If you have always wondered who was the tallest basketball player, look no further. We’ve all heard of Yao Ming and Manute Bol, but do you know who was the tallest? Or was it one of those guys who never played professionally? We’ve compiled this list to make sure you don’t miss out on one of these legends! The list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a good start.
The legendary NBA player Manute Bol will forever be known for his height and skill. A former NBA player and humanitarian, Bol was also a strong advocate for Sudanese causes. Besides his prowess on the court, his charitable work will remain an inspiration to many. Bol’s most important legacy will be his efforts to bring about change in his home country of Sudan. He served as an advisor to an organization that promotes reconciliation in Sudan, called Sudan Sunrise, which is based in Kansas City.
Born in Sudan, Manute Bol played in the NBA for a decade. His 7-foot-7 height and eight-foot-six wingspan allowed him to block just about every shot. Though Bol was a notorious shot blocker, he was also capable of extending his 3-point range. Bol ranked 15th in all-time blocks, and his stats show he could guard every player in a team’s paint. Bol was so dominant that he was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1986. He averaged five blocks per game in his rookie season. In one game, he blocked 15 shots against the Atlanta Hawks.
Upon arriving in the United States, Bol started his basketball career in the NBA and later attended college in Connecticut. While playing college basketball, he averaged 22.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 7.1 blocks. In 1985, Bol was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the second round. He failed to finish his college because he entered the draft because he wanted to bring his sister out of Sudan. In 1986, he played for the Golden State Warriors, where he continued to play until his death in June of 2010.
Yao Ming was born in Shanghai, China. In his early years, he was the tallest basketball player in the world. He was also the first foreign athlete to be chosen as the number one draft pick in the NBA. The Houston Rockets signed him, and he soon became one of the league’s most popular players. Although he is only seven feet tall, Yao played basketball very well and became a favorite of sportswriters and fans. He is the first Chinese athlete to earn celebrity status around the world.
The NBA is currently in search of the next big star to replace Yao Ming. At seven feet seven inches, the Chinese power forward surpassed Michael Jordan and Shaq in a record-breaking performance during the 2011 NBA All-Star game. Yao Ming played his entire NBA career with the Rockets, and is one of the best offensive players in the league. He spent most of his time with Houston, and retired after the 2010-2011 season due to health issues. His career averaged twenty-one points, nine rebounds, and two assists per game.
The NBA drafted Yao as a seven-foot-six-inch power forward in 2002. He played for the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Chicago Bulls. Yao Ming was the tallest player in NBA history during his final season. He weighed 310 pounds, which made him the tallest basketball player in history. Although Yao’s final season as a player ended abruptly, he is still heavily involved in the Chinese basketball scene. He is the chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Before the height of NBA players became a defining factor in the game, the record for the tallest person in the NBA was held by Slavko Vranes. At 7 feet 6 inches or 2.29 meters tall, the Romanian stood out amongst the tallest players in the league. Vranes played for several professional leagues and was drafted by the Washington Bullets in 1993. He played in the NBA until 2000 before switching to the ABA and Pau-Orthez team. Vranes retired from the NBA in 2006 and remains the tallest player in the NBA. However, his height is not an impediment to success; it can also be a factor in success.
Slavko Vranes played in the Serbian basketball club FMP Zeleznik during his teenage years. In 2000, he was invited to play in the Turkish basketball league. The next year, he signed a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks. After leaving the Knicks, Vranes returned to Montenegro and played for Buducnost Podgorica. He later signed a contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, but did not play for the team during the 2003-04 NBA season.
The story of Sim Bhullar is interesting for several reasons. His parents are Punjabi immigrants, and he has been labelled as a non-resident Indian (NRI) because he was born outside India. Despite his obvious Indian roots, Sim has been a target of criticism and ridicule for his outside birth. Sim recounts one incident when he was visiting Amritsar as a child.
His parents migrated from India to Canada when he was young and they immersed themselves in Sikh religion and culture. They visited the Gurdwara on the weekend. While Sim was born in Canada, he struggled to learn English as a second language. He taught himself Punjabi at home. His height was an asset for his team. In 2015, Sim signed a 10-day contract with the Sacramento Kings and appeared in three games.
Sim Bhullar is the sixth-tallest NBA player in history. The former Canadian pro basketball player is also the first Indian player to play in the NBA. Sim stands at 7 feet 5 inches and weighs about 360 pounds (163 kgs). He averaged 0.7 points and three rebounds per game. His father, a high school teacher, was five feet two inches shorter than Sim. Despite his height, Sim is considered one of the most athletic players in the NBA.
The Japanese native was born in Japan in 1947 and began playing basketball at the age of eighteen. In 1975, he enrolled at the University of Portland, Oregon and took a leave of absence from his studies to join the team. While he had originally planned to play for only one season, he was asked to stay for another by his coach, who told him he would be on the best team. He ended up becoming the first Japanese player to play in NCAA Division I Basketball.
The tallest basketball player ever to play for the NBA is Yasutaka Okayama. He was born in Mashiki, Kumamoto, Japan. He weighed a whopping 330 pounds (149 kg) at his peak. Despite his tall stature, Okayama also had a long history of judo and was ranked second in the world in this martial art.
After retiring from the NBA, Yasutaka began a coaching career in Japan. After studying in America, he joined the Sumitomo Metal Sparks and led the team to the Japan Basketball League championship in 1982. In his homeland, Yasutaka continued to get interest from NBA scouts in Japan. In the 1981 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected him to their team. He went on to represent Japan for several years before retiring in 1996.
Before Pavel Podkolzin was the tallest player in the NBA, the record was held by Timofey Mozgov of Russia. The former Khimki University star was 7’5″ and 305 pounds. He was the 21st pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. Though his height might be an issue for some teams, he was considered a good fit for the center position. He was waived by the Dallas Mavericks after only six games.
Podkolzin’s NBA career was short. He was drafted as the 21st pick in the 2004 draft and traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a first round pick. However, he played six NBA games during two seasons. In 2008, he was named one of the top fifty players in history by FIBA. His height is similar to that of Chuck Nevitt, who was 7’5″ and weighed 215 pounds.
Podkolzin began his career with the Lokomotiv Novosibirsk team in 2001. He then signed with Metis Varese in December 2001 and played for the team from 2002 to 2004. The Utah Jazz selected him in the 2004 NBA Draft and later traded him to the Dallas Mavericks for a future first-round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. Although he never made it to the NBA, he was still a top draft pick due to his size and athletic ability.
Eaton played basketball for the Utah Jazz from 1982 to 1993 and was the NBA’s all-time leader in blocks per game during his playing days. He was seven feet four inches tall and 275 pounds, and his size allowed him to dominate on the defensive end. He led the NBA in blocked shots four times, including once with an incredible 5.6 per game average in 1984-85. Eaton is still the tallest basketball player, but the height was not his only advantage.
After leaving the NBA in 1980, few teams were interested in signing Eaton. He took offers from clubs in Israel and Monte Carlo, and even paid his own way to attend tryout camps. However, he eventually found a team that saw potential in him and chose him as a fourth round pick in the NBA draft. He later told a reporter that he was so tall that he couldn’t have been taught to shoot, and he stayed in Utah to mentor Rudy Gobert.
In the 1989 NBA playoffs, Eaton’s Utah Jazz team lost to the seventh-seeded Golden State Warriors. During the series, Don Nelson’s team spread out its offense so as to not expose Eaton, and the Warriors played most of the game with a small lineup. This left Eaton defending small forwards, as their tallest players were Ben McDonald, Larry Smith, and Rod Higgins, who were all six feet, seven inches tall.