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Heart over Height


Throughout the NBA’s history, some of the best little men have proved that you can’t teach heart


Basketball is often said to be a game of giants. As the years go by, this age-old adage has gained traction as even the perimeter and wing roster spots have gone to increasingly taller players, such as the 6-foot-10 Ben Simmons and the 6-foot-11 Giannis Antetokounmpo. Despite this, the dominant play of the ‘little guys’ such as the 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas have shown that there is a place in the game for all shapes and sizes. Here are a few more 6-foot-and-under players who have made an impact on the NBA. 


Muggsy Bogues (5-foot-3): As the smallest player in League history, Muggsy is an inspiration to shorter players all over the globe. He was a talismanic presence for the Charlotte Hornets who frequently notched league highs in assists, running the floor alongside Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning.


Calvin Murphy (5-foot-9):  Most smaller players chose to ply their trade as a playmaker, but the Hall-of-Fame guard Calvin Murphy was an out-and-out scorer, proving unguardable despite his stature. The 5-foot-5 Earl Boykins deserves an honorable mention in this category as well, for his inexplicable ability to drop buckets against much larger opponents.


Spud Webb (5-foot-7) & Nate Robinson (5-foot-9): These two diminutive leapers belong together for one reason: the Slam Dunk Contest. ‘Krypto-Nate’ may have won the contest an unprecedented three times, but even he acknowledged that the shortest dunk champ in NBA history was his inspiration, with the two collaborating in Robinson’s 2006 triumph.


Allen Iverson (6-foot): The stylish game and fearless attitude of ‘The Answer’ have made him one of the most well-loved players of all time. Iverson has had many accolades throughout his celebrated career, but one of the most impressive has to be his status as the shortest MVP ever.