Complete list of tallest NBA players in history: Who is the all time tallest player?

Complete list of tallest NBA players in history: Who is the all time tallest player?

Considering the nature of the game, it should come as no surprise that NBA players are among some of the tallest sportspeople in the world. Some incredible talents have made a name for themselves throughout the league's history, but which ones have record-breaking height and skill? Here is a list of the tallest NBA players that play the beautiful game.

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Retired NBA player
Retired NBA player Gheorghe Muresan coaches American students in the Adana with an exchange student programme. Photo: Ibrahim Erikan.
Source: Getty Images

Who is the tallest NBA player in history?

Before getting into the list, let’s highlight the tallest person in NBA history, believed to be Gheorghe Muresan by all accounts. The Romania native towers over his competitors and fellow teammates, with Manute Bol coming in at a close second by only a few millimetres.

10. Mark Eaton

Mark Eaton
Mark Eaton beside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during an NBA game in 1989. Photo: Mike Powell.
Source: Getty Images

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Beginning our list at 2.24 m is Mark Eaton, a name that usually floats around when discussing who is the tallest NBA player. Born in California, USA, he had an NBA career span of 11 years from 1982 to 1994, when he eventually retired from back issues. During that time, he only played for one team, the Utah Jazz.

9. Sim Bhullar

Rafael Freire
Brazil's Rafael Freire and Canada's Sim Bhullar face-to-face on the court during the Toronto 2015 PanAm Games. Photo: Gary Hershorn.
Source: Getty Images

Next up is Toronto, Canada native Sim Bhullar. Not only does he turn heads thanks to his impressive height of 2.26 m; he also made history as the first basketball player of Indian ancestry to be drafted by the NBA when he officially joined on 7 April 2015. Soon after joining the league, he was undrafted in July 2015 and went on to play for Pan Am Games as part of the Canadian national team and currently plays for the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers.

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8. Chuck Nevitt

Chuck Nevitt
Chuck Nevitt goes up against Manute Bol at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. Photo: Rich Clarkson.
Source: Getty Images

Iconic sportsman Chuck Nevitt is frequently seen on these lists without surprise since he stands at an astounding 2.26 m. Born in Colorado, USA, he was drafted in 1982 and was considered a worthy opponent thanks to his skill and clear height advantage. However, he eventually left the sport in 1994 for retirement purposes.

7. Pavel Podkolzin

Pavel Podkolzin
Pavel Podkolzin showing up-and-coming basketball players how it’s done. Photo: SportsGeeks.
Source: Original

Pavel Podkolzin is a name you can expect to constantly pop up during a conversation of who's the tallest NBA player. However, the retired Russian sports icon stands proud at an incredible height of 2.26 m, which helped tremendously throughout his career in the league, from being drafted in 2004 and eventually leaving in 2019.

6. Slavko Vranes

Sofoklis Schortsanitisof up against Slavko Vranes during the Euroleague Basketball Semifinal 2 in Paris, France. Photo: Catherine Steenkeste.
Sofoklis Schortsanitisof up against Slavko Vranes during the Euroleague Basketball Semifinal 2 in Paris, France. Photo: Catherine Steenkeste.
Source: Getty Images

Every tallest NBA players list will include Slavko Vranes, an NBA stalwart that played the game from 1997 to 2018. In that time, the standout Serbian became easily recognisable due to his 2.29 m stature, making it hard to miss him. To follow on the list, he shares the same height as some of his counterparts.

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5. Tacko Fall

Justin Anderson in conversation with Tacko Fall
Justin Anderson in conversation with Tacko Fall during an NBA game in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Jason Miller.
Source: Getty Images

Standing out from the crowd at 2.29 m, Senegalese superstar Tacko Fall frequents the top five tallest NBA stars to ever appear on the court. Being one of the most recent individuals to join the league on the list, he first appeared when he was initially drafted in June/July 2019 by the Boston Celtics and still plays within the league.

4. Shawn Bradley

Shawn Bradley squares up against Yao Ming
Shawn Bradley squares up against Yao Ming during a game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Photo: Ronald Martinez.
Source: Getty Images

Shawn Bradley is a German/American basketball player born in Landstuhl, Germany, drafted in 1993. The 2.29 m superstar went on to gain veteran status during his successful career in the league before retiring in 2005. Unfortunately, he was left paralysed in January 2021 due to a bicycle accident.

3. Yao Ming

President of the Chinese Basketball Association Yao Ming
President of the Chinese Basketball Association Yao Ming at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualification Group A first-round match in Shenzhen, China. Photo: Visual China Group.
Source: Getty Images

No tallest NBA players on the all-time list are complete without the iconic former Chinese basketball player who partook in the league between 1997 and 2011 when he decided to retire from multiple injuries. Born in Shanghai, China, he stands at an impressive 2.29 m, hot on the heels of his counterpart Manute Bol.

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2. Manute Bol

Manute Bol
Manute Bol during an NBA game in 1989 at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Focus on Sport.
Source: Getty Images

When the question for who the tallest NBA player comes up, Manute Bol frequently arises and is confused with being the tallest of all time. Although a towering and worthy opponent, the South Sudan native comes second on our list, falling short of the title of the tallest by only a few millimetres. Having played in the league from 1985 to 1995, some sources claim he was 2.31 m but was 2.29 m, a significant height for any individual, even by NBA standards.

1. Gheorghe Muresan

Gheorghe Muresan and Kevin Duckworth
Gheorghe Muresan and Kevin Duckworth go head-to-head at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Stephen Dunn.
Source: Getty Images

The tallest basketball player title goes to none other than the standout star Gheorghe Muresan. Hailing from Tritenii de Jos, Romania, the crowd's favourite stands at an impressive 2.31 m, making him the tallest NBA player to work his magic on the court. He played between 1993 to 2000 and made a lasting name for himself due to his towering height and promising career.

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The tallest NBA players list would not be complete without these iconic names with skill and height as their competitive edge. Having made a name for themselves as exceptional NBA stars, they also capture fans with their unmissable height advantage, making them unforgettable game icons. As these icons come and go, we continue to see individuals who tower over others on the court and will also cement themselves in history.

READ ALSO: Who is the shortest NBA player in history? Here's the top 10 list

Briefly.co.za recently discussed the shortest NBA players in history, with some surprising stats for a sport that relies on height as an essential advantage over competitors. However, these humble stars have made names for themselves despite their smaller statures than their counterparts.

Curious about which sportsmen are considered the shortest basketball players? Read more about who makes the list here.

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