Don’t count them out just because they’re short! Learn about five of the shortest players to ever make it in the NBA and their inspiring stories of success.
Standing at 5 feet tall, the shortest players in NBA history may not seem like they’re built for basketball domination. But don’t let their lack of stature fool you. These pint-sized competitors were some of the most talented and devoted athletes to ever hit the court.
Get ready to marvel at some of the mightiest mini-players that have ever dazzled an NBA court! Let’s take a look at five undersized superstars who never let size stand in their way of achieving greatness.
5. Greg Grant – 5’7″ (1.70m)
Greg Grant may not be the most famous player on this list, but the 5’7″ point guard had a long spell in the NBA nonetheless. The point guard represented several teams over six years, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets. That said, he only played five of his 284 career games as a starter.
4. Spud Webb – 5’6″ (1.68m)
Spud Webb was a David among Goliaths in the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He overcame his 5’6″ stature to triumph over much taller opponents. His quickness and gravity-defying jumping ability made him a fan favorite across a 12-year career. The former Atlanta Hawks point guard delighted courtside spectators with flashy dunks that earned highlight reel status.
3. Mel Hirsch – 5’6″ (1.68m)
Mel Hirsch may not be a household name, but his impact on the game of basketball cannot be overlooked. As a point guard for the Boston Celtics in 1946/47, he held his own on the court during his brief one-year NBA career. He makes this list at #3 with a height of only 5’6″.
2. Earl Boykins – 5’5″ (1.65m)
Despite the height disadvantage, Earl Boykins refused to accept defeat. His quickness and scoring ability earned him a 13-year NBA career. The 5’5″ guard played for various teams, including the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks. Showing short players everywhere it can be done, he proved size does not necessarily equate to success – but hard work certainly does.
1. Muggsy Bogues – 5’3″ (1.60m)
Standing only 5’3″, Muggsy Bogues was the unlikeliest of NBA heroes. But over 14 seasons with several teams, he proved that you don’t need height to be successful! During his tenure with the Charlotte Hornets, this small but mighty guard unlocked a new level of team performance. He led the Hornets all the way to playoffs multiple times without sacrificing an ounce of skill or hustle.
Muggsy challenged what it meant for someone’s size to determine their limitations as a player — setting a whole new bar as the shortest baller in NBA history.
The shortest players in NBA history proved height isn’t everything
While many basketball fans may see height as everything, these five players have shown it’s not always the case. They competed at the highest level and make significant contributions. Their respective successes have helped to challenge the notion that height is the most important factor in basketball. Moreover, they’ve paved the way for future generations of shorter players to make their mark on the sport.
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