The Tallest NBA Players of All Time, Ranked

Over 2.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Tallest NBA Players of All Time, Ranked
Voting Rules
Vote up the best NBA players over 7'2" tall.

We're ranking the tallest basketball players by how well they played in the NBA. Some of these players remain among the tallest players in the NBA today. Standing over 7 feet, 2 inches, the tallest NBA players ever are also some of the best NBA centers of all time. Who are the greatest NBA 7-footers of all-time? 

Former Houston Rockers center Yao Ming is definitely one of the best 7-footers in NBA history. With career averages of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks, the Hall of Famer was an unstoppable force in the league, even challenging legendary NBA centers, like Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan. Other great NBA big men over 7 ft, 2 in. include Shawn Bradley, Manute Bol, Ralph Sampson, and Kristaps Porzingis. 

Vote up the best NBA players who are taller than 7 feet, 2 inches, and feel free to add any taller basketball players missing from the list.

  • Yao Ming
    Photo: Paul Morigi / Getty Images
    1,020 VOTES

    7 ft 6 in

    Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, and was named to the All-NBA Team five times. At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m (7 ft 6 in). He is the only player from outside of the United States to lead the NBA in All-Star votes.Yao, who was born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won the first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997. In July 2011, Yao announced his retirement from professional basketball because of a series of foot and ankle injuries which forced him to miss 250 games in his last six seasons. In eight seasons with the Rockets, Yao ranks sixth among franchise leaders in total points and total rebounds, and second in total blocks.Yao is one of China's best-known athletes, with sponsorships with several major companies. His rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, and he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. Known in China as the "Yao Ming Phenomenon" and in the United States as the "Ming Dynasty," Yao's success in the NBA, and his popularity among fans, made him a symbol of a new China that was both more modern and more confident.In April 2016, Yao was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson.In February 2017, Yao was unanimously elected as chairman of Chinese Basketball Association.
    • Teams: Houston Rockets
    1,020 votes
  • Manute Bol
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    810 VOTES

    7 ft 6.75 in 

    Manute Bol (; d. June 19, 2010) was a Sudanese-born American basketball player and political activist. Listed at 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) tall, Bol was one of the three tallest players in the history of the National Basketball Association. After playing college basketball at the University of Bridgeport, Bol was chosen by the Washington Bullets in the 1985 NBA Draft. Bol played for the Bullets and three other teams over the course of his NBA career, which lasted from 1985 to 1995. A center, Bol was considered among the best shot-blockers in the history of the sport, but other aspects of his game were considered below average. Over the course of his career, Bol blocked more shots than he scored points; he is the only NBA player ever to do so. As of 2010 he ranks second in NBA history in blocked shots per game and 15th in total blocked shots. Bol was notable for his efforts to promote human rights in his native Sudan and aid for Sudanese refugees.
    • Teams: Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat
    810 votes
  • Kristaps Porzingis
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    7 ft 3 in 

    Kristaps Porziņģis (born 2 August 1995) is a Latvian professional basketball player for the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) tall, and plays both the power forward and center positions. Born in Liepāja, Porziņģis started out his career with youth teams in his hometown before trying out and making the Baloncesto Sevilla youth squads. Following multiple years with the junior teams of Sevilla and representing them in Nike International Junior Tournaments, he was promoted to the senior squad. There, Porziņģis quickly rose as the figurehead of the team, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the EuroCup Basketball Rising Star award, while also attracting interest from various NBA franchises, ultimately being selected by the Knicks with the fourth overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft.
    • Teams: New York Knicks
    814 votes
  • Ralph Sampson
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    521 VOTES

    7 ft 4 in 

    Ralph Lee Sampson Jr. (born July 7, 1960) is an American retired basketball player. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A 7-foot-4 phenom, three-time College Player of the Year, and first selection in the 1983 NBA draft, Sampson brought heavy expectations with him to the National Basketball Association (NBA). The NBA Rookie of the Year, Sampson averaged 20.7 points and 10.9 rebounds for his first three seasons with the Houston Rockets before injuries began to take their toll. Three knee surgeries later he retired as a four-time All-Star, an NBA Rookie of the Year, and an NBA All-Star Game MVP (1985). One of his many career highlights was a buzzer-beating shot to dethrone the Los Angeles Lakers as Western Conference champions in 1986, derailing their hopes for coveted back-to-back NBA titles, and sending the Rockets to their second NBA Finals in the team's history.
    • Teams: Washington Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors
    521 votes
  • Mark Eaton
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    528 VOTES

    7 ft 4 in 

    Mark Edward Eaton (January 24, 1957 – May 28, 2021) was an American professional basketball player, who spent his entire career (1982–1993) with the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Named an NBA All-Star in 1989, he was twice voted the NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1985, 1989) and was a five-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Though limited offensively, the 7-foot-4-inch Eaton became one of the best defensive centers in NBA history.
    • Teams: Utah Jazz
    528 votes
  • Arvydas Sabonis
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    509 VOTES

    7 ft 3 in 

    Arvydas Romas Sabonis (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[ˈaːrviːdaːs ˈsaːboːnʲɪs]; born December 19, 1964) is a Lithuanian retired professional basketball player and businessman. Recognized as one of the best European players of all time, he won the Euroscar six times, and the Mr. Europa Award twice. He played in a variety of leagues, and spent seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), in the United States. Playing the center position, Sabonis won a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics, in South Korea, for the Soviet Union, and later earned bronze medals at the 1992 Olympic Games and 1996 Olympic Games, while representing Lithuania. He retired from professional basketball in 2005. Sabonis was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, in the first round of the 1986 NBA draft, but he did not play his first NBA game until the age of 31, in 1995. Sabonis is considered one of the best big man passers, as well as one of the best overall centers, in the history of the game. Bill Walton once called Sabonis, "a 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m) Larry Bird", due to his unique court vision, shooting range, rugged in-game mentality, and versatility.On August 20, 2010, Sabonis was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, in recognition of his great play in international competition. On April 4, 2011, Sabonis was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and he was inducted on August 12, 2011. At that time, he was the tallest player to ever enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; one year later, he would be surpassed by 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) Ralph Sampson. On October 24, 2011, Sabonis was voted as the next President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation, replacing Vladas Garastas, who had led the LBF since 1991. He resigned from the position on October 2, 2013, but came back to it on October 10, 2013.
    • Teams: Portland Trail Blazers
    509 votes