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Don’t believe the height, these guys can play
NEW YORK, NY (BASN)-–In a league filled with giants, sometimes it’s nice to see a little, big man excel and dominate the game.
We all know ex-New York Knick Nat Robinson, who despite being only 5 foot 8 inches tall, managed to jump over 7 foot 2 inches, Dwight Howard’s head at the NBA All-Star game during the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.
Plus, we witnessed 5’7, Spud Webb, who won a JUCO (Junior College) National title in 1982, shock and amaze us with his perfect-timed, ball bouncing dunks in the 1986 Sprite Dunk Contest.
And while Robinson and Webb impressed us with their “hops” and their veritical leaping ability, former 5’11 NBA basketball guard, Michael Adams, who in 1991 averaged 26.5 ppg for the Denver Nuggets, had all of us cheering when he would score effortlessly, it seemed, with his unorthodox one-hand push jumpshot.
Adams’s ability to get his shot off was unbelievable.
But, he would be considered tall compared to the second shortest player in NBA history, 5 feet 5 inches, Earl Boykins of the Houston Rockets.
Despite his height, however, Boykins, became the shortest player in NBA history to score 30-plus points in a game on November 11, 2004 against the Detriot Pistons while playing for the Denver Nuggets.
While Boykins’ 30 points in one game was impressive, it’s simply a drop in the bucket compared to the most prolific scoring little man in the NBA, Allen Iverson, who is actually too tall to be highlighted in this article.
Therefore, the next best little man ever to play in the NBA, would have to be 5’9, Calvin Murphy, who scored 57 points against the New Jersey Nets on March 18, 1978 while playing for the Houston Rockets and averaged 17.9 ppg in 14 seasons.
Murphy also holds the title of being the shortest player in the NBA to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, which occurred in 1993.
While having the ability to score is important, the ability to be a floor general and distributing the basketball to your team mates is a quality only a few players possess.
And no one did it better than 5’3, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, who is the shortest player ever to wear a NBA uniform.
Bogues, in fact, averaged 7.7 ppg and 7.6 assists per game during his career in the NBA.
Plus, despite his height, he was able to block 39 shots, one even coming against 7-foot-2 Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks.
Hilariously, Bogues, while playing for the Washington Bullets in 1998, also played alongside one of the tallest players in NBA history, Manute Bol, who stood 7 feet 7.
At that time, many people in D.C., felt that combining Bogues with Bol, was simply a circus act without lions jumping through fire and a elephant sitting on the bench.
But after seeing Bogues and Manute Bol appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, sports fans probably thought they seen it all, until they saw JaMani “Man Love” Swinson playing in the Venice Beach Basketball League in sunny California.
Why? Because, “Mani Love” stands only 4-foot-5 inches tall.
Plus, he has a wicked long distance jumper and a killer crossover.
Love, of lately, has, in fact, become a YouTube sensation and a streetball legend with his shiftiness and slick ball handling skills, which he has showcased in a game of one-on-one against ex-Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Plus, he has a sensational slogan which says, “Don’t Believe the Height; Believe the Hype.”
Why? Because, this little man, can ball.