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Original Issue

Two Tall


It might seem hard to imagine now, with the Rockets’ coming off a season when they routinely started no one taller than 6' 7", but there was a time when NBA teams collected big men. Sports Illustrated’s 1986–87 NBA Preview featured a photo act of seven pairs of giants in their home city’s skyline, including the original Twin Towers (Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson) and a duo photographed at the Twin Towers (Bill Cartwright and Patrick Ewing of the Knicks). No pair was bigger than 6' 10" Moses Malone and 7' 7" Manute Bol of the Washington Bullets. Walter Iooss Jr. photographed them, fittingly, at the Washington Monument. The photo turned out great. The pairing, so-so. The Bullets finished 42–40—but they did lead the league in blocks.