The 10 Shortest NBA Players Ever (Includes Alley-Oop Inventor)

Shortest NBA Players
Credit: Gary J. Denham / Wiki Commons

If you’re looking for the shortest NBA players this top-10 has got you covered. It also includes the inventor of the alley-oop and a player who changed the league forever.

(If you want the best NBA players check out Sportsnaut’s Top 50).

10. Calvin Murphy, 5’9″

Calvin Murphy played in the NBA for over a decade and was 5 feet 9 inches tall. Murphy was once the shortest player in the history of the NBA to have ever made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1971 Murphy was a Rookie first team All-Star, and in 1979 he was an NBA All-Star.

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9. Anthony Jerome Webb (“Spud”), 5’7″

Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb was 5 feet 7 inches tall and became famous for insane and astonishing plays. He won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986 and played for the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, and the Minnesota Timberwolves amongst others throughout his career.

8. Keith Russell Jennings (“Mister”), 5’7″

Keith Russell Jennings, also known as “Mister” was 5 feet 7 inches tall. He wasn’t selected in the 1991 NBA draft as coaches doubted his ability. This forced him to enter the NBA as a free agent, where the Golden State Warriors picked him up. Once in the league, he played in 164 games, averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 assists across an 18 minute-average per game.

7. Monte Towe, 5’7″

Monte Towe was 5 feet 7 inches tall, and is famed for inventing the alley-oop! Along with his teammate David Thompson, Towe invented this move to counter dunking. Towe may not have the stature of some, but contributions to the game are long-lasting and note-worthy.

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6. Wataru Misaka, 5’7″

Wataru Misaka was 5 feet 7 inches tall and was the first Asian American and non-white player in the history of the NBA. He started his career in 1947 when he was drafted by the New York Nicks. Misaka only played a few games but he changed the sport forever.

5. Louis Herman Klotz (“Red”), 5’7″

Another 5 feet 7-inch basketball player was Louis Herman Klotz, also known as Red Klotz. He played in NBA for only one year with the Baltimore Bullets (1947-1948). After leaving the Bullets he joined the Washington Generals in 1953, an exhibition team, where he continued to play as Point Guard until 1989.

4. Greg Grant, 5’7″

The 5 feet 7 inches Greg Grant started his basketball career at the College of New Jersey. Despite his short height, Grant was great at the game, which compelled the Pheonix Suns to draft him in the second round of the 1989 NBA Draft. During his 9 year career, Grant played for 6 different teams, including the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets.

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3. Mel Hirsh, 5’6″

NBA Shortest Players
(Credit: Photo by Bicanski on Pixnio)

Mel Hirsch was 5 feet 6 inches tall and was the shortest basketball player in the sport’s history for roughly four decades. Hirsch played the sport between 1946-1947 for the Boston Celtics as a Point Guard. He passed away in 1968 from leukemia.

2. Earl Boykins, 5’5″

Earl Boykins is 2 inches taller than #1 on this list. Despite missing out as being the shortest NBA player ever – at 5 feet 5 inches, he still holds one height-related record. He is the shortest player in NBA history to have scored more than 30 points in one game. He played for 10 different teams between 1999 and 2012, including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets.

1. Tyrone Curtis Bogues (“Muggsy”), 5’3″

Tyrone Curtis Bogues, popularly known as Muggsy was the shortest NBA player ever. He was only 5 feet 3 inches tall, and his height made him a great stealer of the ball. Muggsy played from 1988-1997 for the Charlotte Hornets, before ending his 14 season career with the Toronto Raptors in 2001.

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