10 Shortest Basketball Players in the NBA

shortest basketball players

Written by Aliesha

October 9, 2021


The shortest basketball players in the NBA are often overlooked, but these tiny athletes can still make big plays. Having a shorter stature has its advantages for basketball because it allows them to be more agile and elusive on defense than their taller counterparts with longer limbs. Here’s a list of some tiniest basketball players who have ever suited up for an NBA team. 

Small But Terrible: 10 Shortest Basketball Players in the NBA

If you are looking for the shortest players in the NBA, then you have come to the right place. Short stature has never stopped these athletes from making it into one of the most competitive leagues in professional sports.

Charlie Criss

Height: 5 feet and 8 inches

Criss is a diminutive guard who played for two seasons in the old Eastern Basketball Association before joining the Hawks and earning a place as one of the NBA’s shortest active players. Although he stands at 5’8″, Criss managed to average greater than 10 points per game over his career, which spanned eight years!

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Monte Towe

Height: 5 feet and 7 inches

Michael Towe is a Wildcat legend. He went on to have an outstanding NBA career, winning one national championship and being a third-round draft pick with the Nuggets before spending more than 30 years coaching college or professional teams in his long tenure as player and coach.

Wat Misaka

Height: 5 feet and 7 inches

Misaka was the first player of Asian descent to suit up for an NBA team. His journey started in college, where he helped lead Utah Utes to win their own NCAA championship; then came a short but successful tenure with New York Knicks before being cut due to a logjam at point guard position on the roster. 

Red Klotz

Height: 5 feet and 7 inches

Klotz is one of the shortest basketball players who have two unique distinctions. He’s the shortest person ever to play for a team that won championships. He also founded The Washington Generals – an all-black Harlem Globetrotters team in 1949 which made them famous across America as they played against other well-known groups such as Big Red Teams from Indiana or DeCal Coral Gables High School Band From Florida.

Keith Jennings

Height: 5 feet and 7 inches

The 5’7″ Jennings won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding senior player under six feet in height. He averaged 18 minutes per game with several seasons for Golden State Warriors and after his NBA career came to an end he spent close to ten years playing overseas before finally retiring from basketball entirely!

Greg Grant

Height: 5 feet and 7 inches

Greg Grant, standing 5 inches and 7 feet was discovered playing at a New Jersey playground and went on to have an incredible career in the NBA. He starred for Division III Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey) after being drafted by Phoenix Suns during his time there. After retiring from sports professionally he spent five years coaching high school basketball where his teams won 100 games!

Spud Webb

Height: 5 feet and 6 inches

Webb won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986 with his game-saving dunk. He actually led all players that year at shooting greater than 93% from free throws, and he continued an impressive career after winning this competition.

Mel Hirsch

Height: 5 feet and 6 inches

With a height of just 5’6″, Hirsch holds the distinction as being one of only 12 players in NBA history to have ever suited up during an entire season. He played for 13 games with Boston Celtics back then before they became known across America and internationally for their success on court – finishing 22-38 while tying the other six teams at bottom conference finish!

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Earl Boykins

Height: 5 feet and 5 inches

Boykins was a late bloomer who became one of the most productive players in NBA history during his mid-2000’s run. He averaged 14 points per game from 2006 -2007, even when competing for both Denver and Milwaukee that same year! In 2009 and 2010 at age 33 or 34 he still managed more than 15 minutes played per contest.

Muggsy Bogues

Height: 5 feet and 3 inches

The 5’3″ Bogues has the shortest height of any player in NBA history, but he was not short on talent to make up for it. His 14 seasons as an active pro athlete are evidence enough that his skill set wasn’t limited by size!

Height is just a number

The NBA is full of giants, but there are a few players who stand at 5’8″ or shorter. And if they can still make it in the international league of basketball, then why can’t you? So, if you are a little worried about your height, just remember that while it is important in this sport, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use what you have to your advantage as a player.


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