The Top 10 NBA Players Below Six Feet
If you’re aspiring to be an NBA player, height is probably one of the most basic considerations. That’s why it is a huge achievement if a short player makes it to the NBA. If you stand even a shade less than six feet, you certainly have your work cut out for you. Scouts will be skeptical at best, your opportunities will be limited and the physical strain of competing with people almost twice your size will certainly take its toll on your body. Amazingly, some have actually overcome these obstacles and excelled. The following are ten such players who, despite standing less than six feet, became NBA stars.
10. NATE ROBINSON, 5 ft 9in
Some may question his inclusion here because he has yet to fully prove his mettle. He has already proven one thing though - he can dunk with the best of them. That by itself makes him special at 5 feet 9 inches. Armed with a 43.5 inch vertical leap, Robinson won the 2005 Slam Dunk contest, becoming only the second player (after Spud Webb) under 6 feet to do so. Nate is not just a dunker with no game though. He has averaged double figures in points the past two seasons. Robinson must learn to control his temper though to develop further as a player, as he’s already gotten into a number of altercations. If he keeps his head straight, he may just be a regular All-Star.
9. MICHAEL ADAMS, 5 ft 10 in
Adams is one of the NBA’s all-time leaders in three point field goals made and attempted. He struggled at the beginning of his career though, before finding success in Denver. His break-out season came in 1990-1991 when the Nuggets utilized a wild run-and-gun offense. That year, he became one of the statistical leaders in scoring (26.5 ppg) and assists (10.5 apg). Adams was voted to the All-Star game the following season as a member of the Washington Bullets. Not bad for a five foot 3rd round draft pick who barely made it into the league. He retired in 1996 after 10 seasons in the NBA.
8. DANA BARROS, 5 ft 11 in
Drafted by Seattle in 1989, Barros struggled to find stability and consistency in his first years in the league. He was eventually traded to Philadelphia in the 1993 season and his playing time and stats improved considerably. In his second season with the Sixers, he became an All-Star, posting career-highs at 20.6 ppg and 7.5 apg and was awarded the prestigious Most Improved Player Award. He wound up his playing days with stints in Boston and Detroit and officially retired in 2004. During his career, he was able to set a league record by making at least one three-pointer in 89 consecutive games.
7. EARL BOYKINS 5 ft 5 in
Boykins is the second shortest player in NBA history behind Mugsy Bogues and the shortest active player today. Despite having exceptional collegiate credentials, he encountered difficulty in establishing his career in the pros until he found his niche as a spark plug in Denver. Providing energy and instant scoring for the Nuggets, Boykins thrived in the zone defenses allowed by new NBA rules. Denver eventually awarded Boykins with a guaranteed contract in 2003 worth $13.7 million for five years, a breakthrough development for very small players, He was traded to Milwaukee in 2007 and contractual problems with the Bucks have resulted in him opting to sit-out the early part of this season. Still, he has developed into one of the most feared quick shooters and penetrators. More importantly, he has given renewed credibility to small players aspiring to make it big in the NBA.
6. AVERY JOHNSON 5 ft 10 in
Nothing in Johnson’s career was handed to him on a silver platter. Undrafted and undersized, he had to work extra hard to get a career going in the NBA. He entered the league in 1988 and bounced around from one team to the next until he found a home in San Antonio. He became the starting point guard of the Spurs for the majority of the 90s and formed a reliable partnership with All-Star David Robinson. Avery was an integral part of San Antonio’s first title run in 1999, even hitting the championship-clinching shot in Game 5 of the Finals. Johnson retired in 2004 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks. His career statistics may not seem impressive but he was a proven leader, court general and winner. Through hard work and determination, he was able to have a 16-year NBA career, which is rare for a player his size.
5. MUGSY BOGUES 5 ft 3 in
If you look at Mugsy Bogues’ career numbers you may say they’re good but not exceptional. But once you factor in his size, 5 ft 3 in, then everything becomes amazing. The shortest man ever to play in the NBA, Bogues was drafted by Washington in 1987. The most significant years in Mugsy’s career were spent as the starting point guard of the Charlotte Hornets in the early 90s, as he teamed up with Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. They formed the core of a competitive Hornets ball club that became one of the more popular teams in the NBA. He finished his career in 2001 after stints with Golden State, New York and Toronto and still stands as the Hornets’ all-time leader in assists and steals. He will remain one of the most unforgettable figures in the NBA both for the curiosity surrounding his size and for the things he was able to accomplish in spite of it.
4. TERREL BRANDON, 5 ft 11 in
Brandon was a lottery pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers (11th overall) in the 1991 draft. Many questioned the wisdom behind the choosing of a small player that high in the draft. He would eventually silence his critics when point guard, Mark Price was traded and Brandon took over the job full time. He became one of the league leaders in assists and steals and soon established himself as one of the top guards in the NBA. Brandon would be selected to play in two All-Star games (‘96 and ’97) and at the peak of his career was named by a major sports publication to be the best point guard in the league. Eventually traded to Milwaukee and later to Minnesota, Brandon was hampered by nagging injuries later in his career, which would force him to announce his retirement in 2004. By then, he had already cemented his place in NBA annals as one of the most reliable and efficient point guards to play the game.
3. SPUD WEBB 5 ft 7 in
Although by no means an all-time great, Webb ranks high in the list for his skills, athleticism and more importantly, his impact on the game. Because of his size, Spud had never been widely recruited and was a 4th round draftee in the 1985 Draft. The 5’7’’ Spud suddenly shot to prominence when he shocked the world by beating Dominique Wilkins in the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest. This game was also one of the Top Ten Greatest Wins in the NBA. His jaw-dropping dunks in the competition were shown repeatedly on TV and Webb became an international media darling. This singular monumental feat has somehow overshadowed his talent on the court as a playmaker and defensive player. He played 12 productive seasons, even averaging double figure points in five of them but he will still be best remembered for his inspiring David and Goliath win in the dunk contest.
2. TIM HARDAWAY, 5 ft 11 in.
Hardaway began his career with the Golden State Warriors in the 1989 and quickly made an impact on the league. Armed with his signature cross-over dribble, Hardaway became an All-star and one of the elite scorers and assist men in the league. Injuries, however, would later slow him down and in 1996 he was traded to Miami where his career was resurrected. The Heat then became perennial title-contenders in the late 90’s. In the latter part of his career he would play for Dallas, Denver and Indiana before finally retiring in 2003. In his storied career, he had five All-star game appearances, became an MVP contender and was part of the 1997 All-NBA first team. Hardaway became a controversial figure in 2007 because of some anti-gay statements he made during an interview. He has publicly apologized for his actions. It is hoped that this does not permanently overshadow his incredible accomplishments
1. CALVIN MURPHY 5ft 9 in.
After an amazing collegiate career, Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets in 1970 as the 18th pick. He lasted until the second round since scouts were apprehensive of his size. He made those who passed up on him pay as he developed into one of the top guards of his generation. Murphy was an exceptional ball handler, was quick, athletic and gifted both offensively and defensively. Despite being the shortest player during his time, he managed to become an All-Star, averaging 20 plus points in 5 different seasons including a high of 25.6 ppg in 1978. Murphy played for the Rockets until his retirement in 1983. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall Fame in 1993.
These players have reached their goals by overcoming huge obstacles, both inside and outside the basketball court. They have shown that they are worthy of being called giants – perhaps not in physical stature but in what they were able to achieve despite their natural shortcomings.
You’ve seen the greatest NBA players below 6 feet. But you’ve never seen the Top Ten Greatest Left-Handed Players in the NBA. In the NBA games, there you’ll see your favorite players, gorgeous hot babes of each team’s cheering squad and amazing fans but NBA games was never been this great and interesting to watch without the help of the Announcers. Announcers are the ones who uses cliches to avoid dead air. Here are the Top Ten Cliched Statements in the NBA.
* Small dunkers are fun to watch, they could even beat tall players in dunk contests, if you’re smaller than 6 feet, you could still stuff that ball by learning how to dunk a basketball.