CENTER SUN Mingming would look pretty good in a Sixers uniform.

Mind you, there's nothing wrong with Samuel Dalembert or Theo Ratliff. (Well, maybe there is, but that's another story.) But, Dalembert is 6-11 and Ratliff is 6-10. The tallest Sixer overall is Jason Smith and he's only 7-foot.

We say only because Sun is 7-9.

Sun, born in China, plays for the Hamamatsu Phoenix in the Eastern Conference of Japan's professional league.

He said he would like to play in the NBA someday. If that happens he would be the tallest player in league history, surpassing former Sixer Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan, who were both 7-7.

Sun's countryman, 7-6 Yao Ming, is currently the tallest in the league.

"I just want to keep playing basketball," said the 25-year-old Sun. "Whether it's here in Japan or in the United States, I hope to keep playing for at least 10 more years."

Lynn Washington, a 6-8, foward who plays in Japan, thinks Sun - who can dunk without leaving his feet - has a chance to play in the NBA.

"It's surreal," said Washington, a two-time MVP in Japan who played for Indiana University. "You can't really do much because he's so big. He just holds the ball up in the air and it looks like a tennis ball." *

- Tom Mahon

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