Who Is The Tallest Person In The NBA?

Imagine towering over your opponents on the basketball court, the crowd in the stadium becoming a blur as you rise above them all. But have you ever wondered who holds the title for the tallest person in the NBA? Well, wonder no more because we’re about to reveal the answer. Get ready to be amazed as we uncover the extraordinary height of the NBA’s tallest player. Brace yourself for a jaw-dropping revelation that will leave you in awe of human potential.

NBA Height Statistics

When it comes to professional basketball, height plays a crucial role in a player’s performance and overall impact on the court. The NBA is no exception, with players of towering stature dominating the league throughout its history. In this article, we will explore the average height of NBA players, the tallest players in NBA history, the advantages and challenges faced by taller players, the role of height in the NBA draft, and the future of height in the league.

Average Height of NBA Players

The average height of NBA players has been steadily increasing over the years, reflecting the league’s emphasis on athleticism and size. As of the 2020-2021 season, the average height of an NBA player stood at around 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 meters). However, it is important to note that this figure varies by position. Centers and power forwards tend to be taller, often surpassing 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters) on average, while guards and small forwards generally have a slightly lower average height.

Tallest Players in NBA History

Throughout the history of the NBA, several players have stood out for their remarkable heights. Let’s take a closer look at some of the towering individuals who have left a lasting impact on the league.

Manute Bol

Manute Bol, standing at an incredible 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 meters), was not only known for his height but also for his shot-blocking prowess. He played for multiple NBA teams during his career and held the record for the most blocked shots per game in a single season.

Gheorghe Muresan

Gheorghe Muresan, a Romanian-born player, matched Manute Bol’s staggering height of 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 meters). He played for the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets, showcasing his defensive skills and contributing to his team’s success.

Yao Ming

Yao Ming, hailing from China, stood tall at 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 meters). He possessed incredible skills and was a dominant force on both ends of the court. Yao Ming’s impact extended beyond the NBA, as he helped popularize basketball in China and fostered global interest in the sport.

Sudanese Basketball Culture

Sudan has also produced a remarkable number of exceptionally tall basketball players. This can be attributed to a combination of genetics and the country’s love for the sport. Along with Manute Bol, several other Sudanese players, such as Luol Deng and Deng Ajuet, have made their mark in the NBA, highlighting the influence of Sudanese basketball culture.

Recent Tallest Players in the NBA

While the previously mentioned players left an indelible impression on the NBA, recent years have seen the emergence of a new breed of towering athletes who have taken the league by storm.

Tacko Fall

Tacko Fall, a 7-foot-6-inch (2.29 meters) behemoth from Senegal, has captured the attention of fans and fellow players alike. Despite his extraordinary height, Fall possesses surprising agility and has the potential to become a formidable force in the league.

Bol Bol

Son of the late Manute Bol, Bol Bol stands at an impressive 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 meters). Known for his versatile skill set and ability to shoot from long range, Bol has shown promising potential during his time with the Denver Nuggets.

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis, a Latvian power forward, stands at an imposing 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 meters). With his ability to score from all areas of the court, Porzingis has proven to be a matchup nightmare for opponents.

Nikola Pekovic

Nikola Pekovic, a retired Montenegrin center, stood tall at 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 meters). Although not as tall as some of the other players on this list, Pekovic’s size and strength made him a formidable presence in the paint.

Height Advantages in Basketball

With their towering stature, taller basketball players possess distinct advantages that contribute to their success on the court. Let’s explore some of the areas where height plays a crucial role.


Height gives players a natural advantage when it comes to rebounding. Taller players can reach higher, allowing them to grab rebounds over their opponents more effectively. Additionally, their longer wingspan enables them to secure rebounds outside of their immediate reach.

Shot Blocking

The ability to block shots is another area where height becomes a significant advantage. Taller players have an increased vertical reach, making it easier for them to contest and block shots near the rim. This defensive prowess disrupts opponents’ scoring opportunities and adds a vital dimension to a team’s defense.

Defensive Presence

Due to their height, taller players can intimidate opponents and alter shots even if they don’t make a direct block. By simply raising their hands, they can obstruct passing lanes and force the opposing team to rethink their offensive strategies.

Post Defense

In the post, height can be a vital asset for defending against low-post scorers. Taller players can contest shots without fouling, leverage their reach to disrupt offensive moves, and make it difficult for opponents to get clean looks at the basket.

Challenges Faced by Taller Players

While height provides numerous advantages, it also presents its fair share of challenges that taller players must overcome in order to succeed in the NBA.

Injury and Health Issues

Taller players often face a higher risk of injury, primarily related to their joints and lower body. The strain caused by their height and the physical demands of basketball can lead to issues such as knee, back, and foot problems. Therefore, maintaining good health and injury prevention strategies become crucial for players of towering stature.

Mobility and Speed

Taller players sometimes struggle with agility and quickness compared to their shorter counterparts. Their size and longer limbs can hinder their ability to change direction quickly, making it more challenging to navigate through the fast-paced nature of the NBA game.

Matching Up Against Smaller and Quicker Opponents

Smaller and quicker opponents often pose a challenge for taller players. Their agility allows them to exploit the height disadvantage by using speed and finesse to maneuver around and through taller defenders. Taller players must develop strategies to counter these matchups and use their size effectively.

Coordination and Balance

With their elongated limbs, taller players may experience difficulties in maintaining proper coordination and balance. It takes time and effort to synchronize their movements and develop the necessary control over their body. Improving coordination and balance is essential to maximize their potential on both ends of the court.

Height Measurements in the NBA

In order to maintain fairness and integrity, the NBA has established specific guidelines and protocols for height measurements.

Official Measurements

The NBA takes official height measurements during the draft combine and periodically verifies players’ heights throughout their careers. These measurements are taken without shoes, providing an accurate representation of a player’s actual height.

Alternate Measurements

In some cases, players may be listed with a slightly different height in NBA statistics, often due to older measurements or varying measurement methods. However, official measurements hold more weight and are typically considered the most reliable source.

Height Shrinkage

It is not uncommon for players to be listed with a slightly exaggerated height, either for marketing purposes or to enhance their perceived physical advantages. This is often referred to as “height shrinkage” and can mislead fans and enthusiasts about a player’s true height.

The Role of Height in NBA Draft

Height plays a significant role in the NBA draft, influencing a player’s scouting, evaluation, and ultimately, their draft stock.

Scouting and Evaluation

Scouts and talent evaluators closely examine the physical attributes of prospects, with height being one of the primary factors considered. A player’s height provides insights into their potential impact on the court and their ability to fulfill specific roles within a team’s system.

Expectations and Performance

Height often raises expectations for players, especially those who fall into the taller spectrum. The anticipation of dominant shot-blocking, scoring, and rebounding abilities can place added pressure on these players to perform at a high level consistently.

Draft Stock Impact

A player’s height can greatly influence their draft stock, as teams often prioritize taller individuals who can provide a unique advantage on both ends of the court. Taller players with exceptional skills are highly sought after, and their height can significantly impact their draft position.

Notable NBA Legends – Height and Impact

In the rich history of the NBA, several legendary players have left an enduring legacy, showcasing the impact height can have on the game.

Shaquille O’Neal

Standing at a towering 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 meters), Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant force during his playing days. Known for his power and agility, O’Neal’s size allowed him to overpower opponents in the paint and secure championships with multiple teams.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, standing at an impressive 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 meters), is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history. His signature skyhook shot and defensive prowess helped him become the league’s all-time leading scorer.

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain, a truly exceptional athlete, stood at a remarkable 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 meters). His combination of size, strength, and skill allowed him to dominate the game in unprecedented ways. Chamberlain’s records and achievements remain legendary in the annals of basketball history.

The Future of Height in the NBA

Looking ahead, the role of height in the NBA is likely to continue evolving alongside changes in the game and the global talent pool.

Global Talent Pool

As basketball grows in popularity across the globe, the NBA increasingly draws talent from a diverse range of countries. This globalization of the game introduces new styles of play and diverse physical attributes, including players of varying heights. The expanding talent pool will continue to shape the league and challenge traditional notions of height’s significance.

Skill Development

While height remains a valuable asset, the importance of skill development and versatility is also on the rise. Players with a combination of height, athleticism, and a well-rounded skill set are likely to thrive in the evolving NBA landscape.

Evolution of Playing Styles

The NBA has witnessed a shift towards more perimeter-oriented play, emphasizing speed and shooting. This trend may lead to changes in the perception of height’s importance, as taller players with exceptional outside shooting and agility gain recognition and opportunities to excel.


In the world of professional basketball, height undeniably plays a significant role in a player’s success and impact on the game. From the towering legends of the past to the rising stars of the present, the NBA is full of athletes who command attention with their extraordinary heights. While height provides distinct advantages such as rebounding and shot blocking, taller players must also overcome challenges such as mobility and matching up against smaller opponents.

The role of height in the NBA draft further emphasizes its impact, as teams seek out players who can capitalize on their physical advantages. But as the global talent pool expands and the game continues to evolve, height’s significance may shift alongside new playing styles and skill requirements. Ultimately, the future of height in the NBA remains an intriguing topic, with potential changes and adaptations yet to unfold.

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