NBA

Ranking the Tallest Players In NBA History

Ranking the NBA's All-Time Giants

Chuck Nevitt Action Portrait
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The center position is certainly not what it once was. Some call it a position headed for extinction with small ball seemingly taking over the NBA.

But once upon a time the NBA was built on big centers down low. Here's a look at the tallest players to ever step on a court, ranked from worst to best. Enjoy:

7. Manute Bol (7-7)

Washington Bullets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
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7. Manute Bol (7-7)

Washington Bullets vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Bol is one of the most popular NBA big men of all time. He's the only player in NBA history to have more blocked shots than points scored during a career.

6. Gheorghe Mureșan (7-7)

Washington Bullets v Sacramento Kings
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6. Gheorghe Mureșan (7-7)

Washington Bullets v Sacramento Kings

Muresan's career was fairly 'short'-lived (307 games), but he managed an average of 9.8 PPG and 6.4 RPG in his time with the Bullets and Nets.

5. Shawn Bradley (7-6)

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics
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5. Shawn Bradley (7-6)

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

Bradley weighed just 235 pounds when he entered the NBA in 1993. The big man wasn't a flop by any means, but he didn't have a stellar career either (8.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG).

4. Mark Eaton (7-4)

Mark Eaton - Utah Jazz
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4. Mark Eaton (7-4)

Mark Eaton - Utah Jazz

The former Jazz center was a beast for many years in the Western Conference during the 1980s, setting records for most blocked shots per game in a single season (5.56 BPG) and for an entire career (3.50 BPG).

3. Ralph Sampson (7-4)

Ralph Sampson Action Portrait
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3. Ralph Sampson (7-4)

Ralph Sampson Action Portrait

Sampson was the No. 1 overall pick in 1983 and went on to a very solid career (15.4 PPG, 8.8 RPG). He holds the honor of being the tallest player ever inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

2. Rik Smits (7-4)

Rik Smits
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2. Rik Smits (7-4)

Rik Smits

Although he doesn't quite have the numbers Sampson does (14.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG career average), Smits played for a lot longer (867 games vs. Sampson's 456). Because of his longevity, the Dunkin' Dutchman gets the nod as the second best giant in NBA history.

1. Yao Ming (7-6)

houston rockets nba all star game
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1. Yao Ming (7-6)

houston rockets nba all star game

Even though injuries derailed his career, there's no doubt Yao Ming is the best giant in NBA history. In 481 career games he nearly averaged a double-double (19.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and made the All-Star game eight times. If he had continued playing, there's no doubt he would've ended up in the HOF.