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The Best NBA Players OVER 7 feet tall of ALL TIME

In this post, we take a look at the best players in NBA history that were listed at over 7 feet tall (i.e 7’1″ and taller).

Not surprisingly, each of the players on this list played the center position. ๐Ÿ˜‚

In order by seasons played, the eight best NBA players ever who were over 7 feet tall are:

There are no current players on this list, though Victor Wembanyama may be in the near future.

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

Note: If you want to see the best players that were listed at exactly 7’0″ tall, click here.

Robert Parish (7’1″)

Robert Parish, a.k.a. “The Chief”, was one of the top centers of the 1980s. He was a great all-around player that could score, rebound, and defend at an elite level.

He is best remembered for his time with the Boston Celtics, where he teamed up with other all-time greats Larry Bird and Kevin McHale to form one of the NBA’s original “Big Threes”.

Parish played a total of 21 NBA seasons (1976โ€“1997) with four different teams (Golden State, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago). He averaged a double-double (points/rebounds) in 10 of his seasons, and finished with sold career averages of 14.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

Some of his other NBA achievements include: 4x NBA champ; 2x All-NBA Team (1x Second, 1x Third); 9x All-Star; and member of NBA anniversary teams (50th, 75th).

Parish is also known for playing the most games in NBA history (1611), and as the oldest player to ever win a championship (43 years).

๐Ÿฅ Cuckoo nickname: Robert Parish was nicknamed “the Chief” after a character in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Parish had a similar stoic demeanor to the character. Check out this movie clip.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7’2″)

Kareem with the legendary, unstoppable, sky hook

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a.k.a “Cap” (formerly known as “Lewis Alcindor”), is universally regarded as one of the best basketball players ever. He is often ranked in the top 5 players of all-time by various media outlets.

The 7 foot 2 center was a dominant force on both ends of the court. He could score in the low post on anyone with his patented “sky hook“, and was also a tremendous paint defender (leading the league in blocks 4 separate times). At some point in his career, he has led the NBA in points, blocks, and rebounds (different seasons).

Kareem is best remembered for his time on the LA Lakers, where he won 5 championships, and multiple MVP awards.

In total, Kareem played 20 seasons in the NBA (1969-1989) for two different teams (Milwaukee Bucks, and LA Lakers).

Some of Kareem’s other NBA achievements includes: 6x NBA champion; 2x Finals MVP; 6x MVP (regular season); 15x All-NBA Team (10x First, 5x Second); 11x All-Defensive Team (5x First, 6x Second); 19x All-Star; Rookie of the Year; All-Rookie First Team; 2x Scoring champion; 1x Rebounding leader; 4x blocks leader; and member of 3 NBA anniversary etams (35th, 50th, 75th)

He also averaged a double-double (points/rebounds) for 12 straigth seasons; and, had scoring average of over 20 points per game for 17 straight seasons. He finished his career averaging a ridiculous 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game!

๐Ÿฅ‹ Kung fu training: Kareem famously trained in various martial arts, including aikido and Jeet Kun Do. The latter, he learned from martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and also starred in his movie “Game of Death“. Kareem credits martial arts with his long relatively injury free career.

Shaquille O’Neal (7’1″)

Shaquille O’Neal, commonly known as just “Shaq” (and many other nicknames), was the most dominant center of his era — and arguably of all time.

In his prime, Shaq weighed well over 300 pounds (nearly 100 lbs more than the average NBA weight), but could run, jump and move with the agility of a small forward. His strength and athleticism, allowed him to easily overpower most opposing teams.

He was so dominant that teams started implementing infamous “Hack-a-Shaq” strategies to slow him down (i.e. fouling on purpose to send him to the free throw line). It is said that the NBA even changed defensive rules because of Shaq (i.e. started allowed zone defense in 2002).

Shaq played a total of of 19 NBA seasons (1992-2011) for six different teams (Orlando, LA Lakers, Miami, Phoenix, Cleveland, and Boston). He is probably best remembered for his time in LA where he won MVP and multiple championships. He was also teammates with Kobe Bryant, to make form one of the greatest duos in NBA history.

A list of Shaq’s NBA career achievements includes: 4x NBA champion; 3x Finals MVP; 1x MVP (regular season); 14x All-NBA Team (8x First, 2x Second, 4x Third); 3x All-Defensive Second Team; 15x All-Star; Rookie of the Year; All-Rookie First Team; 2x Scoring champion; and member of NBA anniversary teams (50th, 75th).

Shaq averaged a 20/10 double-double (points/rebounds) for 13 straight seasons, and double digit scoring for 18 straight. For his entire career, he averaged an impressive 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He also shot a ridiculous 58.2% from the field.

Shaq also won an Olympic gold medal with team USA at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, although he apparently threw it away. ๐Ÿ˜‚

๐Ÿ’ฐ Always working: Shaq seems to be one of the busiest players ever post-retirement. He’s a TV host/NBA analyst for TNT, a DJ, voice actor, occasional pro wrestler, represents multiple brands/companies (Icy Hot, Papa John’s, The General, etc.), has a podcast, is Reebok’s President of Basketball , and a TON of other business ventures.

Dikembe Mutombo (7’2″)

“No, no, no, not in my house!”

Dikembe Mutombo, a.k.a. “Mount Mutombo“, is one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players in NBA history.

He is second in career blocked shots, only behind another all-time great Hakeem Olajuwon.

Mutombo played 18 seasons in the NBA (1991-2009) for 6 different teams (Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Houston). He is best remembered for his time in Denver and Atlanta where he was a multiple time Defensive Player of the Year and All-Star.

Mutombo was never a big scorer, but still managed to average a double-double (points and rebounds) in 11 straight seasons.

A list of his other NBA achievements includes: 4x Defensive Player of the Year; 6x All-Defensive Team (3x First; 3x Second); 8x All-Star; 3x All-NBA Team (1x Second, 2x Third); 2x Rebounding leader; 3x Blocks leader; All-Rookie First Team.

Mutombo is one of only two players ever to win Defensive Player of the Year four times (the other is Ben Wallace).

โ˜ฎ๏ธ Good Guy Mutombo: Dikembe is one of the most philanthropic players in NBA history. He has done a ton of humanitarian work, none bigger than opening a new hospital in his home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mutombo donated over half of the $29 million cost from his own pocket.

Artis Gilmore (7’2″)

Artis Gilmore, a.k.a “A-Train“, was one of the greatest (and least talked about) centers of the 70s and early 80s.

He was known for his all-around game — a tremendous rebounder, shot blocker, and efficient scorer. He led the league (ABA + NBA) in field goal percentage six times, and has a ridiculous 59.9% career field goal percentage.

Gilmore played 17 seasons (1971-1988) in the ABA/NBA for four different teams — Kentucky (ABA), Chicago, San Antonio, and Boston.

A list of his ABA/NBA achievements include: 6x NBA All-Star; NBA All-Defensive Second Team; ABA Champion; ABA MVP; ABA Playoffs MVP; 5x ABA All-Star; ABA All-Star Game MVP; 5x All-ABA First Team; 4x ABA All-Defensive First Team; ABA Rookie of the Year; ABA All-Rookie First Team; 4x ABA rebounding champion; ; and member of ABA All-Time team.

Gilmore’s best statistical years were in the ABA (1971-1976), where he was an absolute dominant force, averaging over 22 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game over his five seasons.

For his NBA career, Gilmore was best remembered for his time with the Chicago Bulls, where he may have been the franchise’s best ever player (before Michael Jordan came along). Gilmore still has the franchise’s best moustache of all time though.

๐Ÿ’ช Strongman: Gilmore is often regarded as one of the strongest players ever. Only fellow legends Shaquille O’Neal (above) and Wilt Chamberlain (listed below) could compare to Gilmore’s strength.

David Robinson (7’1″)

David Robinson, a.k.a. “The Admiral“, was one of the best centers of the 1990s, and is consistently ranked as a top 10 center of all time.

Robinson was both a terrific offensive and defensive player. He could be a dominant scorer with his athleticism and solid shooting touch. On the defensive end, he was one of the best shot blockers in the league, and also a great rebounder.

The best illustration of Robinson’s all-around game was when he recorded a quadruple-double vs the Pistons in 1994 (34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks). He is one of only four player in NBA history to ever record a quadruple-double.

Robinson played a total of 14 NBA seasons (1989-2003), all with the San Antonio Spurs. He has career averages of 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game.

Some of his other NBA achievements include: 2x NBA champion; MVP; 10x All-NBA Team (4x First, 2x Second, 4x Third); 8x All-Defensive Team (4x First, 4x Second); 10x All-Star; Defensive Player of the Year; 1x Scoring champion; 1x Rebounding leader; 1x Blocks leader; Rookie of the Year; All-Rookie First Team; and member of NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th).

Robinson also won two Olympic gold medals with Team USA (1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics); he also won a bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympics (as an amateur).

๐Ÿงโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿงโ€โ™‚๏ธโ€Twin Towers: Robinson did not win a championship until Spurs drafted fellow all-time great Tim Duncan. Together, they were known as the “Twin Towers”, and won two championships together (including one in Robinson’s final season 2002-2023)

Wilt Chamberlain (7’1″)

Wilt Chamberlain, a.k.a. “Wilt the Stilt“, a.k.a “The Big Dipper” is an NBA legend.

He once scored 100 points in a single game. Blocked 25 shots in a single game. Had 55 rebounds in a single game. He averaged 50 points per game one season. He averaged better than 30 points and 20 rebounds per game for eight straight seasons. He reportedly once had a quintuple-double. He led the NBA in assists as a center.

Some of the stories of Wilt’s dominance are so ridiculous, that it seems like he is a fictional character. But, they are all mostly facts.

Wilt was so dominant that basketball rules had to literally be changed to make the game more difficult for him (and fairer for other teams).

For example, Chamberlain apparently had a 50 inch vertical, and could dunk from the free throw line without a running start. So, rules were changed such that the shooter’s feet must stay behind the line. ๐Ÿ˜‚

In total Wilt played a total of 15 NBA seasons (1958-1973) for three teams — Philadelphia/San Francisco (now Golden State), Philadelphia 76ers and the LA Lakers.

Some of his NBA achievements include: 2x NBA champion; Finals MVP; 4x MVP (regular season); 13x All-Star; All-Star Game MVP; 10x All-NBA Team (7x First, 3x Second); 2x All-Defensive First Team; 7x Scoring champion; 11x rebounding champion; 1x Assists leader; Rookie of the year; and member of NBA anniversary teams (35th, 50th, and 75th).

In 1961-62, Wilt played an average of 48.5 minutes per game — more than the 48 minutes of a standard game. He played almost every single minute of each game, including overtimes (i.e. 3,882 of possible 3,890 minutes)

Wilt Chamberlain was literally super human. It would have been amazing to watch him live in person…or even on TV. At least we have some Youtube highlights.

๐ŸŒ Globetrotter Great: Before joining the NBA, Wilt played with the Harlem Globetrotters, and would continue to join them for games during the off-season.

Yao Ming (7’6″)

Yao Ming was a great center of 2000s, and one of the most important international players of all time. At 7’6″ (approximately 2.29m), he is the tallest player on this all-time list. Yao is also tied for being the third tallest NBA player of all time (behind only Manute Bol, and Gheorghe Mureศ™an).

Yao had a relatively short NBA career, playing only eight seasons from 2002-2011 (missed one entire season from injury), all for the Houston Rockets.

During his peak, Yao was a nearly unstoppable post player due to his height and feathery shooting touch. He even famously took technical free throws for his team as he was usually the team’s best free throw shooter.

He averaged double digit scoring every year of his career, and has great career averages of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

Yao’s other NBA achievements include: 8x All-Star; 5x All-NBA Team (2x Second, 3x Third); and All-Rookie First Team.

In 2003, he was also the first rookie since Grant Hill in 1995 to be voted as a starter in the All-Star game (thanks to many votes from China ๐Ÿ˜‚).

Yao’s career was cut short due to numerous injuries in his prime, otherwise it is generally thought that Yao would rank much higher on all-time great lists.

Despite his short career, Yao had an unmatched global impact on the NBA and basketball’s popularity in China.

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณChairman Yao: After retiring, Yao Ming became chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) in 2017. Unfortunately he resigned in 2023 after the league continued to struggle for various reasons.

Other Notable NBA Players over 7 feet tall

Arvydas Sabonis may have been an all-time NBA great if he had come to the league a few years earlier.

Besides the all-time greats detailed above, there have been a TON of other notable NBA players over 7 feet tall.

The list below includes former All-Stars, NBA champions, Defensive Player of the Year, and many top international players.

In order by seasons played, some other notable former/current players 7’1″ or taller include:

  • Brook Lopez* — and his bro’ Robin Lopez* (both 7’1″)
  • Tree Rollins (7’1″)
  • Vlade Divac (7’1″)
  • Bill Cartwright (7’1″)
  • Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7’3″)
  • Shawn Bradley (7’6″)
  • Rik Smits (7’4″)
  • Sam Bowie (7’1″)
  • Manute Bol ( 7’7″ — father of Bol Bol)
  • Rudy Gobert* (7’1″)
  • Luc Longley (7’2″)
  • Ralph Sampson (7’4″)
  • Roy Hibbert (7’2″)
  • Kristaps Porzingis* (7’3″)
  • Arvydas Sabonis (7’3″ — father of Domantas Sabonis)
  • Victor Wembanyama* (7’4″)

(* still playing in the NBA)

Don’t agree with my list? Did I miss any of your favorite players? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Current NBA Players over 7 feet

The are currently 11 players in the NBA that are listed at 7’1″ or taller. The best current players are:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Click here for a complete list of all players 7’1 or taller currently in the NBA

Other All-Time Players by Height

Check out these lists of other all-time great NBA players by height (i.e. 6’10, 6’11, etc.)

Summary

Who is your favorite NBA player of all time that was over 7 feet tall? 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.