Boston’s old friend Isaiah Thomas is once again claiming full health and looking for a spot on an NBA team.
There’s no question the dude caught some epic bad luck on the injury front with a side helping of some bad advice somewhere along the way. I feel for the dude. His career (and bank account) did not go the way he had planned. But I also feel confident in saying that IT’s opinion of his own skills as an NBA player were 1000% outside of actual reality. The dude was nice with the rock and could fill it up but at the end of the day he was a shot first PG and an epic defensive liability.
But reminiscing on the brief glory of IT got the Lil’ Dogg thinking about the best of the best when it comes to “short guys” in the NBA. Now I’m talking short here, real short like 5’10” and under. Maybe 5’11” if you still seem “short” but if you are even sniffing 6 feet you get discounted. So no original Isaiah Thomas. No Chris Paul. I’m looking at the epically short only. Let’s go.
Hi-Top Top 10 All- Greatest Short Guy Basketball Players
10. Earl Boykins
First off it’s wild that you can literally type any basketball player ever into YouTube and someone somewhere has made a highlight mix for them. What a time to be alive. Anywho Boykins is the second shortest NBA player ever and the shortest to ever drop 30 points in a game.
9. Michael Adams
At 5’10” Adams juuuust makes the cut. A legend at Boston College, Adams had a solid 11 year NBA career, even making an All-Star team in 1992. Known mostly for his unique shooting style, Adams was a slash & dish PG back in the rough and tumble world of 80s and 90s NBA.
8. Dana Barros
Back to back Boston basketball legends here. Dana Barros could score and score quick. 1995 was Barros career peak when he dropped 50 in a game and was named an All-Star. And oh yeah bonus points – he also rapped.
7. Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson makes no sense. He’s tiny. He’s built like a Mack Truck. And yet he could seemingly jump 5 feet in the air. Short guys dunking in a Dunk Contest is one thing but doing it in actual games is a whole nother level and Robinson could do it no problem. We’re talking putback dunks, in traffic slams, highlight reel stuff. Nate Robinson is easily the greatest short guy dunker of all-time and it’s not even close.
6. JJ Barea
JJ Barea has been in the NBA for 45 years. Don’t fact check that cuz it’s right. He’s been on the Dallas Mavericks since the George Gervin days. At least it feels like it and that’s why he makes the list. Unreal career longevity by this tiny dude.
5. Sconnie Penn
Yet another Boston hoops legend. Penn never had the NBA career he deserved but he makes the Hi-Top list cuz it’s our list dammit and seeing a 17 year old Penn rain jumpers in the old Boston Garden for Salem High was a transcendent experience.
Also, I dare you to watch a 50 minute video of Salem High basketball from 1993:
4. Travis Best
Travis Best’s lefty jumper is a work of art. Travis Best is the best Point Guard to ever come out of Georgia Tech. Travis Best scored 81 points in a game:
3. Spud Webb
Before Spud Webb it was inconceivable that a short guy could dunk. Spud rewrote the rules.
2. Calvin Murphy
The OG short guy. Calvin Murphy was a bucket as the kids say. Fun fact he was also an All-State baton twirler. Yes really.
1. Muggy Bogues
Sometimes the shortest is the best. 5 foot 3!!!!! The dude was a foot shorter than guys who were considered short themselves!!!!!! Muggsy was an absolute pest on the court. He had a 14 yr NBA career after a standout college stint at Wake Forest where he was All-ACC and won the Naismith Award. Muggsy was far more than a novelty. His speed and quickness altered play when he was on the court. He was a force to be reckoned with. An on ball defender that drove guys nuts.
That’s it that’s the list. Facts is facts and the fact is you may be too short to be a hoops legend but these dudes certainly were not.