Shortest NBA Players (Complete List!)

Shortest NBA Players

Key takeaway: While height may be an advantage in basketball, the shortest NBA players, like Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb, have proven that with IQ, hard work, and persistence, they can excel on the court. Being short comes with various advantages like better ball handling and quickness, showcasing that height doesn't determine success in the game.

Last time we talked about the tallest players in the NBA. Today you are going to learn who the shortest NBA players are and if you are interested to know just keep reading.

As you know basketball is a game for tall players but did you know there are short players that did not allow their height to judge their games? Short players are mostly the athletic and fastest players inside the court. Most point guards are short players. Even though they are short, their basketball I.Q is astounding!

Don’t laugh for short players, why? Because there are a lot of advantages of being short inside the basketball court. Here are some:

  • Easier to pass defenders
  • Much easier to control the ball
  • Easier to control the speed
  • Athleticism 101%
  • Better scorer outside the 3-point line

But there are also some disadvantages such as:

  • Difficult to finish an inside shot
  • Much difficult to make an overhead pass
  • Tall players can block your shot easily

THE shortest NBA players prove that height does not matter in basketball. They also prove that with I.Q, hard work, and persistence you can achieve something. 

Shortest NBA Players Of All Time

Muggsy Bogues 

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height: (1.60m) 5 ft 3 in.
  • Teams: Washington Bullets (1987-1988) Charlotte Hornets (1988-1997) Golden State Warriors (1997-1999) Toronto Raptors (1999-2001)

Bogues was born in Baltimore, Maryland (1965). He was raised by his single mother after his father went to prison. He first played in Dunbar High school in Baltimore under coach Bob Wade. Dunbar Poets finished the season with a standing of 29-0 during Bogues junior year and a record of 31-0 during his senior year.

After graduating from high school, Bogues entered college and played with Wake Forest University averaging 11.3 points, 8.4 assists, and 3.1 steals per game in his junior year. After amazing stats in his junior year at college, Bogues managed to average 14.8 points, 9.5 assists, and 2.4 steals per game in his senior year. Muggsy Bogues also played for the USA national team in the 1986 FIBA World Championship and won the gold medal.

After playing for Rhode Island Gulls in USBL, Bogues was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the 1987 NBA draft. Bogues played for many teams in the NBA but he played longer in the Charlotte Hornets. After an amazing career, he retired in the NBA in 2001 and he continued loving basketball by becoming a coach in some basketball teams in the USA. Although his height is 5’3, he still managed to average 7.7 PPG, 7.6 APG, and 1.6 SPG throughout his career. He is also the shortest NBA player in NBA history.

Here are some of the highlights of Muggsy Bogues:

Spud Webb

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height:(1.7m) 5 ft 7 in
  • Teams: Atlanta Hawks (1985–1991, 1995–1996) Sacramento Kings (1991–1995) Minnesota Timberwolves (1996) Orlando Magic (1998)

Webb was born in Dallas, Texas on July 13, 1963, and he saw basketball as a way for him to escape poverty. Spud Webb was not tall, but he used his quickness and jumping ability to outplay the other bigger kids. 

During his junior year at high school, Webb was told that he was too short to play basketball but Webb proved them wrong. He averaged 26 points per game during his junior year and at the height of 5’3, he can already dunk.

After playing at high school, Spud Webb received an opportunity to play on a college basketball team. He played for Midland College and led his team to win a chip during his junior year. With his outstanding game, Webb started to attract many scouts. Webb attracted the attention of Tom Abatemarco, an assistant coach at North Carolina State University. Spud Webb was so grateful that the NCSU gave him a chance to play for their basketball team.

After an amazing college career, Spud Webb was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 1985 NBA draft. His first six seasons were played with the Atlanta Hawks, but his best years statistically were with the Sacramento Kings. He retired in the NBA in 1998 and had career stats of 9.9 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 2 SPG.

Spud Webb won in the NBA 1986 slam dunk contest. Check out his amazing performance here:

Earl Boykins

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height:(1.65m) 5 ft 5 in
  • Teams: New Jersey Nets (1999) Cleveland Cavaliers (1999, 2000) Orlando Magic (1999) Los Angeles Clippers (2001–2002) Golden State Warriors (2002–03) Denver Nuggets (2003–2007) Milwaukee Bucks (2007, 2011) Charlotte Bobcats (2008) Washington Wizards (2009–10) Houston Rockets (2012)

Earl Boykins was born in Cleveland Ohio (1976). He is the second shortest NBA player in NBA history after Muggsy Bogues. 

Boykins started playing basketball because of his father’s influence. He started playing high school basketball at Cleveland Central Catholic High School where he averaged 24.6 points per game and led his team to a 23-2 record as a senior. 

Earl Boykins started playing college basketball at Eastern Michigan University from 1994 to 1998. EMU won the MAC tournament in 1996 and 1998 with the help of Boykins. 

Boykins was never drafted by an NBA team, but he was signed by five NBA teams for short-term contracts. After some short-term contracts, Boykins was signed by the Denver Nuggets for a five-year contract. 

In the 2007-2008 NBA season, Boykins was a restricted free agent. Instead of playing for an NBA team, he decided to play basketball in Europe and he was signed by Virtus Bologna. After a one year contract in Europe, Boykins returned to the NBA to play for the Washington Wizards.

After playing for various teams in the NBA, Boykins retired in the NBA last 2012. His career stats in NBA are 8.9 PPG, 3.2 APG, and 1.1 SPG. 

Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy was born on May 9, 1948. Before falling in love with basketball, Murphy was a world-class baton twirler. He started playing basketball when he was in high school and he played for Norwalk Highschool.

Murphy played for Niagara University, where he gained a title as three-time all American. He scored 2,548 points in his 77 games and averages 33.1 points per game.

After college, Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets (Houston Rockets) as the first pick in the second round of the 1970 NBA draft. Calvin is the most remarkable player in the NBA because of his quickness and defensive ability. He is also one of the best free-throw shooters ever! 

Calvin retired in the NBA in 1983 and was conducted into the Basketball hall of fame in 1993. His career stats are 17.9 PPG, 4.4 APG, and 1.9 SPG.

All Retired Short NBA Players

  • Mel Hirsch 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
  • Greg Grant 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Keith Jennings 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Red Klotz  5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Wataru Misaka 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Monte Towe 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
  • Charlie Criss 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
  • Dino Martin 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
  • Willie Somerset 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
  • Howie Carl 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Charlie Hoefer 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Lionel Malamed 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Ed Melvin 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Angelo Musi 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Ralph O’Brien 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Gene Rock 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • Yuta Tabuse 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)

Current Short NBA Players

Nate Robinson

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height:(1.75m) 5 ft 9 in
  • Teams: New York Knicks (2005–2010) Boston Celtics (2009–2011) Oklahoma City Thunder (2011) Golden State Warriors (2011–12) Chicago Bulls (2012–2013) Denver Nuggets (2013–2015) Los Angeles Clippers (2015) New Orleans Pelicans (2015)

Robinson is one of the shortest NBA players with a height of 5’9. He was born in America on May 31, 1984. In my opinion, I considered him one of the best shortest NBA players ever played. 

During his high school, Robinson spent his high school at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle and moved to Union City California where he played for James Logan High School. He excelled in football, basketball, and track. Robinson led his high school team to a 28-2 record and won the AAA state championship as a senior. He averaged 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals per game.

Although he has great basketball skills, did you know Nate Robinson was a football player before in college? But because of his love for basketball, he quit football and played basketball instead. Nate Robinson played basketball in college for the University of Washington and he got the attention of NBA scouts because of his outstanding skills. 

After his amazing performance in college, Robinson was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the 2005 NBA draft and was traded to the New York Knicks. Nate Robinson played for numerous NBA teams before he decided to play in other basketball leagues. According to clutch points, Nate Robinson is not yet retired and he is just waiting for an NBA team that is willing to sign him.

Check out some Nate Robinson’s amazing NBA plays here:

Isaiah Thomas

  • Nationality: American 
  • Height:(1.75m) 5 ft 9 in
  • Teams: Sacramento Kings (2011–2014) Phoenix Suns (2014–2015) Boston Celtics (2015–2017) Cleveland Cavaliers (2017–2018) Los Angeles Lakers (2018) Denver Nuggets (2018–2019) Washington Wizards (2019)

I bet you know him. Yes, Isaiah Thomas, one of the best Boston Celtics players but was traded to the Cavaliers for Kyrie. In my personal opinion, I think Isaiah should not have been traded by the Boston Celtics. He lost his morale and his skills vanished because of his injury. 

Isaiah Thomas was born on February 17 1989 and he is currently a free agent in the NBA. His father named him after former Detroit Pistons hall of fame guard Isaiah Thomas. Thomas played at Curtis Senior High School where he averaged 31.2 points per game as a junior. After graduating from high school, Thomas decided to play in college for the University of Washington.

During his freshman year, Thomas averaged 15.5 points, 2.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game and was named as the freshman of the year. As a sophomore, he averaged 16.9 points, 3.2 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game. 

Thomas was drafted by the Sacramento Kings in the 2011 NBA draft and he recorded his first double-double with 23 points and 11 assists against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Likewise, Isaiah also played for numerous NBA teams. He is a free agent right now after playing for the Washington Wizards.

Check out Isaiah’s Boston Celtics highlights:

Kay Felder

  • Nationality: American
  • Height:(1.75m) 5 ft 9 in
  • Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers (2016–2017) Chicago Bulls (2017) Detroit Pistons (2018)

Kay Felder was born on March 29 1995 and currently playing for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. Felder started playing basketball when he was in high school in Persian High School in Detroit, Michigan and he won numerous awards during his junior and senior years. 

Felder was recruited by various college basketball teams because of his outstanding stats in high school. He was first recruited by Akron and St. Bonaventure before going to Oakland in his sophomore year. 

After his college career, Felder was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2016 NBA draft and traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before playing for the Xinjiang flying tigers, Kay Felder played for the Raptors where he was waived. 

Kay Felder is currently playing for the Xinjian flying tigers. He signed to the team last March 25, 2019.


That’s it! That’s all the shortest NBA players. These players taught us that size matters but performance matters more. I wonder how these players play against those big guys, what are their secrets? Why do they still play so well even if they are playing with the big guys? 

If I have missed some short NBA players please let me know in the comments below. 

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