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The Best 6’5″ NBA Players of ALL TIME

There have been a ton of great players in NBA history that were 6’5″ tall (approximately 1.96m tall).

In this post, I take a look at the greatest 6’5″ NBA players of all time. It includes all-time great scorers (e.g. James Harden, Elgin Baylor), dead-eye shooters (e.g. Ray Allen, Mitch Richmond), game-changers (e.g. Oscar Robertson, Pete Maravich), and ultimate winning players (e.g. John Havlicek).

In no particular order, the ten best 6’5″ NBA players of ALL TIME are:

  • James Harden*
  • Ray Allen
  • Oscar Robertson
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Adrian Dantley
  • Mitch Richmond
  • John Havlicek
  • Lou Hudson
  • Charlie Scott
  • Pete Maravich

(*) – indicates currently active NBA player

Read on for a detailed description of each player, and more:

James Harden, PG/SG

James Harden was an unstoppable offensive force, and won an MVP with the Houston Rockets

James Harden, a.k.a. “The Beard“, is the only all time great 6’5” player that is currently still playing in the NBA.

He is one of the best scoring guards of all-time, and one of the most dominant offensive forces over the past decade. His “step-back” move, and ability to draw fouls helped change the way basketball has been played in recent years.

Harden is currently in his 15th NBA season (2009-present), and fifth team (OKC Thunder, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, LA Clippers).

Some of Harden’s NBA achievements so far, include: MVP (2018), 10x All-Star, 7x All-NBA player (6x First, 1x Third), 3x scoring champ, 2x assists leader, 6th man of the year, All-Rookie Second Team.

He was also selected as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest NBA players of all time in 2021; and won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

Harden has gotten a bad rap over the past few years for jumping teams, but he is undoubtedly one of the greatest 6’5″ players of all time.

Ray Allen, SG

Ray Allen, a.k.a Jesus Shuttlesworth, is one of the greatest shooters ever.

His career spanned over 19 NBA seasons (1996-2014), with four different teams (Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Miami).

He held the record for most 3-pointers ever, before Steph Curry broke his record in 2021. Ray was much more than just a spot-up 3-point shooter though. He was a great defender, and the go-to-scorer for his teams earlier in his career (Bucks, Sonics). He was also a great athlete, and even participated in the Slam Dunk Contest back in 1997.

Ray Allen’s career achievements include: 2x NBA Champ (2008 – Boston Celtics, 2013 – Miami Heat), 10x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Player, 3-point shootout champ, All Rookie 2nd Team, NBA Sportsmanship Award, NBA 75th Anniversary Team, and Olympic Gold Medallist (2000 Sydney Olympics).

🎬 Ray Allen also starred in one of the best basketball movies of all time: He Got Game

Oscar Robertson, PG

Oscar Robertson, a.k.a. The Big “O”, is an NBA legend, and widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His career spanned over 14 NBA seasons (1960-1974).

He was the only player to ever average a “triple double” in one season before Russell Westbrook joined him in 2017.

Robertson was an absolutely dominant player with career averages of 25.7ppg, 9.5apg, and 7.5rpg. He actually averaged a triple double over his first five season in the league (30.3 points, 10.6 assists, 10.4 rebounds per game). He led the league in assists per game 7 times, and points per game once.

His NBA career achievements include: NBA Champ (1971), NBA MVP (1964), 12x NBA All-Star, 3x All-Star Game MVP, 11x All-NBA Team Member (9x First Team, 2x Second Team), Rookie of the Year (1961), NBA 35th, 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

He also won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Elgin Baylor, SF

Elgin Baylor was a tremendous scorer, rebounder, and one of the best athletes to ever play the game. He was the first player to use a high-flying/athletic playing style that would later influence legends like Dr. J and Michael Jordan.

Baylor’s career spanned 14 seasons (1958–1972), all with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers.

His career achievements include: NBA champion (1972), 11x NBA All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1959), 10x All-NBA First Team, Rookie of the Year (1959), and member of each NBA anniversary team (35th, 50th, 75th).

Adrian Dantley, SF/PF

Adrian Dantley is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.

His career spanned over 15 seasons (1976-1991) with seven different NBA Teams (Buffalo Braves, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks).

Dantley’s NBA career achievements include: 6x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA selection, 2x NBA scoring champion, NBA Rookie of the Year (1977).

Dantley also won a gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

When Dantley retired in 1991, he was 9th on the all-time NBA scoring list. He averaged over 30 points per game in four seasons.

Mitch Richmond, SG

Mitch Richmond, a.k.a. “The Rock”, is one of the most underrated NBA players of all time. He was an elite scorer and shooter, averaging over 20 points per game for 10 straight seasons.

He played 14 seasons in the NBA (1988-2002) with four different teams (Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, LA Lakers).

His career achievements include: NBA champ (2002), 6x NBA All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1995), 5x All-NBA Team (3x Second Team, 2x Third Team), Rookie of the Year (1989), and All Rookie First Team (1989).

Richmond also won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and a bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics (as a college player).

🎮 Fun note: Mitch Richmond was the cover player for one of my favorite NBA video games ever: EA Sports NBA Live ’97.

John Havlicek, SF/SG

John Havlicek is the winningest 6’5″ NBA player ever, with eight NBA championships. As a player, he is best known for his unmatched hustle and excellent all-around game.

His career spanned 16 seasons (1962-1978), all with the Boston Celtics.

His NBA career achievements include: 8x NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP (1974), 13x NBA All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team (4x First Team, 7x Second Team), 8x NBA All-Defense (5x First Team, 3x Second Team), All-Rookie First Team (1963), and was a member of each NBA anniversary team (35th, 50th, 75th).

Havlicek has career averages of 20.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 4.8apg, and 1.2 spg (regular season).

Lou Hudson, SG/SF

Lou Hudson, a.k.a. “Sweet Lou” was one of the top players of the 1960s and 70s. He was known for his superior athleticism, and scoring ability.

Hudson played 13 NBA seasons for two different teams (St. Louis / Atlanta; LA Lakers).

He has a career 20ppg scoring average, and only scored less than 10ppg once in his career (during his final season).

His other NBA career achievements include: 6x All-Star; All-NBA Second Team; All-Rookie First Team.

🏈 Super Athlete: Hudson was also drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1966 NFL draft.

Charlie Scott, PG/SG

Charlie Scott was one of the greatest scoring guards of the 1970s.

He played 12 seasons in the ABA/NBA, for five different teams — Virginia (ABA); Phoenix; Boston; LA Lakers; Denver.

Scott holds the record for highest scoring average in ABA history (34.6 points per game).

Some of his other ABA/NBA achievements, include: NBA Champion; 3x NBA All-Star; 2x ABA All-Star; All-ABA First Team; All-ABA Second Team; ABA Rookie of the Year; ABA All-Rookie First Team; and member of ABA All-Time Team.

☀️ Scoring Sun: Charlie Scott is the Phoenix Suns franchise leader for points per game (24.8). He is just above current player Devin Booker (24.2).

Pete Maravich, SG

Pete Maravich, a.k.a. “Pistol Pete”, was a player way ahead of his time. He was known for his ridiculous offensive skill, dribbling, and creativity. Just imagine if Kyrie Irving played in 70s.

Maravich played just 10 seasons (1970-1980) with 3 different teams (Hawks, Jazz, Celtics). His career was cut short due to injury.

Despite his short NBA career, his achievements include: 5x NBA All-Star, 4x All-NBA Team (2x First Team, 2x Second Team), NBA All-Rookie First Team (1971), NBA scoring champ (1977), and member of the 50th / 75th NBA anniversary teams.

Perhaps more impressive is Pistol’s college career, where he averaged 44.2 points per game over three seasons!

Some Other Notable 6’5 NBA Players

Jamal Crawford is the only player to score 50 points in a game with 4 different teams

There have been a ton of other great 6’5″ players in NBA history.

Some other notable former 6’5″ NBA players include:

  • Jamal Crawford
  • Carl Braun
  • Larry Hughes
  • Latrell Sprewell
  • Don Chaney
  • Nate McMillan
  • Kendall Gill
  • Mario Elie

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Current 6’5″ NBA Players

Tyrese Haliburton is the best up-and-coming 6’5 player

The are currently 72 players in the NBA that are listed at 6’5″ tall. The best current players are:

👉 Click here for more about 6’5 players currently in the NBA

FAQ

Is 6 foot 5 a good height for the NBA?

Yes, 6’5″ is a good height for the NBA.

It is considered a versatile height that can potentially play multiple positions, depending on the player’s individual skill set.

As you can see from this post, some of the best players of all time have been 6 foot 5, including James Harden, John Havlicek, Ray Allen, and Oscar Robertson.

What current NBA players are 6 foot 5?

Click here for a full list of current 6 foot 5 NBA players.

Who is the best 6 6 NBA player of all time (and other heights)?

Check out these posts for more lists (i.e. best 6’6 player of all time; best 6’7 player, etc.):

Summary

Who is your favorite 6’5″ NBA player of all time? Favorite current player?

Did I miss any notable players on this list?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Larry Lee

Larry Lee

Larry is a basketball addict, and the founder of Hoop Dojo. He started Hoop Dojo to share his love of the game and help the next generation reach their full potential.