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The Best 6’9″ NBA Players of ALL TIME

There have been a ton of great players in NBA history that were 6’9″ tall (approximately 2.06m tall).

The list includes some freak athletes (e.g. LeBron James), elite playmakers (i.e. Magic Johnson), pure shotmakers (e.g. Larry Bird), defensive juggernauts (e.g. Ben Wallace, Bobby Jones), and much more.

In order by seasons played, the best 6’9″ NBA players of ALL TIME are:

(* currently active players)

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

LeBron James, PG/SF/PF/C

LeBron James, a.k.a. “The King“, is considered by some as the single greatest player of ALL TIME.

Whether you agree or not, he is easily the most accomplished player of this current generation, and one of the most impressive physical/athletic specimen to ever play in the NBA.

Some of LeBron’s career achievements include: 4x NBA champ, 4x Finals MVP, 4x NBA MVP, 19x All-Star, 3x All-Star Game MVP, 19x All-NBA Team (13x First, 3x Second, 3x Third), 6x All-Defensive (5x First, 1x Second), Rookie of the year (2004), All-Rookie First Team, Scoring Champ (2008), Assists leader (2020), NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Oh, and he is also the NBA’s All-Time Scoring Leader (and 4th all-time in career assists).

LeBron also has two Olympic gold medals (2008 Beijing, 2012 London), and one bronze (2004 Athens).

Perhaps Lebron’s most impressive feat is the longevity of his dominance. Lebron is currently 39 years old, in his 21st season (2003-present) and third NBA team (Cleveland, Miami, LA Lakers). He is the oldest player in the NBA, but still one of the league’s top players.

If he plays one more season, LeBron will tie the record for most seasons played in NBA history with 22.

LeBron is the only active player on this all-time great list. Enjoy witnessing greatness while you still can!

Karl Malone, PF

Karl Malone, a.k.a “The Mailman”, is one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history.

He was a dominant scorer, rebounder, and a physically intimidating force (see biceps above). Malone is best remembered for his 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz, playing alongside another all-time great, John Stockton.

In total, Malone played 19 seasons, with two teams (Utah Jazz, LA Lakers). He averaged double digit scoring every season of his career, and over 20 ppg in 17 of the 19 seasons.

Some of Malone’s other career achievements include: 2x MVP; 14x All-NBA Team (11x First, 2x Second, 1x Third); 4x All-NBA Defensive Team (3x First, 1x Second); 14x All-Star; 2x All-Star Game MVP; All-Rookie First Team; and member of NBA Anniversary Teams (50th, 75th).

Malone also has two Olympic gold medals with team USA (1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta).

Despite all his accomplishments, Malone is also infamously known as one of the best players to never win a championship.

Starter: Malone currently holds the record for most games started in NBA history with 1,471.

Elvin Hayes, PF/C

Elvin Hayes, a.k.a. “the Big E”, was one of the best power forwards of the 1970s.

He was a dominant scorer, rebounder, and great defender. He is also one of the most durable players of all time. In 16 seasons (1968-1984), he never missed more than two games in a season!

Hayes played for only two teams during his NBA career — the San Diego/Houston Rockets and Baltimore/Washington Bullets.

Some of his NBA career achievements include: NBA champion; 12x All-Star; 6x All-NBA Team (3x First, 3x Second); 2x All-Defensive Second Team; All-Rookie First Team; Scoring champ; 2x Rebounding leader; and member of NBA Anniversary teams (50th, 75th).

Hayes is also the all-time leading scorer in Washington Bullets/Wizards franchise history.

⏳ 50k: Hayes played exactly 50,000 minutes in the NBA (regular season), which currently ranks him 7th all time in NBA history.

Ben Wallace, PF/C

Ben Wallace is one of the best defensive players in NBA history. He is also arguably the best undrafted player ever.

Despite being undersized for a center, Wallace managed to use his elite strength and athleticism to become an elite rebounder and shot blocker.

He played a total of 16 NBA seasons (1996-2012) with five different teams (Washington, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland). He is best remembered for his time with the Detroit Pistons, where he won a championship, and four Defensive Player of the Year awards.

A list of his NBA achievements include: NBA Champ; 4x Defensive Player of the Year; 5x All-NBA Team (3x Second, 2x Third); 6x All-Defensive Team (5x First, 1x Second); 4x All-Star; 2x Rebounding leader; 1x Blocks leader.

Wallace and Dikembe Mutumbo are currently the only players in NBA history with four Defensive Player of the Year Awards.

Undrafted King: Wallace is the only undrafted player in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dan Issel, PF/C

Dan Issel was one of the most prolific scorers of the 1970s. When he retired in 1985, only all-time legends Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Julius Erving had more career points than Issel.

Issel played 15 seasons in the ABA/NBA for two teams — Kentucky Colonels (ABA), and Denver Nuggets(ABA/NBA).

He has impressive career averages of 22ppg and 9rpg.

Some of Issel’s other ABA/NBA achievements include: ABA Champion; 6x ABA All-Star; 1x ABA All-Star Game MVP; 5x All ABA Team (1x First, 4x Second); ABA Rooke of the Year, ABA Scoring Champ; 1x NBA All-Star; and member of ABA All-Time Team.

🐴 The Horse: Issel only missed a total of 24 games in 15 seasons!

Bob McAdoo, C

Bob McAdoo was one of the greatest players of the 1970s. He was dominant offensive force that could score inside or out, and a superb rebounder.

McAdoo’s NBA career spanned 14 seasons with seven different teams — Buffalo Braves (currently the LA Clippers), New York, Boston, Detroit, New Jersey (currently Brooklyn), LA Lakers, and Philadelphia.

In 1973-74, he averaged a ridiculous 30 points and 15 rebounds per game. He is the last player to ever average 30 and 15. In the following season he arguably did even better with 34 points and 14 rebounds per game.

Some of McAdoo’s other NBA achievements include: 2x NBA Champion; MVP; 2x All-NBA (1x First, 1x Second); 5x All-Star; Rookie of the Year; All-Rookie Team; 3x Scoring Champ; and member of 75th Anniversary Team.

🏆 All I do is win: After retiring from the NBA, McAdoo played 7 more seasons in Italy, winning two Euroleague titles. As an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, he won 3 more NBA championships.

Larry Bird, SF/PF

Larry Bird, a.k.a. “Larry Legend” or “The Hick from French Lick“, is widely recognized as one of the NBA’s greatest players ever.

Despite his lack of speed or jumping ability, he was a dominant offensive force that could score from anywhere on the court, a superb passer/playmaker, and smart defensive player.

His rivalry with Magic Johnson (listed below) helped popularize the NBA in the 1980s, and was a main contributor to the league’s current global popularity.

In 13 NBA seasons (all with the Boston Celtics), Bird never averaged less than 19 points per game. He has tremendous career averages of 24 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal per game. He also shot 49.6% from the field, and 88.6% from the free throw line.

Some of Bird’s other NBA achievements include: 3x NBA Champion; 2x Finals MVP; 3x MVP; 10x All-NBA Team (9x First, 1x Second); 3x All-Defensive Second Team; 12x All-Star; 1x All-Star Game MVP; 3x Three-Point Contest Champion, 2x member of 50-40-90 club; and member of NBA Anniversary Teams (50th, 75th).

Bird also won an Olympic Gold Medal with Team USA at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

After retiring as a player, Bird won Coach of the Year in 1998 as head coach of Indiana Pacers, and Executive of the Year in 2012 as the President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers.

He is the only person in NBA history to win MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.

🙌 MVP! MVP! MVP!: Larry Bird is the third (and last) player in NBA history to win three straight MVP awards. The other two players are Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

Dave Cowens, PF/C

Dave Cowens was one of the best centers of the 1970s.

He played a total of 11 NBA seasons (1970-1980; 1982-83) with two teams — Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks.

He was best known for his dominant rebounding, extreme effort, and all-around game (offense + defense).

Cowens was also one of the first great passing centers, averaging over 4 assists per game for most of his career. He was only the fourth center in NBA history to average 5 assists per game in a season (1976-1977).

Some of Cowen’s other NBA achievements include: 2x NBA champion; MVP; 8x All-Star; All-Star Game MVP; 3x All-NBA Second Team; 3x NBA All-Defensive Team (1x First, 2x Second); Rookie of the Year; All-Rookie Team; and member of NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th).

In his first eight NBA seasons, Cowen’s averaged a ridiculous double-double of over 18 points and 15 rebounds per game!

🤔 Strange but true: Despite winning the MVP in 1972-1973, Cowens was only voted to All-NBA Second Team. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the All-NBA First Team center.

Magic Johnson, PG

Earvin “Magic” Johnson is widely regarded as the best point guard in NBA history.

He is best remembered for his fast-paced style, flashy passes, and being the leader of the “Showtime” Lakers. His rivalry with Larry Bird and the Celtics was the main storyline of the NBA in the ’80s.

At 6’9″, Magic was one of the first “big” point guards in the league. At the time, most players of his height played forward (or center). Even by today’s standards, he would be considered a big point guard (i.e. average point guard height is currently 6' 4").

Magic used his height, exceptional vision and IQ to his advantage. He led the league in assists four times, and currently holds the record for highest assists per game average (11.2). He is one of the only players in history who could literally play any position on the floor (PG, SG, SF, PF, C).

Some of his other NBA achievements include: 5x NBA champion; 3x Finals MVP; 3x MVP; 10x All-NBA Team (9x First, 1x Second); 12x NBA All-Star; 2x All-Star Game MVP; 4x Assists Leader; 2x Steals Leader; and member of NBA anniversary Team (50th, and 75th).

Magic also won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA (i.e. Dream Team) at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Magic’s career was cut a bit short due to contracting HIV in 1991. If he was not forced to retired at that time, who knows what else he would have achieved.

Dropping dimes: Magic holds multiple other assists records, including: most assists in Playoff history; highest assists per game in playoff history; and basically every Lakers’ assists records.

Bobby Jones, PF

Bobby Jones is one of the greatest defenders in NBA history. His superior defensive abilities earned him the great nickname “The Secretary of Defense“.

He was also known for his hustle, selfless playing style, and great sportsmanship.

Jones played a total of 12 ABA/NBA seasons (1974–1986) for two different teams — Denver Nuggets, and Philadelphia 76ers.

Some of his ABA/NBA achievements include: NBA Champion; 9x All-Defensive Team (8x First, 1x Second); 4x All-Star; 1x Sixth Man of the Year; ABA All-Star; All-ABA Second Team; 2x ABA All-Defensive First Team; ABA All-Rookie First Team.

Bobby Jones was the first ever recipient of the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

❤️: Bobby Jones played his entire NBA career diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

James Worthy, SF

James Worthy, a.k.a “Big Game James“, was one of the most exciting offensive players of his era.

He is best remembered as an athletic scorer on the prime “Showtime” Lakers, alongside other all-time greats Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (Also, for his signature goggles).

Worthy’s NBA career spanned 12 seasons (1982–1994), all with the LA Lakers. HIs nickname comes from the fact that he always played better in important games. In fact, his career scoring average is 3.5 points higher in the playoffs (21.1 ppg vs 17.6 ppg).

Some of Worthy’s other NBA achievements include: 3x NBA champ; Finals MVP; 7x All-Star; 2x All-NBA Third Team; All-Rookie First Team; and member of NBA anniversary teams (50th, 75th).

Tar Heels: Worthy was college teammates with Michael Jordan at North Carolina. They won a national championship in 1981-82, with Worthy winning Most Outstanding Player.

Bob Pettit, PF/C

Bob Pettit was one of the first stars in NBA history, and the first ever recipient of the NBA MVP Award.

He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all for the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (currently the Atlanta Hawks).

Pettit was a tremendous scorer and rebounder, with career averages of over 26 points and 16 rebounds per game. He also averaged over 20 points per game every single season of his career.

Some of his other NBA achievements include: NBA Champion; 2x MVP; 11x All-NBA Team (10x First, 1x Second); 11x All-Star; 4x All-Star Game MVP; 2x Scoring Champion; 1x Rebounding leader, and member of every NBA anniversary team (25th, 35th, 50th, 75th).

Pettit was also the first NBA player to score more than 20,000 points in his career.

🏦 Going to the bank: Pettit retired early from the NBA (32 years old), and got a job as a banker. At the time, a banking job actually paid better than the average NBA salary.

Some Other Notable 6’9″ NBA Players

Zach Randolph bullied the bullies

Besides the all-time greats listed about, there have been a ton of other notable 6’9″ players in NBA history.

These players might not have the accomplishments as the players listed above, but were all great in their own right.

Some other great former/current 6’9″ players (past or present) include :

  • Juwan Howard
  • Sam Perkins
  • Zach Randolph
  • A.C. Green
  • Al Horford*
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Andrei Kirilenko
  • Cliff Robinson
  • Blake Griffin
  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim
  • Michael Beasley
  • Danny Granger

(* still playing in the NBA)

Did I miss any of your favorite players? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Current 6’9″ NBA Players

The are currently 49 players in the NBA that are listed at 6’9″ tall. The best current players are:

👉 Click here for a complete list of 6’9 players currently in the NBA

Other All-Time Players by Height

Check out these posts for lists of all-time great NBA players by height (i.e. 6’7, 6’8, etc.)


Who is your favorite 6’9″ NBA player of all time? Favorite current 6’9 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.