There is a common misconception that you have to be tall in the game of basketball and you have to be able to reach at least 6 feet to reach the NBA. However, as history shows, you can play at any size at a high level.
In the year As of July 2022, Isaiah Thomas is the shortest active NBA player at 5-foot-9 and has played for the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets during his 11-year career in the league.
“How good was Daddy Isaiah Thomas?” pic.twitter.com/yVjrdE3ee3
— 𝙻𝚊𝚛𝚛𝚎 ☘️ (@CelticsRiley) July 22, 2022
A two-time All-Star, Thomas finished 5th in MVP voting in 2017 during one of the best individual seasons the NBA has seen in recent history, and the 33-year-old can still do a great job of driving in the modern era.
Let’s take a look at the 10 shortest NBA players of all time.
10. Charlie Criss – 5-foot-8 (Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks)
Charlie Chriss played eight seasons in the NBA and was the shortest active player in his career from 1977 to 1985 with the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.
Averaging 8.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in the NBA, Criss peaked in his rookie year with the Hawks and averaged 11 points and 4 assists in 77 games that season.
9. Spud Webb – 5-foot-7 (Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic)
Spud Webb won the slam dunk contest during All-Star weekend in 1986 during his NBA career and played 12 seasons in the league with teams such as the Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings.
Webb, now 59, is president of basketball operations for the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks of the NBA G League.
8. Monte Towe – 5-foot-7 (Denver Nuggets)
Monte Tawe, pictured at right, played one season in the NBA when the Denver Nuggets moved from the American Basketball Association to the National Basketball Association in 1976-77 and before the start of the 1977-78 season.
Towe is now the head coach at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Florida and was an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee State University from 2011 to 2014.
7. Wataru Misaka – 5-foot-7 (New York Knicks)
Wataru Misaka made history in 1947 by breaking the color barrier in professional basketball and becoming the first non-white player and the first Asian player to play in the NBA. time.
Misaka inspired great Asian NBA players such as Yao Ming, Jordan Clarkson, Rui Hachimura and Jeremy Lin.
The point guard played just three games for the Knicks and was cut midway through the season, and there were no ‘nobody cares’ press releases or interviews in his successful first game.
6. Herm Klotz – 5-foot-7 (Baltimore Bullets)
Herm ‘Red’ Klotz played point guard for the Baltimore Bullets from 1944 to 1954 and is still the only NBA team to win a championship.
Klotz pitched the two teams that played against the Harlem Globetrotters, the Washington Generals and the New York Nationals. He was the oldest NBA champion and died in 2014 at the age of 93.
He was a shortstop who played on a championship winning team.
5. Keith Jennings – 5-foot-7 (Golden State Warriors)
Keith Jennings spent three seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors between 1992 and 1995, and scored a career-high 23 points and had ten rebounds in one of his final games with the Dubs against the Toronto Raptors.
As of 2017, Jennings is the head coach of the Lees-McRae College women’s basketball team in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
4. Greg Grant – 5-foot-7 (Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Denver Nuggets)
Greg Grant, pictured here with Los Angeles Lakers legend James Worthy, spent nine years in the NBA with six different teams and was the 52nd overall pick in the 1989 NBA draft.
In the year In 2010, Grant became the head coach of Trenton Central High School, leading the team to a 100-32 overall record over five years, with each of his players graduating.
3. Mel Hirsch – 5-foot-6 (Boston Celtics)
— Brooklyn College Alumni Engagement (@BkCollegeAlumni) October 22, 2021
Mel Hirsch played 13 games for the Boston Celtics during the 1946-47 season, averaging 1.5 points and 8 assists per game, becoming the shortest player in league history by more than 40 years.
Hirsch was a star player at Brooklyn College and also served in the US Army Air Corps.
2. Earl Boykins – 5-foot-5 (Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Bobcats, Golden State Warriors, Denver Nuggets, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets)
In his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Earl Boykins is the second shortest player in NBA history behind LeBron James and spent 16 different seasons in the league from 1998 to 2012.
Boykins played in 15 playoff games with the Denver Nuggets and averaged 12.9 points per game in 27.5 minutes during the postseason while shooting nearly 85% from the free throw line.
The 46-year-old is now an assistant coach at the University of Texas at El Paso.
1. Muggsy Bogues – 5-foot-3 (Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors)
At just 5-foot-3, Muggsy Bogues is the shortest player to ever play in the NBA and played point guard for four different teams during his 14-year career in the league.
Bogus was a highly successful NBA talent, finishing in the top seven in assists in six consecutive seasons between 1989 and 1995, and in three of those seasons he finished in the top ten in steals.
Playing the highest level of basketball on the planet, he recorded an incredible 146 double-double games in the NBA and averaged 7.7 points, 7.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game.