The average height of an NBA player is 6-foot-7, which is only a tad taller than the 5-foot-9 the average American male stands. The tallest NBA players, however, all hover above seven feet, and some of them use their gargantuan height as a stepping stone to Hollywood.
These skyscraper human beings may not compare to the man whose head peeks into the stratosphere and owns the Guinness World Records tallest man distinction, but basketball's beanstalk-like ballers are some of the largest humans to walk the United States and the Earth, for that matter.
The NBA Hall of Fame is littered with them — Yao Ming, Ralph Samson and Arvydas Sabonis — and many of the tallest to ever play a game in the league hail from countries outside the states (Sudan's Manute Bol, Romanian big man Gheorghe Muresan, Russian shot-clocker Pavel Podkolzin, Germany's Shawn Bradley). Many of these players had some very odd careers. Bol, for example, is the only player in NBA history to block more shots than baskets made during his NBA career.
Currently, the largest of the NBA's tall players are all at least seven feet tall. In a league where players are getting taller and taller while being more athletic and versatile, it seems like every team has a skilled 7-footer these days. Standing right at the seven-foot mark are guys like Joel Embiid, Mo Bamba and Karl-Anthony Towns, each of which brings their own skill set such as being their team's shot blocker and dishing assists from the post. Whether you're the defending champion Golden State Warriors, a bench player for the Milwaukee Bucks or playing in the All-Star Game, it doesn't hurt to have one of these men defending the goal and racking up blocked shots.
But just who are the other gargantuan humans we see every NBA season, and who are the tallest in NBA history? Let's take a look.
Tallest Active NBA Players
11. Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings: 7-1
The 7-foot-1 power forward is a walking bucket for the Kings. This season, he averaged 19.1 points per game and a league-leading 12.3 rebounds per game. There's a reason he's a three-time all-star, and his height has a lot to do with it. He's also the son of Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, and he could be well on his way to joining him.
10. Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks: 7-1
Brook Lopez has been as reliable as they come when it comes to big men, and big he is. At 7-foot-1, the 34-year-old is still going strong with Milwaukee, as he averaged 15.9 points per game this season.
9. Jay Huff, Washington Wizards: 7-1
Huff won a national championship at Virginia then went undrafted in 2021 before the Lakers signed him. He currently plays for the Wizards as a backup center, where he averaged 7.3 points per game this season.
8. Jakob Poeltl, Toronto Raptors: 7-1
The Austrian center was the ninth-overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors, but his most famous NBA contribution to this point was as trade bait alongside DeMar DeRozan, when San Antonio sent Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green north to Canada. Poeltl set a career-high in rebounding with the Spurs during the 2021-22 season and is growing into one of the league's better rim protectors. He was traded back to Toronto in February 2023.
7. Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves: 7-1
There's no doubt Gobert is one of the best centers in the NBA, and his height has a lot to do with that. The "Stifle Tower" was born in France and quickly became one of the better defenders in the league after the Denver Nuggets drafted him in 2013 and traded him to the Utah Jazz. He led the NBA in blocks for the 2016-17 season has won three NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards, making him one of four basketball players in history to win the honor three times.
6. Alex Len, Sacramento Kings: 7-2
The fifth-overall pick in 2013, Len's best season came with the Atlanta Hawks in 2018, when he averaged 11.1 points and 20.1 minutes played. The Ukrainian big man has bounced around a bit, finding homes in Phoenix, Toronto, Washington and Sacramento. He primarily played behind Sabonis this season with the Kings.
5. Bol Bol, Orlando Magic: 7-2
Bol Bol, the son of Manute Bol, isn't as tall as his dad but still stands at a humble 7-foot-2. The Sudanese basketball player has a smooth stroke for a big man and even has some ball-handling skills. Bol may not win an MVP, but if his skills progress he could win the Most Improved Player award and potentially be an NBA All-Star one day.
4. Moses Brown, Brooklyn Nets: 7-2
One season with the UCLA Bruins was all Moses Brown needed to make an impact. The McDonald's All-American from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens was named to the Pac-12 Conference's All-Freshman team before declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft. Brown went undrafted and didn't make a huge impact with the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, and he's bounced around with other NBA teams, including the Nets currently.
3. Luke Kornet, Boston Celtics: 7-2
Kornet may be only 27, but he's still something of a journeyman. After going undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, he signed with the Knicks. He's spent time with the Bulls, Bucks, Cavaliers and now Boston Celtics, who just missed out on an NBA Championship in 2022.
2. Kristaps Porzingis, Washington Wizards: 7-3
Porzingis became a household name with the New York Knicks after he was drafted fourth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. The 7-foot-3 Latvian center was an All-Star in 2018 after averaging more than 22 points per game. His nickname, Unicorn, was given to him by Kevin Durant for his array of abilities — shooting, defending, you name it — all at 7 feet and 3 inches tall. He started playing basketball at 6 and by age 12, he already stood 6-foot-8. In February 2022, he was traded to the Wizards.
1. Boban Marjanovic, Houston Rockets: 7-4
RELATED: How Big Are Boban Marjanovic's Massive Hands?
Boban has the ability to make any human on this earth look tiny. From his hands to his head to, well, his entire body, he's a larger than life man. The 7-foot-4 Serbian beast plays center for the Rockets and has played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks. At 14 years old, he was incredibly already 6-foot-10. If you haven't seen him hold a basketball the way most people hold baseballs, you should check it out.
Tallest NBA Players of All Time
- Gheorghe Muresan, 7-7 (Washington Bullets/Wizards, New Jersey Nets)
- Manute Bol, 7-7 (Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat)
- Yao Ming, 7-6 (Houston Rockets)
- Shawn Bradley, 7-6 (Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks)
- Tacko Fall, 7-6 (Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Chuck Nevitt, 7-5 (Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs)
- Pavel Podkolzin, 7-5 (Dallas Mavericks)
- Slavko Vrane, 7-5 (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Sim Bhullar, 7-5 (Sacramento Kings)
- Mark Eaton, 7-4 (Utah Jazz)
- Ralph Sampson, 7-4 (Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets)
- Priest Lauderdale, 7-4 (Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets)
- Rik Smits, 7-4 (Indiana Pacers)
The Shortest Player in NBA History
- Muggsy Bogues, 5-3 (Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors)
MORE: The Shortest Players in NBA History Prove Size Doesn't Matter
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