In basketball, dunking is one of the most exhilarating and impressive feats a player can perform. And while we typically associate dunking with tall players, there have been a number of short players who have been able to stuff the ball through the hoop with authority.
Wondering who are the shortest players to ever dunk in an NBA game?
In this article, we will look at 15 of the shortest players in the history of the NBA who have been able to dunk the ball. From Spud Webb to Nate Robinson, these little men have big games, and they have proved that height is not a barrier to success.!
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15 Shortest Person To Dunk In The NBA
While most basketball players are over 6 ft tall, some players are under 6 ft. We’ve compiled a list of the fifteen shortest players to dunk in an NBA game. From Spud Webb to Nate Robinson, these players may be short, but they can sure fly!
Scroll down to find out more about them!
1. Muggsy Bogues – 5’3″
Muggsy Bogues is the shortest person to ever play in the NBA (National Basketball Association).
At just 5’3″, Bogues was an incredible athlete and had a successful 14-year career in the league. He is best known for his time with the Charlotte Hornets, where he became a fan favorite and led the team to two playoff appearances.
Bogues was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He began playing basketball at a young age and quickly developed into a star player.
He attended Wake Forest University after high school and continued to excel on the court. In 1987 Washington Bullets drafted him with the 12th overall pick.
He spent 4 seasons with the Bullets before he was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in 1991. He would go on to spend ten seasons with the Hornets, becoming one of the most popular players in franchise history. In 2001, he retired from the NBA after 14 seasons.
Despite his lack of height, Muggsy Bogues was one of the best basketball players of his generation. He was an amazing athlete with great speed and quickness. He was also an excellent passer and defender.
His lack of size may have shortened his career, but he still managed to accomplish a lot in his 14 years in the NBA.
2. Earl Boykins – 5’5″
In the history of the NBA, there have been a number of players who have defied the odds and achieved great things despite being shorter than average. One of the most notable examples is Earl Boykins, who, at just 5’5″, was the second shortest player to dunk in an NBA game.
Boykins began his basketball career at Eastern Michigan University, where he quickly established himself as a major player. Despite his lack of height, he was an excellent scorer and playmaker, and he helped lead the team to a Mid-American Conference title in 1997.
After going undrafted in the 1998 NBA Draft, Boykins spent a few years bouncing around between different teams before finally settling with the Denver Nuggets in 2002. It was here that he had his breakout season, averaging 13 points and three assists per game while providing a huge spark off the bench.
Boykins continued to thrive with Denver over the next few seasons, and in 2008 he set a new record for the shortest player to ever dunk in an NBA game. He would go on to play for several more teams before retiring in 2013, finishing his career with averages of 8 points and two assists per game.
Despite being undersized throughout his entire career, Earl Boykins proved that heart and determination could overcome anything. Regardless of height, he will always be remembered as one of the best players in NBA history.
3. Greg Grant – 5’7″
Greg Grant is 5 feet 7 inches, another short player to dunk in the NBA. After the 1989 season, Phoenix Suns drafted him in the second round.
Grant played seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
In 2007, he received the “Community Service Man of the Year Award” and the “African American Achievement Award” from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
He played in the NBA for nine years, for six different teams. Grant now owns and manages a sports academy in Trenton. He also provides one-on-one instruction and clinics.
4. Keith Russell – 5’7
At just 5’7″, Keith Russell is another short person to dunk in an NBA game. Coaches had doubts about his abilities, so he was not chosen in the 1991 NBA draft. This forced him to enter the NBA as a free agent, where he was signed by the Golden State Warriors.
He received the French League Foreign MVP award and the French League Best Scorer award in 1999.
Despite the fact that his career was short-lived, Jennings is remembered for his breakout performance in one of his final game appearances: 23 points and ten assists, an incredible stat line for an undrafted 5’7″ point guard.
5. Spud Webb – 5’7
In the 1980s, Spud Webb was one of the NBA’s most exciting players. He was also one of its shortest, standing at just 5’7″. Spud played among giants in the NBA, where the average height was around 6’6 – 6’8.
Despite his lack of height, Webb was an excellent dunker, and he even won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1986. Dominique Wilkins, the opponent he defeated, was a gigantic 6’8″.
Webb’s success on the court proved that size isn’t everything in basketball. He was quick and agile, and he could jump higher than many taller players. His dunks were often spectacular, and he thrilled fans with his aerial acrobatics.
Although he only played in the NBA for a few years, Spud Webb left a lasting impression on the league. He showed that shorter players could succeed at the highest level of basketball, and he inspired future generations of short dunkers.
Along with his size, Spud was famous for his incredible vertical leaping ability and for dunking in games. In twelve seasons, he played 814 games in the NBA, averaging 9.9 points per game and 4,342 assists.
Spud Webb’s performance drew national attention, including a feature in Sports Illustrated.
6. Charlie Criss – 5’8
The height of several players, including Charlie Criss, is around 5-foot-8, but some believe he was even shorter.
The CBA (Continental Basketball Association), where Criss started his professional career, awarded him the league MVP (Most Valuable Player) award in 1976 while he was playing for the Scranton Apollos.
Throughout his NBA career, he played for four different teams.
As a 29-year-old rookie in 1977-78, Criss averaged a career-high 11.4 points per game. He was a game-changer due to his awesome gameplay.
According to Criss, his favorite memory of playing in the league was just making it. He averaged more than thirty points per game in the Eastern League and once set a record with 72 points.
7. Nate Robinson – 5’9
Nate Robinson is one of the shortest players in the NBA, standing at just 5’9″. Despite his small stature, he is an incredible athlete and was even able to dunk the ball during a game.
Robinso was born in Seattle, Washington, and played basketball for the University of Washington.
In 2005, New York Knicks selected him in the fifth round. He has since played for the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Clippers.
Robinson spent three seasons with the Knicks before being traded to the Boston Celtics.
He won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2006 and 2010, becoming the first player to ever win it back-to-back. In 2012, he was traded to the Golden State Warriors, where he spent one season before signing with the Chicago Bulls in 2013.
Robinson is currently a free agent but has expressed interest in returning to the NBA. He is an incredible player, and despite his small stature, he has proven that he can compete with the best of them.
Despite his relatively small stature, Robinson has proved to be a powerful force on the court. His athleticism and determination have helped him overcome any physical disadvantages and make a name for himself as one of the best players in the league.
8. Isaiah Thomas – 5’9″
Isaiah Thomas is one of the shortest players in the NBA, but that doesn’t stop him from being an incredible dunker. Standing at just 5’9″, Thomas can fly high above the rim and throw down some serious dunks.
In fact, Thomas is so good at dunking that he’s been able to do it against some of the tallest players in the league.
In 1989 and 1990, Thomas led the Detroit Pistons to consecutive world championships.
Despite his short size, Thomas established himself as a dominant player thanks to his ball-handling abilities and fearless drives to the basket.
Hence, while Thomas may not be the tallest player in the NBA, he’s definitely one of the best dunkers.
9. Calvin Murphy – 5’9
Calvin, despite standing only 5’9″, is regarded as one of the most remarkable shortest people to dunk in NBA history. He is a point guard in the NBA, and with his unbelievable jumps and moves, he always gives tough competition to his opponents.
Murphy was only 5-9, but his short height was never an issue. His raw talent was so impressive that he quickly established himself as a dominant player in a game dominated by much larger men.
Calvin Murphy had everything that a basketball player should have except height! He has speed, great hands, quickness, and ball-handling skills.
He thrived in 13 NBA seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Houston Rockets, averaging double figures in scoring each year. Over his three years, he averaged 33.1 points per game.
Despite being the league’s smallest player, he made the NBA All-Rookie team in 1971. Murphy started for the Rockets for 13 seasons, averaging 17.9 points per game and totalling 17,949 points.
Murphy, a top-ranked baton twirler nationally, was entertaining to watch. He enjoyed competing and always gave his all. He was also a great team player.
10. Kay Felder – 5’9
Kay Felder is an emerging basketball player from the United States and one of the NBA’s shortest players.
At 5’9, he is one of the most thrilling players in the league. Felder has played for eight different teams.
In 14 games for the Bulls, he averaged 3.9 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 9.6 minutes. In three games with the Windy City Bulls, he averaged 17.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists while shooting 45.2 percent from the field.
He has an amazing ability to finish at the rim, and his dunks are always highlight-reel-worthy.
Felder received the Horizon League Freshman of the Year award in 2013–14. In addition, he was a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, which is given to the “Mid-Major Player of the Year.” Felder was also named NCAA Player of the Week on February 9, 2016.
While Felder may not be amongst the tallest players in the NBA, he more than makes up for it with his incredible athleticism and leaping ability. He is one of the quickest players in the league and uses his speed and quickness to his advantage on both ends of the floor.
On defense, Felder is a pest. He uses his quick hands to create turnovers and his quick feet to stay in front of opposing ball handlers. On offense, he is a scoring machine. He can get to the basket at will and finishes well around the rim.
Felder may be small in stature, but he is a big-time player who can take over a game at any moment. He is must-see TV whenever he steps on the court and is one of the most exciting players in the NBA today.
11. Ty Lawson – 5’11
Ty Lawson, at 5’11, is another short person to dunk in the NBA.
Lawson was drafted 18th overall in the 2009 NBA draft due to concerns about his height and his frequently sprained ankle. However, they had already selected two point guards, making Lawson expendable.
Lawson was traded to the Denver Nuggets. He spent six seasons with the Nuggets before moving on to the Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Wizards.
Lawson excels at scoring and converting plays under pressure by using his upper body strength to initiate contact first. His capacity to push the ball in transition after a successful shot is another quality that sets him apart.
Lawson, who helped North Carolina win the NCAA championship, played eight NBA seasons, the majority with the Denver Nuggets, and averaged 12.7 points per game.
For the PG position at the next level, Lawson is undersized and athletically unprepared. He shoots the ball low and without much lift, making it difficult to get off against bigger defenders.
12. Allen Iverson – 5’11
In 1996, Allen Iverson was drafted by the Philadelphia Sixers as the first overall pick in the NBA draft. At just 5’11”, Iverson was one of the shortest players in the NBA.
Despite his lack of height, Iverson was an incredible player. He was an eleven-time NBA All-Star and was also named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1997.
In 2001 and 2005, he was titled as the NBA Most Valuable Player.
Iverson won a bronze medal for the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2008, ESPN ranked him as the fifth-best NBA shooting guard of all time.
At 5’9, he had an uncanny ability to convert offense into defense. He averaged 2.2 steals per game in his career.
Iverson had a talent for never getting tired, which is one quality that is rarely mentioned. With 41.1 minutes per game, Iverson ranks fourth all-time. He has had a legendary career.
Despite his relatively small stature, Iverson was also one of the best scorers in NBA history. He ranks seventh all-time in scoring average and fourth all-time in free throw percentage. His career scoring average of 26.7 points per game is the highest ever for a player under 6 feet tall.
13. Will Bynum – 5’11”
Will Bynum is a former professional basketball player from the United States who was drafted into the NBA in 2005. His height is 5’11 feet, which is not considered short in general, but in basketball, he is one of the shortest players to dunk.
His height has occasionally caused his defenses to fail while standing in a circle of taller guards. But, despite his average height of 6 feet, Bynum has a lightweight and athletic build that allows him to move quickly among his opponents.
In 2005, Bynum joined the Boston Celtics for the NBA Summer League, where he averaged 2.7 assists, 4.2 points, and 2.3 rebounds per game in six games.
Bynum signed a ten-day contract with the Golden State Warriors on March 17, 2006, with the team finally deciding on him for the 2005-06 season.
Toward the end of the season, he was named NBA D-League Rookie of the Year.
14. Jonny Flynn – 5’11”
Johnny William Flynn is the shortest person to dunk in the NBA. He was born in Niagara Falls, New York, on February 6, 1989. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Flynn sixth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
As a senior, Flynn averaged 26.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.5 steals.
Following his senior year, he was also named New York State Mr. Basketball, an award previously held by some well-known NBA players.
Flynn’s rookie season stats were solid: he averaged 13.5 points and 4.4 assists per game.
He also played in 2010 Rising Star Challenge, with 9 points and 7 assists in 17 minutes. He played in the NBA for three seasons and appeared in 163 games.
On January 18, 2010, he set a new career-high with 29 points in a 108-103 overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Flynn had a career-high 8 rebounds in a 112-91 win over the New York Knicks on January 31, 2010.
15. Kemba Walker – 5”11”
Kemba Hudley Walker is a point guard for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association. He is quite small for an NBA player, standing at 6’0 with shoes on, but he is a great scorer who uses his speed to his advantage.
He went on to play college basketball for the Connecticut Huskies after graduating from Rice High School in 2008.
While coming out of the school, Walker wasn’t a great shooter, but he has worked tirelessly to improve his mechanics and extend his range.
Walker was the nation’s second-leading scorer in 2010-11 and was a consensus first-team All-American; he also led the Huskies to the 2011 NCAA championship and won the title of the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
He recorded his first triple-double on January 28, 2012, with 20 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds.
Walker set an NBA record by making 19 three-point field goals in the first three games of the season, becoming the first player in NBA history to do so.
Defenders simply cannot stay in front of him in transition or on the half-court, despite his 5’11 height. His aggressiveness with the ball, ability to change speed and direction instantly, and phenomenal body control enable him to effortlessly slice through defense.
This just goes to show that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard!
So if you’re out there dreaming of being the next big thing in the NBA, don’t let anyone tell you that it’s impossible. Shoot for the stars, and never give up on your dreams!
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