Hold your back if your initial concern about joining the basketball team is that you are short-heightened; the preventive and backup guide is available for you.
There are a lot of legendary NBA players that started off as tiny dunkers and became very inspirational. Despite the fact that basketball is typically associated with tall players, some of the tiniest players in NBA history have astounded everyone with their skillful all-time dunks and dexterous dunking abilities.
Following is a list of the shortest dunkers in NBA history that I compiled after spending hours researching the shortest players and their records. However, it goes without saying that these players have without a doubt achieved their goal after putting a lot of practice and work into honing their “jumping talent” and pursuing their desire. Over the years, some “small” athletes have also succeeded in slam dunking the basketball.
Who Is the Shortest NBA Player to Dunk in the Modern NBA?
|Spud Webb (5 ft. 7 in.)|
Third-shortest player ever to represent the United States in the NBA’s current era is Spud Webb. Before him, Earl Boykins and MuggsyBogues were the only NBA players to be shorter than him.
The shortest NBA dunk contest champion was not other than Spud Webb, formerly known as Anthony’s Rome. He defeated Dominique Wilkins, a famed slam dunker and a full foot taller than Webb, in the final round of the Slam Dunk Competition in 1986 by hitting two perfect 50s.
In the fourth round of the 1985 NBA Draft, Webb was chosen by the Detroit Pistons. He played for the Atlanta Hawk for the first six years, holding a significant position among the team’s professional players. In his 14-year NBA career, Webb played for seven different teams. His association with the Sacramento Kings, which holds the record for having amazing statistics, prepared the door for his professional success. Prior to his retirement in 1997, he also played for the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Due to his height and vertical leap, which contributed to his popularity, Webb made his mark in the NBA. There, he briefly attracted some national recognition. In comparison to the enormous opponents, the 5’7″ tall man set a record with a 42″ vertical jump. He performed a variety of dunks, such as 360-degree and alley-oop reverse dunks. He also collected the ball as it rebounded off the ground and slammed it into the goal.
Despite being the third-shortest player in the annals of the NBA, Spud Webb went on to become a popular figure and a master streaky scorer. The title of “shortest NBA player to dunk” was conferred upon him because of his extraordinary attack speed and remarkable dunking skills.
He makes it difficult for anyone to argue that he is too little for basketball, as a commentator during the match put it. Even now, his dunks are effective! The briefs do not.
Related Article: How Tall Do You Have to Be to Dunk
Who Is the Shortest NBA Player to Dunk in NBA History?
|MuggsyBogues (5 ft. 3 in.)|
Tyrone Curtis Bogues, also known as MuggsyBogues, is the “shortest player to play in the NBA,” standing at 5’3″. Has MuggsyBogues ever sunk a basketball? is the query that has consistently left his admirers in uncertainty.
There are numerous reports that assert MuggsyBogues never dunk in the course of his professional career. Some reports, however, mention that he was seen performing a dunk during a pregame warm-up session.
In a 2000 conversation with Chuck Swirsky, Bogues claimed “In college, I made a tip-in, and in high school, I dunked. The rim is still reachable. I’ve always been a guy who could stand on my own two feet. My game still has a little jump to it.” In a different interview with Coach Mag, he stated, “I never dunked in an NBA game… but I can dunk a basketball no problem,” making it apparent that while he has never done it, he is capable of doing so in the near future.
Throughout his 11-season career, Muggsy performed for five various teams. In 1987, the Washington Bullets chose him with the 12th overall pick in the first round. He gained a reputation for being a defensive menace and was honored with the First Team All-ACC honor in 1987 for his efforts. In 1987, the organization also gave him the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award in recognition of his achievements.
Even though he was a great player, people frequently continue to inquire as to why MuggsyBogues never sank a dunk in an NBA contest.
Maggie’s primary contribution to the club was as an outstanding point guard and defensive threat. He wasn’t very bothered to dunk needlessly because it would need more energy and effort given his modest stature. Nearing retirement, his vertical leap decreased slightly due to aging and the injuries he sustained over the years. Although he was no longer able to dunk by that point, he was still able to reach the hoop.
Given that MuggsyBogues has never sunk during a game of football, Spud Webb holds the distinction of being the smallest NBA player to ever dunk.
Other Notable Shortest Dunkers in NBA History
Although there are considerable shortest players with eminent accomplishments, listing here the most prominent shining stars of the NBA.
1. Earl Boykins (5 Feet 5 Inches)
Earl Antoine Boykins, a former basketball player from the United States also known as Earl Boykins, is regarded as the second shortest dunker in NBA history at 5’5”. While playing over the course of years for 12 different teams in total, Earl dunked only once during an NBA game while he was with the Clippers, as per the resources.
Primarily, Boykins was a backup player and had contracted different teams but was never drafted by any team in NBA. However, his remarkable achievements are the reason for his popularity as He won AP Honorable mention All-American in 1998 and First-team All-MAC in 1997 and 1998 while later Boykins was also bestowed with the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year by USA basketball in 1997.
2. Nate Robinson (5 Feet 7 Inches)
Robinson, who stands at 5’7″, is the first person to win the title of slam dunk champion three times (in 2006, 2009, and 2010). His victory over Dwight Howard, who stands 6 feet 10 inches tall, in the 2009 Dunk Contest was one of his notable accomplishments.
Robinson was a member of the 2003 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. In 2005, he was also presented with the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. His incredible 43-inch vertical jump block versus Yao Ming, a competitor who was 2 feet higher, made history and contributed significantly to his notoriety.
Nate Robinson participated in 11 NBA seasons for 8 different clubs during the course of his career. The Phoenix Suns selected Robinson in the April 2005 NBA Draft. On draught night, he made a trade with the New York Knicks and played for them until 2010. Nate, on the other hand, constantly switched teams throughout his career and as a result developed into a skilled player while playing for multiple elite teams and a number of prestigious organizations.
His list of accomplishments also includes the 2017 Venezuelan League champion and MVP of the Venezuelan League Grand Final. Nate retired from basketball in 2018 and, at the age of 36, switched from basketball to take up professional boxing.
3. Isaiah Thomas (5 Feet 8 Inches)
2011 saw the beginning of Isaiah Thomas’ NBA career after the Sacramento Kings selected him. In his NBA career, he played for eight different teams, and he is presently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. His list of milestones to date includes:
- Being named a two-time NBA All-Star with an overall average of 18.1 points.
- He averaged up to 28.9 points per game while playing for the Celtics in a single season.
- Won the University of Washington inter-team dunk contest (sophomore year).
- Got elected for the Second Team All-NBA in 2017.
- NBA head coaches selected Thomas as their March 2012 Rookie of the Month.
4. J.J. Barea (5 Feet 10 Inches)
J.J. Barea, a Puerto Rican point guard who stands at 5’10”, has long been a reliable backup in the NBA.
When Barea joined the Dallas Mavericks in 2006 and remained as their star player until 2011, he laid the groundwork for his NBA career. Later in 2011, he received the “NBA Champion award” in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments over the course of his career.
JJ Barea, however, only dunked during warm-ups and practice sessions, worthy of note.
5. Ty Lawson (5 Feet 11 Inches)
Ty Lawson, a professional basketball player from the United States, first played for the North Carolina Tar Heels in college. He received the NCAA Championship and the Consensus All-American designation at the same time as a result of his exceptional performance. He also won the 2009 National Championship for the Tarheels prior to that.
Lawson’s professional NBA career started when got drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves, in 2009. Being a versatile player, he wasn’t only a veteran in playing beyond the arcs leading to dunks but was also a whizzed handler, who always troubled his opponents with his resilient dribbling. Contrasting being a one-foot dunker in the short players, he was proficient enough to attack basket off-the-dribble
Later, when a member of the Denver Nuggets, he played point guard for a significant amount of time, eventually reaching a high average of 17.8 points per game during the 2013–2014 NBA season and ultimately posting a record of 57–25 in the 2012–2013 campaign. He played for the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and Houston Rockets after spending six seasons with them.
This lanky player was a one-man league on his own, but sadly, it was his behavior and not his stature that caused his career to stagnate and take a drastic step backward for this hulking player.
6. Will Bynum (6’0”)
Though 6’0 may not be the “short height” for many, still he has tied his position in this listing. Along with few others of the same height, he is best known for the strength of his dunking capability chiefly.
Beginning at the University of Arizona and finishing at Georgia Tech, he played college basketball until being chosen into the NBA in 2005. He received the “Rookie of the Year” award in 2006 while participating in a D-League competition. He made a career-high 20 assists in 2008 while playing as a prominent player for the Detroit Pistons, helping the team defeat the Washington Wizards.
Will Bynum’s resounding slam dunk over Tyson Chandler of the Charlotte Hornets on November 11, 2002, while he was a member of the Detroit Pistons, is one of his most well-known dunks. As a result of playing for them for the majority of his career, Will is unquestionably the player most beloved by Detroit Pistons supporters. All-inclusively, he played for 7 years for NBA.
His accomplishments are also bolstered by his participation in Chinese teams & a Turkish club and while playing for the Boston Celtics in 2015. In praise of all his accomplishments, he was entitled to “Bynumite” and “Will the Thrill”.
7. Allen Iverson (6’0”)
Allen Iverson, commonly known as the shortest player with 6’0 height was born in 1975. However, there had been always controversies and indefinite figures regarding his height.
Iverson joined the NBA in 1996 after being drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, earning him the renowned nicknames “Al” and “the Answer.” He played in the NBA for a total of 14 seasons, and as a result of his success, he received many entitlements. The 11 NBA All-Stars (2000-2010), the 2 NBA All-Star Game MVP (2001, 2005), the 3 All-NBA First Teams (1999, 2001, 2005), the NBA Rookie of the Year (1997), the NBA All-Rookie First Team (1997), and the 4 NBA scoring champions are the most notable (1999, 2001, 2002, 2005).
In addition, he is well-known for the dunk he made against the Toronto Raptors in a 1998 game that became an instant classic. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, which was unquestionably a major accomplishment for him. However, Iverson ceased competing professionally in 2011 and subsequently announced his retirement in 2013.
Unquestionably, I must say that this article may have served as inspiration for anyone who is having second thoughts about playing basketball because of their short height. It is abundantly clear that despite a player’s height, hard work and consistency are considered sufficient to achieve and leave a lasting impression on NBA basketball through incredible dunking ability.