Almost a decade ago—a time when NBA teams were measuring the height of players in shoes—the average height in the NBA was a soaring 6 feet, 7 inches. Can you believe that? However, surprisingly, not every player has to meet that height to make a mark for himself in the NBA. There are quite a few short players too who have reaped the maximum advantage of their height in basketball and take their career a rung higher.
NBA History And Heights
Short-built players can actually wreak havoc (pun intended) on the basketball diamond. They can zig-zag their way out, get low and cut through their opponents, and weave around them with uncontainable zeal to hit straight on the basket. This should not come as a surprise when you get to know about the shortest but the most efficient players that the NBA has seen.
Here goes the list of the Shortest NBA Player
Perhaps the shortest of all players in the NBA is Tyrone Curtis “Muggsy” Bogues, born on January 9, 1965, in Baltimore. With a height of 5 feet, 3 inches and a weight of 136 pounds, he grew up playing pick-up games in Baltimore. But when he stepped into the court, his aggressive defences stood out remarkably.
As time went on, Bogues shaped himself into a stellar basketball player of Dunbar High School, moulding the best team in the country. He became the shortest player in the history of the NBA when he got selected for the 12th overall by Washington in 1987.
At 56 years old, Muggsy Bogues’s net worth is estimated to be around $15 million.
With a height of 5 feet, five inches, Earl Boykins comes next on the list. He was born on June 2, 1976, in Cleveland, Ohio. He learned to dribble with a regular tennis ball because he had small hands to play any other sport. However, his career clicked when Division 1 programs Eastern Michigan and Iowa offered a scholarship to the point guard of this height.
Boykins went undrafted in the year 1998, after which he spent the next twenty years in the NBA. He is known in the fraternity for his extraordinary strength and scoring ability, bench pressing more than 300 pounds—something that exceeds his body weight! Mentioning a trivia, Boykin’s dad used to sneak him into his gym bag and take him to the local rec centre when he was three to save the entry ticket.
At the age of 44, Earl Boykins has a net worth of $6 million.
With a height of 5 feet, six inches and a weight of 165 pounds, Mel Hirsch was the shortest player in the realm of basketball until Muggsy Bogues entered the league in 1987. In 1943, he completed his graduation from Brooklyn College, and he served as a Navigator in the US Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. He joined the basketball team of the squadron’s officer while he was on the job.
After serving the military, Hirsch played thirteen basketball games for the Boston Celtics of the Basketball Association of America. This is what has now become the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He died in December 1968 at the age of 47, leaving behind a legacy and name in basketball that stays alive even today.
Greg Grant was born on August 29, 1966, and has a height of 5 feet 7 inches and a weight of 140 pounds. He worked in a fish market while he was in high school. After dropping out of college in 1986, he enrolled at Trenton State. His performance was spectacular and he led Division III to great heights.
Grant was drafted by the Phoenix Suns for the 52nd overall. He’s one of the very few D3 players to be chosen in the NBA draft. All his experiences in the NBA are chronicled in his autobiography, which gives a glimpse of his performance over a decade. The book made it to Source Sports, Dime Magazine and SLAM Magazine.
There’s no doubt that professional basketball players require a towering height to up their game.
However, the strength and scoring ability of short players like the above four cannot be underestimated. They can be extremely agile and aggressive, taking them beyond all bounds to hit the basket.
Here Is a Bigger List of The Shortest NBA Player
- Muggsy Bogues – 5’3″, 136lbs
- Earl Boykins – 5’5″, 135lbs
- Mel Hirsch – 5’6″, 165lbs
- Greg Grant – 5’7″, 140lbs
- Red Klotz – 5’7″, 150 lbs
- Wataru Misaka – 5’7″, 150 lbs
- Keith Jennings – 5’7″, 160 lbs
- Monte Towe – 5’7″, 150 lbs
- Spud Webb – 5’7″, 133 lbs
- Dino Martin – 5’8″, 160 lbs
- Charlie Criss – 5’8″, 165 lbs
- Willie Somerset – 5’8″, 170lbs
- Angelo Musi – 5’9″, 145 lbs
- Charlie Hoefer – 5’9″, 158 lbs
- Calvin Murphy – 5’9″, 165 lbs
- Nate Robinson – 5’9″, 180 lbs
- Isaiah Thomas – 5’9″, 185 lbs
- Chris Clemons – 5’9″, 180 lbs