Michael Jordan Height (He's Shorter Than You Thought)
Star of the powerful 2020 documentary The Last Dance Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the most famous NBA player to have ever lived, and also the richest athlete in the history of sports, with a net worth reaching into the billions!
Regarding Michael's height, naturally being an NBA star he is a tall man, and when pictured next to 'regular' people, he almost always towers over them. Yet when we compare him to other NBA stars on the court, his 6'6" listing can be questioned, which leads us to ask 'what is his real height'?
This page will investigate Michael Jordan's height through his NBA listings, height measurement, height comparisons to NBA stars, and some other info, to get to the truth of how tall he really is!
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What's His Real Height?
After taking into consideration Michael Jordan's Olympic height measurement, his NBA listing (height in shoes), and comparing his height next to other Basketball players, I believe he wakes just over 6'5", dropping down a fraction throughout the majority of the day, and goes to bed at 6'4.5".
Therefore his height is 6'4.75" (194.9 cm) tall.
Michael Jordan claimed 6'6" as his height, in line with his NBA listing.
What Others Say
Pat Riley once mentioned that Jordan was "6-4 and a half", and "not 6-6" like his basketball listing.
The Chicago Bulls head coach 1986–1989 once described at 0:30 his perfect player, saying:
"The perfect player to me is, I'll be six five, six six, 200 pounds" - referring to Jordan.
Height as a Teenager
Michael once commented in an interview that he always wanted to be 7 feet, and tried various things such as hanging to get taller.
At high school, during his freshman year Jordan was about 5'10", and at the beginning of his sophomore year he was around 5'11". At this point Jordan was worried, and wanted to grow so much that in response to his pleas his mother once said, "Go put salt in your shoes and pray," (1). His mother took him to a doctor for an x-ray to see if his growth plates were still open. In the book Michael Jordan: The Life, it mentions that:
"The doctor took one look at the X-rays and saw the growth plates and told mother and son not to worry". and "he still had plenty of growing to do. (2)
It appears Michael's prayers came true, and by that Summer Jordan had "shot to six three and was far from done." Also, "he would continue growing right into college and even a bit in the NBA until he was six six and towered a foot above everyone else in his family."
Adult Height Measurement
Michael Jordan was once accurately measured at 6'4.88" at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. This correlates with his NBA listing, as it was most likely in shoes, which he would measure 6'6" in.
Height of First Dunk
In this interview, at 8:30 Michael mentions that his first 'baby' dunk was in Junior high and his height was 5'9", saying " I felt I was high enough to dunk the ball"!
Height and Weight Listing
Michael Jordan's height was listed at 6'6" throughout his career, with a weight of 216 lbs, 98 kg.
Average Height for His Position
For Michael's NBA Position of Shooting Guard/Small Forward, the average height of a Shooting Guard is around 6'2"-6'6" with an average of 6'4", and Small Forwards average between 6'5"-6'9" with an average of 6'7".
So, Michael falls into a common height range for a Shooting Guard, and is under average height for a Small Forward.
Vertical Jump Height
Michael gained his nicknames 'Air Jordan' and 'His Airness' for a reason, and during his time in North Carolina at college his vertical was Officially measured at 46 inches.
Also, during the 1984 Olympics where he won one of his two Olympic gold medals, he had his vertical jump measured at 48 inches, being one of the highest leaps to ever grace the league.
Wingspan VS Height
The average wingspan will be equal to your height + or - a few cm's. Michael is an exception, and his wingspan is 6 feet 11, a grand 6+ inches over his height! This would have surely helped him perfect his dunks throughout his career!
Height Next to Basketball Stars
Kobe Bryant 6'5" (195.6 cm)
Michael and Kobe were NBA players who were fiercely competitive on the court and had a growing friendship off the court, with a common question being 'is Kobe taller than Jordan'?
Standing next to each other there was hardly a difference in height between them. On close inspection, however, as stated in an article by ESPN Sports presenter Skip Bayless, "Kobe is a little taller" (3). This does appear to be correct more often than not, if only by a fraction.
So when compared to Kobe, Michael appears to be 6'4.75" tall.
Charles Barkley 6'4.75" (194.9 cm)
Michael and Charles played in many NBA matches together throughout the 1990s, and Charles is another example of somebody extremely close to Jordan in height.
When on the court they looked almost identical in height, and upon close inspection, depending on footwear either of them could be taller than the other, but If we are talking fractions, Jordan might have a very slight edge.
Therefore, next to Charles during his basketball years, Michael looks to be 6'4.75"-6'5" tall.
Scottie Pippen 6'7" (200.7 cm)
Jordan and Scottie played for the NBA Basketball team 'Chicago Bulls' and won six championships together between 1991-1998, and there is a plentiful amount of instances with them standing together for height comparison.
Scottie looks comfortably over 2 inches taller than Michael on the court, varying between 2.25-2.5 inches of height difference.
So, when standing next to Scottie, Michael looks to be 6'4.5-6'4.75" tall.
The Results - When standing next to other Basketball stars on the court, Michael looks to be between 6'4.5-6'5" tall.
Standing Next to a Giant
One of the only instances Michael was made to look 'short' was when he stood next to the former NBA player Yao Ming, who was in the 7'5" range. Take a look here.
Adidas Rejected Jordan for Being 'Too Short'
Before Michael started working alongside Nike and became hugely successful, Mike wanted to work with Adidas, yet the executives at Adidas allegedly failed to work out a sponsorship deal with him.
The shocking part of this story is that main the deciding factor was that Michael was not tall enough to project the image they wanted, and they would rather sign NBA players of the position 'center', averaging around 7 feet tall.
This holds some truth, as players they chose to work with included 7'2" Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
How Tall is Michael Jordan's Family?
Mother & Father
Michael's father James Raymond Jordan Sr. (1936-1993) was a mechanic and was around 5'10", and his mother Deloris Jordan was a bank cashier, standing around 5'5".
Regarding his parent's heights, if we use a height calculator to predict Michael's height then he should have been around 5'10" tall, approximately 7 inches shorter than his adult height!
- Michael's oldest brother James Jordan Jr. (nickname Ronnie) served in the military and is around 5'6" tall.
- Michael's second oldest brother Larry Jordan enjoys business ventures, and stands around 5'7". Larry was also a very talented basketball player, making it to the World Basketball League in 1988.
Michael holds Larry in high regard, saying he was his "biggest influence", once commenting that his brother "used to beat me all the time being at five-seven and I was maybe five-ten". Larry also commented on this, saying that "I won most of them until he started to outgrow me". (1)
- Michael's older sister Deloris Jordan, a writer, is 5'6" tall.
- Michael's younger sister Roslyn Jordan, also a writer, stands at 5'5".
Michael's wife Yvette Prieto is a model and stands at 5'6" tall.
- Michael's oldest son Jeffery Jordan is the co-founder of Heir Jordan, and stands at 6'1".
- Marcus Jordan is a basketball player and stands at 6'3".
- Michael's oldest daughter Jasmine M. Jordan is a socialite and celebutante, standing at 6'1".
Compared to his parents and siblings, Michael appears to have been given a height gift from God, or maybe not, as he has a cousin who stands at 6'7" tall! Yet, who these height genes come from remains a mystery!
The Slam Dunk (Conclusion)
After investigating Michael Jordan's height claim, his height measurement, and other info such as comparing his height to Basketball stars, I believe he woke up comfortably 6'5" tall, dropping to 6'4.75 throughout the majority of the day, and going to bed closer to 6'4.5" tall.
Therefore on this page, I will list his height as 6'4.75" (194.9 cm) tall.
Funny Interview Clip
I'll leave you with a snippet from an interview Michael had with David Letterman from 1989, and a funny joke about the lucky 'milkman' serving the Jordan family!
David: "are you the tallest one in the family"
Michael: I'm the tallest, my father is about five ten, my mother is about five five, everyone else is about five six and a half/five seven."
Take a look below!
Heights Related to Michael Jordan
Approximate REAL Height
5'5" (165.1 cm)
6'0" (182.9 cm)
Teammate, Chicago Bulls
6'6.5" (199.4 cm)
7'0" (213.4 cm)
6'7.5" (201.9 cm)