Beyond the Size

Defying Expectations: The Shortest NBA Players in History

The Shortest NBA Players in History

When we think of basketball players, we often picture tall and athletic individuals dominating the court with their height and power. However, some players can defy those expectations by using other skills to make an impact on the game.

In this article, we will explore the shortest NBA players in history, some of whom have made a significant impact in the league despite their lack of height.

Muggsy Bogues – 5ft 3in

Muggsy Bogues is the shortest player to ever play in the NBA at only 5ft 3in tall. He was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1987 and went on to play for four different teams during his 14-year career.

Bogues was known for his quickness and ball-handling skills, and he was a valuable backup point guard throughout his career.

Earl Boykins – 5ft 5in

Undrafted out of college, Earl Boykins made a name for himself in the NBA through his quickness and scoring ability. He played for nine different teams during his career, including the New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Denver Nuggets.

Despite his lack of height, Boykins was known for his ability to get to the basket and finish strong, leading to several impressive performances throughout his career.

Spud Webb – 5ft 6in

Spud Webb is perhaps best known for winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986, where he stunned fans and judges alike with his high-flying dunks despite his height of 5ft 6in. He played for several teams during his career, including the Atlanta Hawks, where he averaged over 10 points per game in four seasons.

Keith Jennings – 5ft 7in

Keith Jennings was a backup point guard for the Golden State Warriors in the mid-1990s, where he was known for his quickness and solid ball-handling skills. Despite his lack of height, Jennings was a reliable contributor off the bench and helped lead the Warriors to the playoffs during the 1993-94 season.

Greg Grant – 5ft 7in

Greg Grant was drafted in the 9th round of the 1989 draft by the Phoenix Suns, where he played for only one season before moving on to five other teams during his career. Despite limited playing time, Grant was a talented backup point guard and proved himself as a capable scorer when given the opportunity.

Charlie Criss – 5ft 8in

Charlie Criss played for eight seasons in the NBA, primarily as a shooting guard for the Atlanta Hawks. He was known for his toughness and tenacity on the court, and he became a fan favorite during his time with the Hawks.

Criss was also highly regarded for his work ethic and commitment to the game, which helped him overcome his lack of height to play at the highest level of professional basketball.

Isaiah Thomas – 5ft 9in

Isaiah Thomas was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the 2nd round of the 2011 draft, where he quickly made a name for himself as one of the best guards in the league. Despite his lack of height, Thomas was a quick and talented scorer, and he led the Kings in scoring during the 2012-13 season.

Thomas has since played for several other teams, including the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

Nate Robinson – 5ft 9in

Nate Robinson played for several teams during his career, including the New York Knicks, where he made a name for himself by winning three Slam Dunk Contests. Despite his small stature, Robinson was known for his incredible athleticism and tenacity on the court, and he carved out a successful career as a backup point guard and spark plug off the bench.

Calvin Murphy – 5ft 9in

Calvin Murphy played for the Houston Rockets for his entire career, where he became one of the most successful small players in NBA history. He was a highly skilled shooter and ball-handler, and he led the Rockets in scoring during the 1977-78 season.

Murphy was also known for his speed and agility on the court, which helped him overcome his lack of height and make a significant impact on the game.

Kay Felder – 5ft 9in

Kay Felder was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft, where he played for only one season before bouncing around the league for several years. Despite limited playing time, Felder showed flashes of potential as a quick and skilled point guard, and he continues to pursue his NBA dream today.

Other Short NBA Players

While the players listed above are the shortest in NBA history, there have been several other small players who have made an impact on the game. Michael Adams, for example, was only 5ft 10in but was a talented scorer and distributor for the Denver Nuggets during the 1990-91 season.

Andre Barrett played for several teams during his career and was known for his quickness and ball-handling skills despite his lack of size. Tyus Edney, Khalid El-Amin, Chris Garner, Avery Johnson, Damon Stoudamire, Brevin Knight, Mike Wilks, Scott Brooks, Speedy Claxton, Terrell Brandon, and John Lucas III are also noteworthy small players who have made a significant impact on the game of basketball.

Conclusion

The NBA has seen its fair share of small players who have defied expectations and made a significant impact on the game. While height is often seen as a critical factor for success in basketball, the players listed above show that talent, skill, and heart can overcome even the tallest opponents on the court.

As the league continues to evolve and change, it will be fascinating to see who the next small players are to make their mark on the game of basketball. In conclusion, the NBA has seen many players overcome their lack of height and make notable contributions to the game.

These players have proven that talent, skill, and dedication can trump height in basketball. While the shortest players in NBA history have been highlighted in this article, other small players have also made significant contributions to the league.

From Michael Adams to John Lucas III, these players have shown that size does not always matter in the game of basketball. FAQs:

Q: Who was the shortest player in NBA history?

A: Muggsy Bogues at 5ft 3in. Q: How many teams did Spud Webb play for?

A: Spud Webb played for several teams but is best known for his time with the Atlanta Hawks. Q: Who was the most successful short player in NBA history?

A: Calvin Murphy played for the Houston Rockets for his entire career and was highly regarded for his skill and speed on the court. Q: What other short NBA players are worth mentioning?

A: Other notable short NBA players include Michael Adams, Andre Barrett, Tyus Edney, Damon Stoudamire, and John Lucas III.

Q: Is height important in basketball?

A: While being tall can be an advantage in basketball, smaller players have shown that talent, skill, and heart can also make an impact on the game.

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