Spud Webb, who was 5’6” tall and 133 pounds, was the lightest NBA player in history. The ten lightest NBA players in history were all 150 pounds or less. All but one of those players was under 6’ tall. None of today’s lightest NBA players qualify for the list of the all-time lightest players.
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Who was the lightest NBA player in history?
|Name||Years In The NBA||Height||Weight|
|Herm “Red” Klotz||‘47-’48||5’7”||150|
Spud Webb at 5’6” 133 pounds was the lightest player in NBA history. Webb, 2nd lightest player ever Earl Boykins and the third lightest player, Muggsy Bogues, all had pretty nice careers in the league.
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Bogues and Webb played at the same time. I’ve written a comparison of their careers here. In it, I concluded that Bogues was the slightly better player. It is fair to say that Muggsy Bogues, who at 5’3” was the shortest player in history in addition to being the 3rd lightest, was the best tiny player in the history of the league.
Of the lightest players, four players’ careers began in the 1940’s, one in the 1970’s, three in the 1980’s and five in the 1990’s. There is no discernible pattern in those numbers to indicate that lighter players did better in the league the further back you go.
It is notable that none of the lightest NBA players in history started playing in the league after 2000, though Earl Boykins did play until 10 years ago. It seems likely that with better societal nutrition and better weight training practices, the lightest players in the league today weigh more than their lightest peers of the more distant past.
Who is the lightest NBA player now?
|Kira Lewis Jr||6’1”||170|
None of the eight lightest players in the NBA now (as of the start of the 2022-2023 NBA season) made the list of the lightest players in NBA history. The lightest player, Tyrell Terry, is still 7 pounds too heavy to make the all-time list.
I cut the current list off at eight players because there are several more players tied at 175 pounds including future Hall of Famer Chris Paul.
It is a good time to note that all the weights listed here are taken from Basketball Reference’s listed weights. Click through the links to player profiles to check for yourself.
It is also a good time to mention that I know many of the weights listed are not entirely accurate. I know my own weight can fluctuate over days, weeks and months, and I am sure the same is true of the players on this list.
I also acknowledge that it is possible, especially in the 1940’s, that in the past teams asked players for weights and used whatever they said. It is also possible that listed weights for current players are based on their weights at the NBA Draft combine rather than a yearly re-checking of each player’s weight.
All of that is fine. These lists are accurate to the extent that it is possible to be accurate. The weights are taken from an authoritative source. Are they the exact weight for each player every day in their NBA career? I doubt it.
Even still, I think Spud Webb is likely to be the lightest player in NBA history. If you ever watched him, he was tiny. And the other players are likely to be among the lightest to ever play, even if they are not ordered absolutely perfectly.
Summary: Lightest NBA Player
Spud Webb, Earl Boykins and Muggsy Bogues are the three lightest players in NBA history. Webb was a 5’6” 133 terror of a point guard. The lightest player in the league today is Tyrell Terry who weighs 160 pounds. None of the lightest players today make the list of the all-time lightest NBA players.
I have been a Boston sports fan for more than forty years. I write about games, players and seasons from the past.