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The Shortest Players in NBA History

muggsy

Heart over height — is exactly what defines these legendary players.

We've prepared the complete list of shortest players in National Basketball Association history, listed at of 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) or shorter. Only 9 players in NBA history have been listed at this height or shorter, so let's begin:

#9 Spud Webb

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

1986 Slam Dunk Champion Anthony "Spud" Webb, shortest player to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. During his 12-year career, Webb has lived the greatest David and Goliath story as a small man in a big man's game. The 5-foot 7-inch phenom with an amazing 42-inch vertical jump overcame the greatest of insurmountable odds and electrified crowds all over the world with his dunking ability and competitive spirit.

#8 Monte Towe

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Monte Towe and David Thompson are credited with "inventing" the alley-oop. Because dunking was illegal at the time, Towe would throw the ball to Thompson while he was in the air, and Thompson would gently drop the ball in the basket. Towe was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the third round of the 1975 ABA Draft and by the Atlanta Hawks in the fourth round of the 1975 NBA Draft.

#7 Wataru Misaka

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Wataru was the first non-white player and the first player of Asian descent to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA), known then as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Misaka played college basketball for the University of Utah and helped his school win the 1944 NCAA and 1947 NIT championships. He served two years in the United States Army in the American occupation of Japan. Misaka then had a short tenure with the New York Knicks during the 1947–1948 season, playing only 3 games in total.

#6 Herm Klotz

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

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Klotz was a point guard with the original Baltimore Bullets, and he was best known for forming the teams that play against and tour with the Harlem Globetrotters: the Washington Generals and the New York Nationals. Before his death in 2014, he was the oldest-living NBA world champion. During his basketball career, he coached or played in over 14,000 games during eight decades and in over 100 countries.

#5 Keith Jennings

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Jennings was not selected in the NBA draft and started his NBA career as a free agent. He spent three seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors (1992–95), playing in 164 games and averaging 6.6 points and 3.7 assists in 18.0 minutes per game. Jennings' personal best in the NBA was a 23-point performance, in his next-to-last regular-season game with the Warriors.

#4 Greg Grant

Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)

Growing up in a broken home, Grant worked in a fish market to get through high school. After being discovered at the local playground, the 5'7" (1.70 m) point guard enrolled at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) in 1986 and led Division III in scoring in 1989. That same year he was selected with the 52nd overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Draft. He spent nine years in the NBA, playing for six different teams.

#3 Mel Hirsch

Height: 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)

Mel played for the Boston Celtics of the Basketball Association of America, which would later become the National Basketball Association, for 13 games in the 1946–47 season. At 5 feet 6 inches tall, he was the shortest player in NBA history until Muggsy Bogues more than 40 years later.

#2 Earl Boykins

Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)

Standing at 5 feet, 5 inches in height, he is the second-shortest player in NBA history. Despite his size, he is reportedly able to bench press 315 pounds. Earl had a solid NBA career, averaging 8.9 points and 3.2 rebounds while playing for 10 different teams.

#1 Muggsy Bogues

Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)

Muggsy was known as a strong, quick tenacious on-ball defender. He was a defensive nightmare and loved guarding players full-court — this meant you could barely bring the ball up (keep in mind this was the hand-checking era). Muggsy was the shortest player in league history standing at 5′3″ but often had the biggest heart on the court. He averaged just over 7 points and 7 assists per game during his 14 seasons in the NBA.

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