Basketball players have the reputation of being tall. According to surveys, the average height of basketball players is around 6’7”. This was true in the case of the NBA players between 1985 and 2006. But, we commonly see NBA players over 7 feet, and the top 10 tallest NBA players ever measure 224 cm and above.
Top 10 Tallest NBA Players – Ultimate Ranking
It isn’t mandatory that only the tallest NBA players will shine on the court; we have seen some of the shortest basketball players turn out to be some of the greatest NBA players of all time. But, even though height has nothing to do with dunking skills, it definitely gives the player an edge. Let’s take a look at the countdown of the Top 10 Tallest NBA Players of all time!
10Ralph Sampson – 7’4”
At 7’4”, Ralph Lee Sampson, Jr. stands at the 10th position among the tallest NBA players in history. This retired American basketball player represented several teams throughout his career but is best known for his stint with the Houston Rockets. This three-time College Player of the Year became the first to be selected in the 1983 draft of NBA and became the NBA Rookie of the Year. Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Ralph was one of the most dependable among the leading points scorers NBA. Injuries led him to an untimely retirement.
9Mark Eaton – 7’4”
Tied with Ralph Sampson is Mark Eaton, another retired American player, is among the tallest NBA players of all time. Throughout his career between 1982 and 1993, he was associated with Utah Jazz, one of the best teams in NBA history. His height played an important role in making him one of best defensive centres in the history of NBA. He also holds the record for the most blocks in a single season (456), as well as the career average blocked shots per game (3.50). Interestingly, this two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year awardee is also tied with Netherland’s Rik Smits and US’ Priest Lauderdale, who also measure 7’4”!
8Pavel Podkolzin – 7’5”
At 7’5”, Russian basketball player Pavel Nikolaevitch Podkolzin, who formerly played in the NBA and the NBA Development League, is at the 8th place on the list of the tallest NBA players. He was drafted in 2004 and was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for 2005 NBA draft. His weight is listed as 305 lb. Despite his remarkable size, amazing skills in blocking and fabulous strength, he was chosen late, and he had to struggle to fit into the league; he only managed to make six appearances between 2004 and 2005. He joined the Russian Super League in 2006-07, and has been playing there ever since, which also makes him one of the oldest basketball players currently in action.
7Chuck Nevitt – 7’5”
Retired American basketball player Charles Goodrich “Chuck” Nevitt also has a height of 7’5”. Throughout his career of nine years from 1983, he played the centre position in the NBA. Nevitt is noted as one of the tallest NBA players. He represented several big names and oldest NBA teams, including Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, etc. He was usually seen sporting jersey #52. He played in just 155 games during his long career, appearing for a total of 826 minutes, which sums up to less than 18 full NBA matches! Interestingly, though, he is the tallest basketball player in the NBA to win a Championship.
6Sim Bhullar – 7’5”
Tied with Podkolzin and Nevitt is Gursimran “Sim” Bhullar, a Canadian player of Indian descent. In fact, he is the first NBA player of Indian descent, and is noted as one of the top 10 tallest NBA players with 7’5″ height. His youth career began in high school. He went undrafted in the 2014 NBA draft and joined the Sacramento Kings in the same year. But he got waived by the team, got acquired as an affiliate player by the Reno Bighorns. In 2015, he signed a 10-day contract with the Kings again, and played for the final 16.1 seconds of the match, thus becoming the first player of the Indian descent to play in the NBA.
5Yao Ming – 7’6”
At 7’6”, Yao Ming is one of the tallest NBA players in the world. This retired professional basketball player is also the tallest NBA player to dunk from China. His career lasted from 1997 to 2011. Ming was with the Shanghai Sharks from 1997 to 2002, and was drafted in 2002 for NBA. He was then selected by the Houston Rockets, where he continued to play till 2011, after which he retired. Ming established himself as a distinguished basketball player during his time on the court and won several awards. He is the tallest basketball player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for his performance.
4Shawn Bradley – 7’6”
Shawn Paul Bradley is tied with Yao Ming as one of the tallest basketball players. This 7’6″ tall retired basketball player has dual citizenship as an American and German, as he was born and brought up in Germany, and his career earned him an American citizenship. He played as a centre for some of the most well-known teams, i.e. the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks during his career from 1993 to 2005. Nicknamed as “the enormous Mormon” and “the Stormin’ Mormon”, Bradley earned himself several awards and accolades during his long and successful career in the NBA.
3Slavko Vraneš – 7’6”
Montenegrin professional basketball player Slavko Vraneš has an interesting story of being ranked among the top 10 tallest NBA players. He was drafted in 2003 by the New York Knicks and was waived to the Portland Trail Blazers; when he played in the NBA, his height was recorded as 7’5”. However, several sources confirmed that he grew in height, and he now stands exactly at 7’6”, making him stand at the 3rd rank, tied with two other players of the same height. After his one season of NBA, during which he played one game, he joined the Iranian Super League, and since then, he is a part of the league.
2Manute Bol – 7’6.75”
Sudan-born American player Manute Bol has a height of precisely 7’6.75” according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and he technically misses the top spot by just .25 inches. As the son of a Dinka tribal elder, he was given the name, “Manute”, meaning ‘special blessing”. During his career from 1985 to 1996, he played for four different NBA teams. The speciality of his playing style was that he secured a higher number of blocks than scored points, and became the only NBA player to do so. In fact, he ranks second in terms of blocked shots per game, and 15th on the career blocks list.
1Gheorghe Muresan – 7’7”
At the top position of the list of tallest NBA players is Gheorghe Dumitru Mureșan, also called Ghiţă, Big Ghiţă or just George, with a height of 7’7”, though some sources also record his height as 7’8”. This Romanian man is also the tallest living person his country, Romania. he was also one of all time tallest athlete in sporting history. This retired basketball player was drafted in the NBA by the Washington Bullets in the year 1993, two years after he began his basketball career. He played in the NBA till 2000, and then played for Pau-Orthez (France), before joining the Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA, where he retired in 2006. He was named NBA Most Improved Player in 1996.
If we look at the top NBA players in terms of the playing positions, Kosta Perovic is the tallest forward of all time at 7’2”; Dan Langhi is the tallest among NBA’s small forwards at 6’11”; and at 6’8”, Steve Smith is the tallest shooting guard in NBA history. The top 10 tallest NBA players are all retired players, and even the tallest active NBA player is not on the list. Serbia’s Boban Boban Marjanović, who measures 7’3.5”, is the tallest player in NBA right now.