Inch by Inch: The Alltime, All-Size All-Stars

Who's the best at every height? Pro, college, men and women all included. Is it Bird or Magic? Elgin or Oscar? Shaq or Wilt? Calvin Murphy or Sue Bird?
October 28, 2007

7'7"
MANUTE BOL
Gheorghe Muresan

7'6"
SHAWN BRADLEY
No alternative

7'5"
YAO MING
Chuck Nevitt
Slavko Vranes

7'4"
RALPH SAMPSON
Rik Smits
Mark Eaton

7'3"
ZYDRUNAS ILGAUSKAS
Arvydas Sabonis
Randy Breuer
Keith Closs Jr.

7'2"
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
Artis Gilmore
Dikembe Mutombo
Tom Burleson

7'1"
WILT CHAMBERLAIN
Shaquille O'Neal
David Robinson
Vlade Divac

7'0"
HAKEEM OLAJUWON
Tim Duncan
Dirk Nowitzki
Patrick Ewing

6'11"
BILL WALTON
Kevin Garnett
Bob Lanier
Nate Thurmond

6'10"
BILL RUSSELL
Moses Malone
George Mikan
Walt Bellamy

6'9"
MAGIC JOHNSON
Larry Bird
Karl Malone
Elvin Hayes

6'8"
JERRY LUCAS
Connie Hawkins
Neil Johnston
Dolph Schayes

6'7"
JULIUS ERVING
George Gervin
Rick Barry
Scottie Pippen

6'6"
MICHAEL JORDAN
Kobe Bryant
Charles Barkley
Harry Gallatin

6'5"
OSCAR ROBERTSON
Elgin Baylor
Pete Maravich
John Havlicek

6'4"
WALT FRAZIER
Jason Kidd
Cliff Hagan
Candace Parker

6'3"
DAVE BING
Steve Nash
Joe Dumars
Earl Monroe

6'2"
JERRY WEST
Hal Greer
Cheryl Miller
Norm Nixon

6'1"
BOB COUSY
John Stockton
Isiah Thomas
Nate Archibald

6'0"
ALLEN IVERSON
Sheryl Swoopes
Tim Hardaway
Louie Dampier

5'11"
AL CERVI
Buddy Jeannette
Terrell Brandon
Avery Johnson

5'10"
SLATER MARTIN
Damon
Stoudamire
Red Holzman
Nancy Lieberman

5'9"
CALVIN MURPHY
Larry Brown
Angelo Musi
Sue Bird

5'8"
ANN MEYERS
Teresa
Weatherspoon
Charlie Criss
Jennifer Azzi

5'7"
SPUD WEBB
Keith Jennings
Greg Grant
Monte Towe

5'6"
DAWN STALEY
Tara Heiss

5'5"
EARL BOYKINS
No alternative

5'4"
SUZIE MCCONNELL
Kim Mulkey
Lea Henry

5'3"
MUGGSY BOGUES
Debbie Black

THE ARGUMENTS START with the heights themselves: Was Russell 6'9" or 6'10" Did Walton insist he was 6'11" because he didn't want to be regarded as a 7-foot freak? And how many short guys tacked on an extra inch? SI consulted the best sources and rounded fractions to the nearest inch, then made the tough calls on the superior player at each height. To keep the arguments going, runners-up are also listed.

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONPHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY AARON GOODMANGATEFOLD: COURTESY OF ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY/AARON GOODMAN (GYM FLOOR); GUY KLOPPENBURG/PHOTONICA/GETTY IMAGES (GYM BACKGROUND); HEAD SHOTS: PETER READ MILLER (3); AP IMAGES (3); JERRY WACHTER/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (2); DAMIAN STROHMEYER; GREG NELSON; RAEANNE RUBINSTEIN; DARRELL WALKER/UTHM/ICON SMI; GLENN JAMES/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES; CRAIG MOLENHOUSE; JERRY COOKE; IRVING PENN; JOHN BIEVER; JAMES DRAKE; WALTER IOOSS JR.; SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS; LONG PHOTOGRAPHY; HY PESKIN; DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/AP; ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE; NBA PHOTOS/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES; SHEEDY & LONG; UCLA MEDIA RELATIONS; STEVE WOLTMANN/WNBA/AP IMAGES; TONY DEJAK/AP IMAGES PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)