Top 5 Tuesday: Best Short Players EVER To Play In The NBA

Who says you need height to play basketball!

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Basketball is a game of size as well as skill, that's a given fact, but every once in a while there is a player that defies the preconceived notions of the NBA and finds his place in the league despite being under 6 feet tall. Below are 5 of the best 'short' guys that ever play the game. They are living proof that if you have the ttalent and the drive, you can overcome any height disadvantage.

Tyrone “Mugsy” Bouges: 5'3”

Mugsy Bouges was the shortest player to ever play in the NBA. He was drafted 12th overall in the '87 draft by the Washington Bullets and enjoyed a 14 year NBA career with the Hornets, Warriors and Raptors as well as the Bullets. The one stat that stands out the most in his resume is that he blocked 39 shots throughout his career, including one on Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing.

Earl Boykins: 5'5”

Boykins doesn't carry the career accomplishments that some of these other guys have but standing at 5'5” and weighing only 133 pounds, he deserves to be on this list. Boykins has been an NBA vagabond throughout his career, signing short term contracts with the Nets, Cavaliers, Magic, Clippers, Warriors, Nuggets, Bucks and finally the Wizards. His most notable career highlight was leading the Western Conference in free-throw percentage in 2004-5.  

Anthony “Spud” Webb: 5'7”

Spud Webb was the shortest player to ever play in the NBA when he was an active player. He was drafted in the fourth round in the '85 draft by the Detroit Pistons. He was a role player with the Atlanta hawks for his first six seasons before becoming a starter for the Sacramento Kings from '92-95. Webb was best known for his Slam Dunk Championship win over teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique Wilkins in '86.

Calvin Murphy: 5'9”

Calvin Murphy was a Hall of Fame guard for the Houston Rockets who played with them from 1970-1983. He was primarily known for being one of the best free-throw shooters of all time, setting NBA records for most consecutive free throws made and for the highest free throw percentage in a season in 1980-1981 (both of which has been broken). He retired in 1983 as the Houston Rockets all-time leading scorer, though that record would eventually fall to Hakeem Olajuwon.

Avery “Little General” Johnson: 5'10”

Before being a head coach in the NBA or an analyst for ESPN, Avery Johnson was a versatile guard in the NBA for 16 years. Though undrafted, Johnson was eventually signed by the Seattle Supersonics and would end up playing for them as well as the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks. His most successful run came with the Spurs where he played a key role in winning the 1999 NBA Championship against the New York Knicks, making a game winning shot in game 5 of the series. Johnson had his number retired by the Spurs in 2007 and was inducted into San Antonio's Sports Hall of Fame on February 20, 2009.

Photo Courtesy of: AP Images

In photo: Atlanta Hawks' Spud Webb (4) sails up and almost over Denver Nuggets' Alex English (2) as he tries for two points in the first period of their NBA game, March 11, 1986 in Atlanta's Omni. (AP Photo/Joe Holloway, Jr.)