For a basketball player, height and wingspan are the most important components of the game. Even more so if you are to ply your trade in the NBA, the grandest stage of all. When a healthy wingspan is coupled with skill, it forms a combination that is hard to subdue. Players like Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic have shown how to use their capabilities to best effect.
In the NBA, the tallest players on the roster are given the positions of Power Forward or Center. This helps the taller players in controlling the pace of the game. Moreover, they can also contribute a lot in the defensive third of the game with a lot of shot blocks and impressive guarding.
With the league shifting towards a small-ball approach, the demand for taller players has been on a steady decline in recent times. However, some players have adapted brilliantly to the situation. They have shown that the skills they possess can be utilized in this day and age. Today, we will take a look at some players with the longest wingspans in NBA history.
#10. Andre Drummond
With a wingspan of 7 feet and 6.25 inches, Andre Drummond is one of the largest players currently playing actively in the league. He uses his tall structure to put up a good screen against the opposition and can be utilised as a rock in defense. However, his recent performances have shown that Drummond can contribute on both ends of the court.
In this season, Andre Drummond has improved drastically in terms of balancing his form in all aspects of the game. That is the main reason for the Lakers to bring him into their squad. The 27-year-old offered a lot of fresh impetus to the side dealing with massive injuries. Now that the stalwarts are back, Drummond will operate in a slightly laidback role, coming off the bench to create an impact in the game’s later stages.
#9. Hassan Whiteside
A wingspan of 7 feet and 7 inches demands a player to dominate in every aspect of the game. That is exactly what Hassan Whiteside’s career has been all about. Ever since he was a college athlete, his wingspan and height were the topics of discussion for oppositions. Moreover, he is considered as one of the few players who could dictate the game’s flow with his on-court demeanor.
Whiteside in his prime was probably one of the most entertaining players in the league. He was surprisingly nimble for a guy his size and used it to cause major problems in the opposition half. His dunks, which had become his signature move, always find a way into the season highlight reels because of its ferocity.
Currently playing for the Sacramento Kings, Whiteside has slipped to the fringes with age. However, one record that will remain a part of his legacy is that he once led the NBA in the number of blocks made by a single player.
Hassan Whiteside shares his wingspan with former player Jason Jennings.
#8. Zhou Qi
The hype around Zhou Qi was insane when he declared for the NBA drafts back in 2016. Many critics and analysts held discussions around him and franchises were ready to snap him up at the first chance they got. His enormous wingspan of 7 feet and 7.75 inches was something astonishing and there was a novelty factor attached to a player of that size.
Ultimately, Qi got picked up by the Houston Rockets in the 2016 NBA drafts. Months of excitement around seeing him on the court finally came to a conclusion. In the beginning, it looked as if Zhou Qi was taking well to the fast-paced game of the NBA, however, that was not to be the case.
The remainder of his stay at the Houston Rockets was marred by injuries. In the end, the Rockets were forced to release him owing to lack of game time. Currently, Zhou Qi plays for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
#7. Chris Marcus
With a massive wingspan of 7 feet and 8 inches, Chris Marcus was one of the most intimidating players in the history of the NBA. His tall and burly figure towered over everyone else as he looked to light up every game with his brilliance. Despite his size, it did not look like he experienced any difficulty on the court. He dodged opposition defenses with remarkable ease and guile.
However, all of his popularity and hype were gained only through Playing college basketball. As most meteoric rises are, this one too fizzled out due to early injuries. Despite being drafted by the Denver Nuggets, Marcus could not play a league game. All he could manage was a few training sessions with the first team.
Unfortunately, Chris Marcus passed away in April last year. His family said in a statement that the death was due to pre-existing issues.
#6. Rudy Gobert
Aside from Tacko Fall, Rudy Gobert is hands down the tallest player in the NBA at the moment. The Jazz center is Already in consideration for the defensive player of the year, Rudy is the starting center for the Utah Jazz This seaso. The French International star has lit up the league with stunning defensive plays and astonishing blocks.
The reason behind his burgeoning defensive presence might be the mammoth wingspan of 7 feet and 8.5 inches. Utah Jazz has relied heavily upon their star man to provide fireworks in every game throughout the season. The 27-year-old has not disappointed his side who has shown faith in him over the years.
Under the rim, Gobert is an absolute beast. More often than not, he manages to stop the opposing offense by restricting their movement. Owing to this, teams are forced to take shots from behind the arc that has a lower success rate. In recent times, Gobert has also improved his offensive skills as he assists his teammates.
#5. Mouhamed Sene
There is not much of a difference between the wingspan of Rudy Gobert and Sene. However, Mouhamed Sene looked larger because of his lanky built. Playing in the mid-2000s, Sene had a relatively uneventful career after immigrating from Senegal.
Most of his career was spent in the D-league. However, Sene gained a lot of popularity when he played in the NBA. Drafted in 2006 by the Seattle Supersonics, Mouhamed Sene used his physical attributes to good effect against oppositions.
His playing style was more on the offensive side which is rare to see among big men. Due to this, Sene’s short-lived rise to the top was meteoric. Although he was an offensive player, he won the Defensive Player of the Year award once in the D-League.
#4. Walter Tavares
Tavares is the only player from Cape Verde to ever feature in the NBA. With a huge wingspan of 7 feet and 9 inches, he was a big threat to any opposition. During his playing days, Tavares was considered a huge problem for defenses.
Tavares was a defensive player by nature. Even his origin story is a thing of beauty. Having not played professional basketball until the age of 17, he quickly rose through the ranks and was ultimately drafted by the Atlanta Hawks.
However, his stint in the NBA came to an end due to lack of game time and many injuries along the way. He was traded to Real Madrid in 2017 after the Hawks underwent a massive rebuild.
#3. Mohamed Bamba
Mo Bamba has certainly been one of the more mainstream big guys in the NBA. Apart from an astonishing wingspan of 7 feet and 10 inches, he is very agile in his movements and to glide past opponents. Ever since he was drafted by the Orlando Magic, Bamba has given consistent performances on both ends of the court.
Frequent injuries have plagued his career to date. However, Mohamed Bamba has come back stronger each time and worked harder than ever before. A strong physicality and nimble actions have made him a prized asset of the Magic squad and they do not look to be parting with him anytime soon.
#2. Tacko Fall
The Boston Celtics couldn’t be prouder to have a player like Tacko Fall on their roster. With a wingspan of 8 feet and 2.25 inches, he is a walking cheat code. Watching Tacko Fall play is a treat for spectators of all ages. He uses his height brilliantly and is surprisingly quick for a guy of his size. These qualities came in very handy when the Celtics decided to hand him a player contract.
Originally being of a Senegalese descent, Tacko Fall’s meteoric rise to the NBA started during high school and college basketball. It is visible from the old game tapes that he was always dominant when it came to his defensive duties.
Being good at the defensive aspect of the game becomes easy when you are the tallest person in the entire league. Coach Brad Stevens generally brings him off the bench to create an impact and the 25-year-old does not disappoint.
#1. Manute Bol
There is no doubt about the fact that Manute Bol is one of the tallest legends of hoop game. Bol is one of the tallest players to ever grace the game of basketball. Apart from that, he was an excellent shot-stopper and led the NBA in blocks for a long time.
Originally from Sudan, Manute Bol had an extraordinary wingspan of 8 feet and six inches. This proved extremely beneficial for him when it came to blocking shots. He played for the Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers during his peak.
Oppositions were afraid of his towering presence on the court. They reportedly had a separate set of tactics just to handle the threat of Bol posterizing under the rim. Even after all the planning, he managed to come out on top and deliver match-winning performances.
The legacy of Manute Bol will remain untarnished for years to come as on of the tallest player to ever play in the league.
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