Our extensive list of 5’11 NBA players shows you that with enough basketball talent, height isn’t a barrier to NBA entry.
Of course, there are far more NBA players who are over 5 foot 11 than under, proving that height is still an advantage in basketball.
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List of the best 5’11 NBA players
Here are some of the best 5’11 players in the NBA:
Jordan McLaughlin is a 5’11 point guard who comes from an athletic family. He’s played for the Long Island Nets as well as the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As one of the shortest current NBA players, McLaughlin is proof that with enough talent, you can be a very good 5 foot 11 NBA player even in the modern basketball scene, which really is a land of giants.
McKinley Wright IV
McKinley Wright IV is a great example of a current 5 foot 11 player in the NBA. He’s played for both the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks.
McKinley Wright IV has quite a different body type from most professional basketball players. He’s obviously much shorter, but he’s bulkier as well, meaning that he won’t get pushed around as easily as his stature would suggest on the court.
Chris Chiozza has been signed by a number of teams during his career, including the Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors.
He also played basketball at college level for the Florida Gators.
Chiozza is a great point guard with excellent passing and ball handling abilities.
As many basketball fans will know, David Stockton is the son of renowned point guard John Stockton, who played for the Utah Jazz.
David Stockton has played in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings, the South Bay Lakers, the Utah Jazz, and the Memphis Hustle.
Other notable 5’11 basketball players
Here are some other notable 5’11 basketball players who’ve found success despite being 7 inches shorter than average for an NBA player.
D.J. Augustin is a well-known 5’11 point guard who has played for the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Bulls, the Detroit Pistons, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Denver Nuggets, the Orlando Magic, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Houston Rockets, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
That’s quite the résumé, and it’s not surprising considering Augustin’s world-class ball handling skills and impressive speed.
Basketball coach Scott Brooks played for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Houston Rockets, the Dallas Mavericks, the New York Knicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Like many shorter point guards, Scott Brooks possessed top-tier ball handling abilities and made his mark in the National Basketball Association despite only being 5 feet 11 inches tall.
Avery Johnson was a great ball handler and playmaker, which more than made up for his height disadvantage.
Throughout his memorable career, Avery played for the Denver Nuggets, the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, the Golden State Warriors, and the Dallas Mavericks.
Ty Lawson is another 5’11 basketball player who managed to find NBA success despite being much shorter than his teammates and opponents.
After playing for the North Carolina Tar Heels in college, Ty Lawson went on to play for the Denver Nuggets, the Houston Rockets, the Indiana Pacers, the Sacramento Kings, and the Washington Wizards.
Widely regarded as one of the best 5 foot 11 basketball players of his time, Dana Barros enjoyed a highly successful NBA career.
He played for the Seattle SuperSonics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics, and the Detroit Pistons.
Can you be a basketball player if you’re 5 foot 11?
As numerous athletes have shown, you can definitely be a basketball player (and even an NBA superstar) if you’re 5 foot 11; you’ll just have to work harder!
While it’s true that most NBA players are way taller than 5’11, there’s always going to be a demand for brilliant ball handlers and game-changing playmakers.
So if you handle the ball like a pro and pick the perfect pass, then there’s no reason why your height, which isn’t that short, should be a barrier.
Sure, 5’11 athletes are less likely to become basketball players than those who are well over 6 feet tall. However, at least part of the reason for this is that those who are 5’11 automatically rule out a basketball career.
Not every 5’11 athlete will make it in the NBA, but some will.
Conclusion: Why aren’t there many 5 11 NBA players?
Basketball naturally attracts a lot of tall players who can dunk, shoot, rebound, and block shots with their long arms and tall frame.
There are hardly any 5’11 NBA players currently, with the majority being 6’6 or even taller.
Yet, as we have seen, there’s some incredible 5’11 talent, so being under 6 foot doesn’t mean that making the NBA is impossible.
- Jordan McLaughlin Stats, News, Bio. ESPN. https://www.espn.com/nba/player/_/id/3134916/jordan-mclaughlin
- Dallas Mavericks. (2023, February 1). McKinley Wright IV. The Official Home of the Dallas Mavericks. https://www.mavs.com/team/roster/mckinley_wright_iv/
- Training Tips For Proper Ball Handling. (n.d.). https://www.usab.com/youth/news/2010/01/training-tips-for-proper-ball-handling.aspx