtics for a number of 13 games in the Basketball Association of America. In the NBA he kept the forerunner position.
4. Greg Grant – 5’7″ and 140 pounds
Greg grant was a standout from Division III while playing at the College of New Jersey. He was then drafted by the Phoenix Suns. Greg Grant managed to face opponents even twice his size during his career of nine years in the NBA. During this period, he changed six NBA teams. This has proven to be a great career for him, even though he is on the top half of the shortest players list.
5. Red Klotz – 5’7″ and 150 pounds
Red Klotz made us remember him due to not one, but two main characteristics. Klotz was able to win the Klotz won the Basketball Association of America title in 1948, with the Baltimore Bullets. He even to this day is considered the shortest player to get this title.
Klotz is also the official founder of the Washington Generals team. This team has a grim history of losing against the famous Harlem Globetrotters.
6. Wataru Misaka – 5’7″and 150 pounds
Wataru Misaka managed to fight the fate that he was presented with, despite him growing up in extreme poverty. This Japanese player was a point guard that was also known to break the color barrier in NBA and professional basketball as a sport. He was not only the first Asian but also the first non-white player to ever join the NBA.
7. Keith Jennings – 5’7″ and 160 pounds
Most basketball players consider a short stature as a huge disadvantage. Keith Jennings was one individual that felt what a huge disadvantage a small height is considered in the NBA. He had to join the NBA as a free agent because no team ever wanted to draft him. Even so, when the Golden State Warriors team gave him an opportunity to play, Jennings took advantage of it without a second thought.
His career was in no way one that could be considered long, but even so, Jennings’ amazing performance in his final game will have a place in the hearts of all NBA fans forever. He managed to get an impressive 23 points and ten assists throughout that game.
8. Monte Towe – 5’7″ and 150 pounds
Monte Towe was actually behind the creation of the alley-oop. He started playing for the North Carolina state championship team, in 1974 as a point guard. An interesting aspect is that Towe also managed to lead the Wolfpack baseball team to the ACC Championship that same year, showing amazing baseball skills as well.
He got a spot in both the ABA and the NBA Draft. Towe played under Larry Brown, which was a Hall of Fame coach, and participated in two seasons with the Denver Nuggets.
9. Spud Webb – 5’7″ and 133 pounds
Spud Webb is considered the shortest player in NBA history to ever participate in the popular NBA Slam Dunk Contest. What’s even more interesting is the fact that he was even able to win that tournament in 1986.
The opponent that went against Spud Webb at the Slam Dunk Contest was Dominique Wilkins, who was 6’8″ tall. A perfect 50 points achieved two times helped Webb win the final round.
This wasn’t the only achievement for Spud Webb, who was in fact, an amazing NBA player. One unforgettable season was between 1994 and 1995 when he was able to achieve a free throw rate of more than 93% from the charity line.
10. Dino Martin – 5’8″ and 160 pounds
After a very successful career at Georgetown, Dino Martin got with BAA’s Providence Steamrollers, which were the predecessors to the NBA. He was a 5’8 keeper and on 9 January 1947, he became the first professional player to get a 40 points game.
11. Nate Robinson – 5’9″ and 180 pounds
The abilities of Nate Robinson are far above those of the average NBA player, although his height is nothing to boast about. Robinson was brought to the NBA as a player with a bright future, and he managed to rise to the expectations.
Nate Robinson built an amazing career, although he was of an inferior height compared to his competitors. He spent a lot of time specializing in Spud Webb’s dunk skills. As a result of all his hard work, in 2006 this player managed to win the NBA slam Dunk Contest, a great achievement for someone under six feet in height. Robinson’s fantastic career includes three NBA league titles.
12. Calvin Murphy – 5’9″ and 165 pounds
Calvin Murphy has got a name in the NBA because he managed to put out a top-notch defense even against more prominent players. He was also able to set a record for free throws. Murphy was also able to get an average of 18 points per game in his career of more than 10 years as a basketball player.
Murphy also became the shortest ever NBA player to get on the list of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Who Is The Shortest NBA Player At The Moment?
Isaiah Thomas is not only known because he is the shortest NBA player in the 2022 season but also because of his amazing skill.
Isaiah Thomas has a height of 5′ 10″ and is known to have had amazing seasons while playing for the Boston Celtics between 2015 and 2017. He also became the shortest player at the moment in the NBA league when the Houston Rockets acquitted Chris Clemons in January of 2001. Clemons had a height of 5’9″.
His average performance is 5.5 points per game, 2.9 assists, and a steal per game. His average game time is 19 minutes.
This article gave all the information you needed on who were the shortest players to ever play in the NBA league. These players were able to make history not only due to their physical characteristics, which were in no way an advantage but also due to their amazing skill and dedication.