Michael Jordan is known for being arguably the greatest basketball player the world has ever seen. Everyone knows him for his silky smooth fadeaway and killer mindset. What most people don’t realize about Michael Jordan’s game and his physique, in general, is that Jordan was the definition of a ‘Freak Athlete’. Michael’s namesake ‘Air Jordan’ comes from the immense air time he used to generate on his jumps.
In the 80s when Michael was drafted, his athleticism came second to none. He had the ability to glide through the air with his 48-inch vertical and 0.92 seconds of hang time. Combine that with his 4.38-second 40-yard dash and you have the makings of an athlete so physically dominant that it barely matters whether he has any basketball skill at all. Couple that with the greatest skillset in NBA history, and you have Michael Jeffery Jordan.
Darrell Griffith is tied with Michael Jordan for the highest vertical leap
Darrell Griffith isn’t a name known to most NBA fans. Considering the fact that he spent the entirety of his career with the Utah Jazz, a franchise not exactly known for taking the spotlight. Still, Griffith has etched his name in the NBA’s history books of athletics with his insane vertical leap. Griffith exhibited a 48-inch vertical leap during his playing career, tying him with the great Michael Jordan.
Considering that Griffith was 6 feet and 4 inches, his 48-inch vertical allowed him to get his head 4 inches above the NBA regulation rim. Griffith’s high-flying antics would earn him the nickname Dr. Dunkenstein from his fans and the league alike. In the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest, Donovan Mitchell wore Griffith’s #35 jersey during his second dunk as a tribute to the legendary athlete.
Griffith of course is joined by Michael Jordan as the player with the highest vertical in NBA history. Jordan was, however, able to accomplish one thing that Griffith wasn’t. Jordan is a two-time winner of the Slam Dunk Contest. He was a prolific dunker, one of the greatest to ever do it. His iconic free-throw line dunk and mid-air posture are iconic to this day.