The tallest players in NBA history are not just giants on the court, they also have giant legacies. Without a doubt, height has advantages when playing basketball. The National Basketball Association’s top ten tallest players ever are listed below (NBA).
10. Mark Eaton
At seven feet four inches tall, he is the tenth tallest NBA player in history. During his career, Eaton played for three different teams. The New York Knicks from 1994 to 1995, the Los Angeles Lakers from 1995 to 1996, and the Utah Jazz from 1982 to 1994.
He played for both teams in 1988, leading all players with an average of five blocks per game (the Jazz and Knicks). Throughout the course of his whole career, Eaton averaged 14 points a game. Also, he averages over ten rebounds every game.
9. Tacko Fall
Fall, who stands seven feet five inches tall, is ranked ninth overall. He played 2 years as a Celtic from 2019-2021 and 1 year in Cleveland in 2022. He is currently playing overseas in China.
Fall won various accolades at this place including Defensive Player of the Year (2017), Most Outstanding Player in the American Athletic Conference Tournament (2016), and AAC All-Rookie Team (2015).
Fall averaged more than five blocks per game in NCAA Division I basketball in both 2016–17 and 2017–18, leading the league! In addition, he is one of just six athletes to have blocked 400 shots in their first two NCAA seasons.
For his exceptional work throughout UCF’s illustrious NCAA Tournament run in 2018. Fall received numerous honors, including AAC Defensive Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player in the American Athletic Conference. He also received AAC Freshman of the Year and All-American accolades in that same year (2015).
8. Sim Bhullar
Bhullar was one of the tallest players to play NCAA Division I basketball as he played collegiate ball for New Mexico State University from 2011 to 2013 for two years.
Despite his team not making it to March Madness that year, Bhullar became only the fourth player in history to get WAC Tournament MVP honors in 2013, a distinction that ultimately garnered him All-American honors as well.
Sim won multiple honors while playing with the Aggies, including defensive player of the year and first team WAC (2012 and 2013). In addition, he set a new record for height among NCAA players. And yet another made him the tallest participant in collegiate basketball history. following his 16 shot blocks against North Dakota.
Bhullar unfortunately missed out on the NBA Draft despite his height. Teams were concerned that his size might put him at a disadvantage on the floor. They still chose to choose him when they had other chances despite this. like the Kings, who quickly signed Sim when he went undrafted in 2014!
Bhullar later spent brief periods with both of the D-Reno League’s Bighorns. where across 11 games, he scored an average of 12 points. Despite later being released, he played in 17 games for the Kings, scoring an average of five points and pulling down four rebounds.
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.
In 2004, Utah Jazz chose the Russian with the 21st overall pick. instead he chose to join with the Dallas Mavericks, making a total of six appearances, and never played for them.
Podkolzin was also very popular abroad. In 2001, he was a member of Russia’s Under-16 national team, which won silver at the European Championships. Four years later, Pavel led his nation’s U20 team to a bronze medal. while also winning the World Championships MVP award!
When Podkolzin won gold in 2008, he then led Russia to victory once more. This time, with both the Russian senior team and Team USSR. Podkolzin also has three Euroleague championships from 2003, 2005, and 2007 to go with his collection of medals. Those were all accomplished while Pavel was playing for CSKA Moscow, his chosen club team ever since 2000.
Podkolzin won a lot of individual accolades during the course of his career. Includes All-Euroleague First Team and Euroleague MVP in 2007 (2005 and 2007). And three times was named Most Valuable Player of the Russian League Championships.
Injury ended the career of Podkolzin, preventing him from having the success in the NBA that he desired. Pavel was selected by the FIBA as one of the top 50 players in history back in 2008.
6. Chuck Nevitt
Chuck Nevitt was seven feet, five inches tall, which makes him one of the tallest players in the NBA. He spent 10 seasons playing in NBA, with that being said he weighed just 215 pounds!
Throughout his career, Nevitt played for five different organizations. nevertheless, is best remembered for being a part of the 1991 Chicago Bulls championship team. Chuck also made history in 1985 when he joined the Lakers and became the NBA’s tallest player to ever win a championship.
Throughout the course of 155 regular-season games, Nevitt averaged just 1.6 points per contest while also grabbing roughly 1.5 rebounds every game.
Nevitt’s size, though, would have been seen as remarkable. However, there are some factors that are closely related to height, such as weight problems brought on by excess body fat or a lack of power. The tallest players had to wait a long period before they could successfully compete.
5. Yao Ming
Yao Ming is the tallest Asian player in NBA history at seven feet and six inches.
The Chinese international is a two-time FIBA World Championship MVP, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and an eight-time All Star (Bejing 2008). Among many other achievements throughout his career, he was also the NBA scoring champion once.
Ming played for the Shanghai Sharks of the CBA before being selected first overall by the Rockets in 2002. where, over five seasons, he scored 38 points on average each game! Yao broke multiple records while playing for The Rockets, including the tallest player ever on opening night.
He was the season’s top rookie scorer, which has since been surpassed but still holds the second-best record. Ming was only able to play in the NBA for nine years due to a serious injury. He is still recognized by many as one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game, though.
Yao Ming concluded his career as a player in 2011. However, he has subsequently shifted his focus to being the team owner of Shanghai Sharks, where he first began his career before switching to American basketball.
4. Shawn Bradley
Prior to Penny Hardaway, Shawn was chosen by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 1993 draft.
The American player, who is seven feet six inches tall, played professionally for 12 seasons. His best years came while he was a member of the Mavericks, where he averaged over 13 points per game over eight seasons while primarily playing center but also seeing time at power forward.
Sadly, even though Shawn’s career lasted 12 seasons before he announced his retirement in 2005, injuries did in fact partly limit it. Bradley is currently employed by the Mavs organization, where he assists them behind the scenes and occasionally broadcasts games on television to stay involved in the basketball world.
3. Slavko Vraneš
Slavko Vrane, who is classified as the tallest Serbian NBA player at seven feet six inches, was born in Titograd, SFR Yugoslavia (now Montenegro).
Due to his upbringing playing handball rather than basketball, Vrane’s career got off to a very slow start and didn’t really take off until much later. Nevertheless, once he signed with the Philadelphia 76ers, things picked up quickly!
Lack of strength brought on by weight concerns and injury issues were two things preventing the center from reaching even greater success. Slavko was forced to retire after his 10-day contract with the Portland Trail Blazers expired after just one regular-season game.
2. Manute Bol
Born in Sudan, Manute Bol played volleyball as a child before switching to basketball. He played his first three NBA seasons for the Washington Bullets.
Bol’s career started off slowly but eventually gained traction as his performance improved, particularly on offense where he averaged roughly two points per game while shooting 51% from long range, which is rather impressive for someone who is 7 feet 7 inches tall!
After studying at the University of Bridgeport for a while, Manute became the tallest player ever drafted in 1985. He also spent time playing for the US Virgin Islands national team during the Caribbean Basketball Confederation Championship for Men in 1998.
The tallest player to ever play in the NBA will also go down as one of the tallest players never to make an All-Star game, despite all that he has accomplished. Whether it was because to injuries or just poor form on the court, Bol always appeared to be lacking something during his entire career.
Manute Bol died in 2010 at the age of only 47 after suffering from kidney failure and a skin ailment that caused his life to end far sooner than it should have.
His son Bol Bol is currently playing in the NBA to carry on his legacy. Played with the Denver Nuggets from 2019-2022 and currently having his best year as an Orlando Magic. He’s averaging 10 points, 6 rebounds, and a block per game which solidifies he’s already a better player than his father.
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 played for the Washington Bullets for five seasons, scoring about eight points a game while being a dominant presence under the hoop. He also made 58% of his field goals and 80% of his free throw attempts.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) Former Players Association’s 2013 Basketball Without Borders event featured Muresaon as a special guest. He retired from playing in 2000 after just six total seasons due to persistent injury issues.
The Pros and Cons of Being Very Tall in Basketball
Being tall is an advantage in basketball—this should go without saying—but it also has some drawbacks, such the added strain on the knees and back that taller people may experience over time.
Yao Ming is an excellent representation of how height can optimize your game. Yao Ming was one of China’s most well-known athletes ever and had success throughout his brief career thanks to his height of seven feet five inches.
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.
|Easier to rebound and block||Slower feet|
|Easier shots around the rim||Easy target on pick and rolls|
|Intimidation on opponents||Injury prone|
|Harder for opponents to move|
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|Less foul calls on referees’|
We hope you enjoyed reading about the careers and accomplishments of the NBA’s tallest players; the list is now complete. We also briefly discussed the benefits and drawbacks of being tall in basketball. We sincerely hope that this article gave you a better understanding of the tallest NBA players in history!
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What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?
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