In a league where size is everything, these guys are the outliers, the ones who overcame their shortcomings in the height department to still lead remarkable careers. Despite being overlooked for most of their upbringings, these players found a way to maximize their mass and bring other skills to table.
We at Dime feel it’s right to recognize everyone, even — especially rather — the little guys. When you can stand among giants even though you may looks like a typical civilian, it makes your accomplishments that much more impressive. Here’s our list of the best short players ever (6-2 and under)…
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20. STEPHON MARBURY, 6-2
[Eds. note: we had World B. Free here to start, but thankfully were reminded of a certain player named Starbury] Marbury gets a lot of hate for never winning much in the playoffs — in his career he won four playoff games… FOUR!… as the starting point guard — but still that can’t overshadow his impressive numbers. Until his career started to go downhill with the Knicks, Marbury was one of only two players in NBA history with career averages of 20 points and eight assists. The Big O was the other. He made two All-Star Games and two All-NBA Teams, and in the 2000-01 season with the Nets, Marbury averaged nearly 24 points per game.
19. MARK PRICE, 6-0
Price is known as one of the greatest free throw shooters ever (over 90 percent for his career), and is somewhat of a blueprint for Steve Nash. In 1992-93, he even made an All-NBA First Team, and for his career, he averaged 15 points and nearly seven assists. His best years came early in his career with Cleveland on a team that was as gifted offensively as any squad in the NBA.
18. RAJON RONDO, 6-1
Rondo is consistently talked about as one of the smartest players in the NBA, and it shows. The Celtics floor general is the best passer in the NBA and it’s probably not even close. Last year, despite playing in only 38 games, he averaged over 11 dimes a night, the third-straight year he’s done that. For his career, Rondo is averaging eight-plus assists per game. You could argue no one in the league raises their game higher once they get into the postseason. In the 2009 Playoffs, he was thisclose to averaging a ridiculous triple-double through 14 games, and in 2012, his playoff numbers looked like this: 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 11.9 assists per game.
17. TONY PARKER, 6-2
Up until this year, I think TP was underrated by just about everyone. Now, suddenly, everyone is calling him the best point guard in the league, even better than Chris Paul. Parker’s numbers could be even better, but he plays in a system that doesn’t allow it AND he’s content playing lower minutes with higher efficiency. Still, he’s averaged 17.1 points and 6.0 assists for his career, has won three championships while averaging over 19 a night in the playoffs, has made five All-Star Games and won a Finals MVP in 2007. He’s only just hitting his peak form now and Parker just turned 31 years old.