The tallest players in NBA history are not just giants on the court, they also have giant legacies. There’s no question that height comes with benefits when playing basketball. Here is a list of the top 10 tallest players ever to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
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10. Mark Eaton
Eaton was a consistent shot blocker and rebounder. He is the 10th tallest player to ever play in the NBA, at seven feet four inches tall. Eaton played for three teams during his career. The Utah Jazz from 1982-1994, New York Knicks from 1994-1995, and Los Angeles Lakers from 1995-1996.
In 1988 he led all players with an average of five block shots per game while playing for both teams that year (the Jazz and Knicks). Eaton averaged 14 points per game throughout his entire career. As well as averaging more than ten rebounds every night out.
9. Tacko Fall
At seven feet, five inches tall Fall falls 9th on our list. The youngster has recently signed a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics. And with his high ceiling, we can expect to see him excel in no time.
The Senegalese center played college ball at UCF for four seasons between 2015-2018. It was here that Fall claimed numerous awards. Such as Defensive Player of The Year (2017), American Athletic Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player (2016) and AAC All-Rookie Team (2015).
Fall led NCAA Division I basketball in blocks per game during both 2016-17 and 2017-18 averaging more than five a night each year! He is also one of only six players ever to block 400 shots over their first two collegiate seasons.
For his outstanding performances during UCFs historic NCAA Tournament run in 2018. Fall won many awards including AAC Defensive Player of The Year, American Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Player. And he also claimed All-American honors that same year as well as AAC Freshman Of The Year (2015).
8. Sim Bhullar
Sim is a big man, standing at seven feet five inches tall. He played briefly for Sacramento Kings in the 2015 season.
Bhullar was one of the tallest players to play NCAA Division I basketball, As he spent two years playing college ball with New Mexico State University from 2011-2013. In 2013 Bhullar became just the fourth player ever to win WAC Tournament MVP honors despite his team not making it into March Madness that same year; an accolade which later earned him All-American honours too!
While with Aggies Sim also claimed numerous awards such as Defensive Player Of Year and First Team All WAC (2012 and 2013). He also broke a record for the tallest player ever to play in an NCAA game. And another that made him the tallest person to take part in college basketball. After he blocked 16 shots against North Dakota.
Unfortunately despite his height, Bhullar failed to make it into the NBA Draft. As teams feared his size would be too much of a disadvantage on the court. However, this did not stop them from drafting him when they had other opportunities. Such as the Kings who signed Sim soon after he was undrafted back in 2014!
Bhullar went on to have short spells with both Reno Bighorns of the D-League. Where he averaged 12 points per game over 11 contests. Later being waived by but still managed 17 games with the Kings in which he averaged five points and four rebounds per game.
7. Pavel Podkolzin
Podkolzin is the tallest player ever to come out of Russia. At seven feet and five inches, he is ranked eighth on our list.
The Russian was selected by Utah Jazz with the 21st pick back in 2004. But never played for them as he decided to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, making a total of six appearances.
Internationally Podkolzin was also a big hit. He played for Russia’s Under-16 national team in 2001 where they claimed silver at the European championships. Four years later Pavel led his country to win bronze with their U20 squad. While earning MVP of the World Championships along the way!
Podkolzin then lead Russia to success once more when he won gold back in 2008. This time with both Team USSR and The Russian senior team. Alongside that medal collection, Podkolzin has three Euroleague titles from 2003, 2005 and 2007. Which were all achieved playing alongside CSKA Moscow who has always been Pavels preferred club side since 2000. When it came down to individual awards throughout his career Podkolzin collected many. Including Euroleague MVP (2007), All-Euroleague First Team (2005 and 2007). And Most Valuable Player Of The Russian League Finals three times.
Injuries cut Podkolzin career short. Not allowing him to achieve the same level of success he would have liked in NBA. But despite that Pavel has been voted by FIBA as one of fifty Greatest Players In History back in 2008.
6. Chuck Nevitt
Chuck Nevitt was seven feet tall, which makes him one of the tallest players in the NBA. He spent 10 seasons playing in NBA, with that being said he weighted just 215 pounds!
Nevitt played for five different teams during his career. But is best known as a member of the Chicago Bulls championship squad back in 1991. Chuck also made history by becoming the tallest player to ever win an NBA Championship with the Lakers in 1985. Overall Nevitt averaged just 1.6 points per game over 155 regular season contests. While pulling down about 1.5 rebounds per contest too.
While Nevitt size would have been seen as something amazing. There are some things that come hand in hand with height such as weight issues due to excess fat or lack of strength etc. This meant it took quite some time for the tallest players to be able to compete effectively.
5. Yao Ming
Yao Ming is the tallest Asian player in NBA history at seven feet and six inches.
The Chinese international is an eight-time All Star, two time FIBA World Championship MVP, Olympic Gold Medalist (Bejing 2008). As well as a one-time NBA scoring champion among many other accolades throughout his career.
Ming was drafted first overall by the Rockets back in 2002 after playing for Shanghai Sharks of CBA. Where he averaged 38 points per game over five seasons! While with The Rockets Yao broke numerous records too such as becoming the tallest to ever play on opening night. Or the highest rookie scorer that season which has since been broken but still stands as second-best record holder today. Unfortunately, injury hit Ming hard limiting him to just nine years of NBA action. However, he is still widely regarded as one of the best players ever to grace the game.
Yao Ming retired from playing in 2011. But has since turned his attention towards being team owner at Shanghai Sharks where he first started out on career before moving into American basketball.
4. Shawn Bradley
Shawn was selected second overall in 1993 by Philadelphia 76ers ahead of #93 pick Penny Hardaway.
The seven feet six inches tall American spent 12 seasons playing at the highest level with his best years coming while spending time with Mavericks where he averaged close to 13 points per game over eight campaigns mostly as center but also played some minutes at power forward position.
Unfortunately, injuries did limit Shawn’s career somewhat even though it lasted 12 seasons before announcing retirement in 2005. Bradley currently works within the Mavs organization helping them out behind the scenes while occasionally doing television broadcasting work during games which keeps him around the basketball scene.
3. Slavko Vraneš
Slavko Vraneš was born in Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia (now Montenegro) and is listed as the tallest Serbian NBA player at seven feet six inches.
Vraneš’s career got off to a very slow start only making a huge impact late which has been attributed to him growing up playing handball instead of basketball, however, once he joined the Philadelphia 76ers things started happening fast! One thing stopping the center from achieving even more success included a lack of strength due to weight issues plus injury problems affected Slavko who had no choice other than retiring following the 10-day contract expiry with the Portland Trail Blazers after just 1 regular season game.
2. Manute Bol
Manute Bol was born in Sudan and grew up playing volleyball before moving into basketball, he spent his first three NBA seasons with the Washington Bullets.
Bol’s career got off to a slow start only becoming relevant over time as his game improved especially on offense where he shot 51% from field goal range averaging about two points per contest which at seven feet seven inches is quite good! Manute made history by being the tallest player ever drafted in 1985 after spending some time at the University of Bridgeport plus also had a stint representing US Virgin Islands national team during Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship for Men back in 1998.
Despite all that Bol has achieved it always seemed like there was something missing throughout his entire career whether it involved injuries or just lack of form on the court, the tallest player ever to play in the NBA will also go down as one of the tallest players never to make an All-Star game.
Manute Bol passed away at only 47 years back in 2010 after suffering from kidney failure while battling a skin condition too which cut his life short way before it should have ended.
1. Gheorghe Muresan
Gheorghe Muresan was born in Romania and went on to be the tallest NBA player ever drafted at seven feet seven inches.
Muresan spent five seasons playing for Washington Bullets where he averaged close to eight points per game while being dominant force under the basket which included making 58% from floor range plus also converting 80% of free throws too!
G-Man hung up his boots back in 2000 after just six total campaigns due to ongoing injury problems, however, he has remained linked with sport appearing as a special guest during the 2013 Basketball Without Borders event held by National Basketball Association (NBA) Former players association.
The Pros and Cons of Being Very Tall in Basketball
Being tall in basketball is an advantage, this goes without saying really but it comes with some disadvantages too such as increased pressure on knees and back which can cause problems for taller people over time.
A great example of how height can make you a better player would have to be Yao Ming who enjoyed success throughout his very short career due to being seven feet five inches tall where he became one of China’s most popular sporting figures ever!
It was also said that teams approached him differently because they were fearful of what could happen if they managed to go past him, something which definitely helped his game out overall despite previously mentioned knee injuries.
That completes our list of tallest ever players in NBA history, we hope you enjoyed reading about their careers and accomplishments. We also briefly mentioned the advantages being tall in basketball has, and also listed a few cons. We hope this blog helped you gain a better understanding of the tallest players in NBA history!
Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers
Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the sneakers worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current sneakers, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out on these sneakers? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc. Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific sneakers.
What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.
On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.
Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.