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Towering Legends: The Tallest NBA Players of All Time

Basketball is a sport loved by many worldwide, with players stretching from all corners of the earth to showcase their talents. However, when it comes to the tallest players in the game, the list narrows down significantly.

This article delves into the top ten tallest NBA players of all time, highlighting their unique backgrounds and exceptional careers.

Gheorghe Murean

For Romanian-born

Gheorghe Murean, an impressive height of 7ft 7in made him immediately stand out. Murean’s basketball career began in Romania, where he played for U Cluj basketball club in the country’s domestic league.

He developed his skills and quickly caught the attention of basketball scouts worldwide. In 1993, Murean made history as the tallest player ever to play in the NBA when he made his debut for the Washington Bullets.

He swayed fans and critics alike with his turnaround jumper, which was almost impossible to block. Through his seven years in the league, he played for the Washington Wizards and the New Jersey Nets, leaving an indelible mark.

In 1995-1996, Murean’s most significant season, he set the record for the highest field goal percentage in the NBA at 58.4%. He retired from the league in 2007, and since then, he has used his fame to give back to society.

Murean founded the

Gheorghe Murean Foundation, which supports children’s education and health.

Manute Bol

The late

Manute Bol was undoubtedly one of the most iconic NBA players of his time. At 7ft 7in, he was the only player other than Murean to reach that height and left a lasting legacy in the basketball world.

Bol’s long arms and wingspan made him one of the best shot blockers of his era, with a total of 2,086 career blocks. Bol played for six NBA teams, but his most significant contributions came while playing for the Golden State Warriors, where he led the league in blocks during the 1985-1986 season.

He also held one of the most impressive records in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the tallest player ever to hit a 3-pointer and had a stunning 32.3% success rate.

Manute Bol was more than a basketball player; he was a philanthropist as well. He dedicated much of his wealth to funding projects in his home country of Sudan, including schools, hospitals, and wells for water access.

Slavko Vrane

Although

Slavko Vrane didn’t make a significant impact in the NBA, his stature at 7ft 5in was impressive. He was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but his family fled the country during the war and moved to Canada.

In college, Vrane played for San Francisco City College before he was scouted into the NBA Draft. He made his NBA debut playing for the New York Knicks in 2001, and after a few games, he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, he only played in the NBA for one season before returning to the international scene to play in Eurocup competitions.

Shawn Bradley

Unlike other players on this list, 7ft 6in

Shawn Bradley had a religious background that made him rethink his priorities in life. He launched his NBA career in 1993, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers and was later traded to the New Jersey Nets before joining the Dallas Mavericks.

Bradley specialized in blocking shots, and at his peak, he recorded a total of 2,119 blocks. His religious beliefs also made him visible outside the court, as he supported several charities through his foundation.

Yao Ming

Yao Ming’s story is perhaps among the most interesting on this list. He was born in China and started his basketball career playing for the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese league.

From there, his talent caught the attention of NBA coaches worldwide. In 2002, Yao became the first Chinese athlete to be selected first overall in the NBA Draft, joining the Houston Rockets.

His impact on the team was immediate, as he averaged 13.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds. He remained with the Rockets for his entire career, except for a brief hiatus to serve as the head of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Yao was not only a fantastic basketball player but also an icon for Chinese athletes and sportspeople worldwide. In 2016, he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

Sim Bhullar

At 7ft 5in, Indian-origin basketball player

Sim Bhullar was a force to reckon with on the court. He made his NBA debut playing for the Sacramento Kings after impressing scouts in the 2014 NBA Development League.

Bhullar became the first player of Indian-origin to play in the NBA, paving the way for many other athletes in the Indian subcontinent. He later signed with Taiwanese Basketball League, where he played for the Dacin Tigers.

Pavel Podkolzin

Pavel Podkolzin was a Russian basketball player who made his NBA debut in 2004 playing for the Dallas Mavericks. He played for two other teams, the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Hornets, specializing in defensive play.

At 7ft 5in, Podkolzin had a considerable height advantage over most players, making him an intimidating presence on the court.

Chuck Nevitt

Chuck Nevitt may have never played as many minutes or points as other players on this list, but his record speaks for itself. He was part of five NBA teams, including the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs, winning an NBA championship with the Rockets in 1994.

Nevitt’s height, 7ft 5in, was his greatest asset. He played a vital role in the Rockets’ championship run, playing fierce defense in the post and blocking shots.

Tacko Fall

Senegalese

Tacko Fall is among the most promising young NBA players, standing at 7ft 5in. He honed his skills playing college basketball for the University of Central Florida, where he dominated through his size and agility.

He received global attention for his performance during the NCAA March Madness tournament in 2019, where he recorded four double-doubles in four games. The Boston Celtics later signed him as an undrafted player, and his impact on the team has been immediate.

Mark Eaton

Defensive player

Mark Eaton was a behemoth on the court, standing at 7ft 4in. During his career, he was only the fourth player in NBA history to record more than 3,000 blocks and was twice recognized as the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Eaton played his entire twelve-year career with the Utah Jazz before retiring. Unfortunately, his life ended in a tragic biking accident in 2021, but his legacy will forever remain in the hearts and minds of basketball fans worldwide.

Conclusion:

The tallest NBA players of all time have been dominant forces on the court, with many setting records and making outstanding achievements. From the captivating story of

Yao Ming to the philanthropic efforts of

Manute Bol, these players’ legacies will forever be woven into the fabric of basketball history.

3)

Manute Bol

Early Life and Career

Manute Bol was born in Sudan in 1962, where he grew up playing soccer and basketball. Bol’s height was remarkable from an early age, as he stood at 6ft 10in at the age of fifteen.

At the age of 17, he moved to Cairo, Egypt, to enroll in college and to escape his country’s ongoing civil war. In Cairo, Bol continued to play basketball and was noticed by American scouts.

Bol was invited to the United States in 1981 to play college basketball for Bridgeport University in Connecticut. However, his college career was short-lived as he dropped out after just one year to help support his family.

Bol continued to play basketball at various levels before being noticed by Philadelphia University’s head coach, who invited him for a tryout. Bol played his final college season for Philadelphia University, leading his conference in rebounds and blocks.

NBA Career and Accomplishments

In 1985, the Golden State Warriors selected Bol in the NBA Draft, making him the tallest player in NBA history. Bol’s height was often the focus of attention, but he also had exceptional shot-blocking skills.

Bol’s career-high was 11 blocks in a game, which he achieved twice. Bol played for four teams throughout his NBA career, including the Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and Washington Bullets.

He was recognized for his shot-blocking skills, holding the NBA record for blocks per minute played during the 1985-1986 season. Off the court, Bol was known for his humanitarian efforts, especially within his native Sudan.

He founded the Sudan Sunrise organization, which aims to promote peace and interfaith understanding, providing aid to refugees and funding various projects to support education and health in his home country. Bol’s life came to an end in 2010 after succumbing to a rare disease called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

However, his legacy lives on, inspiring many as a humanitarian and as a basketball player. 4)

Yao Ming

Early Life and Career

Yao Ming’s life began in Shanghai, China, in 1980, where his father, Yao Zhiyuan, was a basketball player. Yao’s height caught the attention of basketball coaches early in his life, and he began playing in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) at the age of 17.

Yao played for the Shanghai Sharks for several years, earning the nickname “the Great Wall,” representing China in the FIBA World Championships and the Olympics. He was quickly recognized as a talented basketball player worldwide.

NBA Career and Accomplishments

In 2002, Yao’s dream of playing in the NBA became a reality when he was selected first overall by the Houston Rockets. Yao’s arrival in the league was met with great anticipation, given his exceptional talent and global appeal.

In his rookie year, Yao averaged 13.5 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game, and 1.8 blocks per game. He went on to be selected to the All-Star Game several times and was recognized for his impact on both the NBA game and international basketball.

In 2011, Yao retired from basketball due to continuous injuries, leaving a lasting legacy as one of the best players in NBA history. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2016 and continues to be an inspiration to basketball players worldwide.

Besides his impact on the basketball court, Yao is also recognized for his philanthropic efforts, founding the

Yao Ming Foundation to help improve the lives of underprivileged children worldwide. He has funded numerous charitable projects and events, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community.

Conclusion:

Manute Bol and

Yao Ming were both dominant forces in the basketball world known for their extraordinary height and talent. Their stories are a testament to the power of dedication, hard work, and philanthropy.

Despite facing different challenges and coming from unique backgrounds, both athletes left a lasting legacy that will inspire future basketball players for generations to come. 5)

Tacko Fall

Early Life and College Career

Born in Senegal,

Tacko Fall did not begin playing basketball until he moved to the United States at the age of 16.

Despite being relatively new to the sport, he quickly became a standout player with his remarkable 7ft 5in stature. Before college, he attended Liberty Christian Prep in Tavares, Florida, where he led the team to several victories.

Fall’s college career began at the University of Central Florida, where he continued to stand out for his exceptional height, agility, and desire to improve his game. Although he faced several challenges, including NCAA eligibility hurdles, Fall remained dedicated to achieving his goals both on and off the court.

NBA Journey and Future

Following his college career, Fall made the leap to the NBA, where he was immediately noticed for his impressive physique and likable personality. He signed with the Boston Celtics in 2019 and soon became a fan favorite, known for his impact on and off the court.

Fall’s NBA career has thus far been steady, beginning with an impressive Summer League performance in 2019, followed by brief stints with both the Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. His impact on fans has been particularly noteworthy, with his popularity extending beyond basketball circles.

Fall’s future potential is a topic of much conversation, with his height and agility making him a potentially favorable player on any NBA team. Above all, he remains determined to continue improving his game and leaving a lasting legacy in professional basketball.

6)

Mark Eaton

Early Life and College Career

Mark Eaton’s life began in Inglewood, California, where he pursued many different sports, including volleyball and basketball. Despite his considerable height of 7ft 4in, Eaton was initially viewed as an unlikely candidate for professional basketball due to his lanky, uncoordinated stature.

After several years of hard work and dedication, however, Eaton became a standout college basketball player at UCLA. Despite being drafted to the NBA for his basketball skills, his mechanical skills also earned him a job as an auto mechanic during his college summers.

NBA Career and Accomplishments

Following his college career, Eaton was drafted to the Utah Jazz, where he quickly distinguished himself as a physical powerhouse. In particular, his shot-blocking skills became his signature, with a career high of 456 blocks in a season.

Eaton’s strong defensive play and ability to intimidate his opponents made him one of the most celebrated NBA players of his time. Eaton’s impact on the Utah Jazz went beyond his individual achievements, however.

The team went from one of the worst in the NBA to a playoff contender thanks in part to his significant contributions. Eaton’s largest accomplishment came in the form of his two DPOY awards, in which he was recognized as the NBA’s top defensive player in 1984-85 and 1988-89, respectively.

Eaton retired from basketball in 1993, after a twelve-year career with the Utah Jazz. Although he was known for his uncompromising dedication to his team and his focus on individual improvement, he has led a quiet life since his retirement, serving as a motivational speaker and mentoring young athletes.

Even years after his retirement, Eaton remains one of the most celebrated players in Utah Jazz history and a significant presence in the world of professional basketball.

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