How Tall is Michael Jordan Compared To Other NBA Stars and How Has His Height Affected His Career?

How Tall is Michael Jordan? Michael Jordan stands at 6 feet 6 inches or 1.98 m. This puts him in the same category as famous basketball players such as the late Kobe Bryant, Brian Bowen II, and Andre Iguodala among others. However, as tall as he is, he becomes short when he stands close to David Robinson, Lebron James, and Hakeem Olajuwon who are all taller than him.

On the surface, basketball sounds more like a game of throws and dribbles. While assets such as agility, leaping ability, endurance, speed, accuracy, and sharp vision still make the list of highly effective players, that list wouldn’t be complete if we leave out the height factor.

Yes! Call basketball a game of heights, and you’ll be right. Perhaps no other athlete understands this better than the basketball legend Michael Jordan. Though now retired, Jordan continues to be a living inspiration to millions of basketball players and aspiring champions across the globe.

When asked about the key factors of his success, the legend hardly mentions his height. This piece dissects everything you need to know about Jordan’s height, and how it affected his career, as well as other interesting facts.

How and When It All Started

Jordan began the first strokes of what would be a legendary career back in his high school days in the late 1970s and early 1980s. While attending Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, he played baseball, football, and basketball. Although most fans would hardly believe it, there was a period when Jordan was turned down from joining his school’s basketball team because of his height. At the time, he was considered too short. Rather than sink in discouragement, he went all out to show what stuff he’s made of, eventually becoming the star player of his varsity junior team.

By his senior year, Jordan’s incredible skills had earned him spots on several university basketball programs such as South Carolina, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina. At age 18, Jordan received a basketball scholarship from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Thanks to his height and exceptional balling skills, by the time he graduated five years later, Jordan has won the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards (1984). He also played for the top teams like the Chicago Bulls.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan hoists his award plague for Most Valuable Player.

Throughout his sixteen-year NBA career, Michael Jordan played mostly for The Chicago Bulls and The Washington Wizards. Within that time, he was also a member of two Olympic gold-winning American basketball teams. He had amassed awards and recognition in over 33 categories. Perhaps the highlight of his work came in 2016 when Jordan was honored with the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-president Barack Obama.

How Tall Is Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan (middle) stands in-between Larry Bird (left) and Magic Johnson (right).

Although today’s sources quote 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 meters), that wasn’t always the case. Interestingly, there was a time when Michael Jordan measured only 5 feet 11 inches. That’s not bad at all, but for a basketball player trying out for his school’s senior team, he was rejected due to his height. Undeterred, Jordan worked so hard and pushed his growth hormones to their limits. By the following summer after his rejection, he’d grown to 6 feet 3 inches, which earned him a spot right away. When it was time for college, Jordan’s new dilemma was what scholarship to pick and which to ignore.

Of all his options, the University of North Carolina sat best with him. Without early opportunities his height offered him, there probably wouldn’t be a ‘Michael Jordan the legend’ as we have today. As Jordan jokingly puts it, if not for his height, his brother, Larry Jordan, would have emerged the star basketball player of the family. Back in the 1980s, the two almost equaled each other in height when standing shoulder to shoulder. However, Michael outgrew him and got a better advantage.

Although most folks take after their parents’ height or that of other blood relations, the same can’t be said for Michale Jordan. His father was not more than 5 feet 9 inches tall, and his mother, so far as we know, stood around 5 feet 5 inches. Had he settled for what genetics had to offer, he would probably remain at 5 feet 11 inches, or 6 feet at best.

Michael Jordan’s Height Compared To Other Stars

Michael Jordan and David Robinson image source

Jordan’s 6 feet 6 inches height puts him in the same category as the likes of Kobe Bryant and Ime Udoka. But that’s not all the famous height mates he’s got. 6 feet 6 inches is also the number for the likes of Brian Bowen II, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, and Andre Iguodala, who plays for the Miami Heat, and Alec Burks playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. However, it turns out that height is the only common factor these players share with Jordan.

Comparing Jordan’s height with that of Kobe Bryant, you’d see that despite being the same height, their accomplishments differ. Bryant reportedly amassed a fortune of $600 million at the time of his death in January 2020. During his career, Bryant earned lots of juicy endorsement deals, several media projects, and of course, started his venture capitalist firm. However, Jordan beat this in every way. The NBA legend has been on the Forbes list of billionaires, having amassed a fortune of 2.1 billion.

Besides, Jordan remains the first billionaire athlete to this day. Thanks to his impeccable brand, the increasing value of his team, the Charlotte Hornets, and his mounting royalties from Nike. When it comes to career points, Bryant accrued up to 33,643 points, while Jordan sits shy with 32,292. Asides from Bryant, other stars who share the same height as Jordan do not measure up in terms of accomplishments. Players like Ime Udoka had 1,635 career points, and his net worth is $11.5 million, while Andre Iguodala currently has over 13,500 points and is worth $50 million.

Surprisingly, when Michael Jordan stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of David Robinson (7 feet 1 inch), Hakeem Olajuwon (6 feet 11 inches), and Lebron James (6 feet 9 inches), he suddenly goes short. Despite that, Robinson had total points of 20,790 during his career, as well as a net worth of $200 million, which is quite far below Jordan’s. Hakeem Olajuwon had 26,946 points and a net worth of 200 million. Interestingly, another player that has edged Michael Jordan in terms of career points is Lebron James.

James is a sixteen-time NBA All-Star and three-time gold medalist. Currently, with 33,993 points and counting, he is set to become an NBA player of all time. However, when it comes to his net worth, LeBron’s net worth of $450 million puts him below Jordan on the earning scale. Although he earned a whopping $89 million in 2019, that still falls shy of Jordan’s $100 million marks.

Asides from his height, Jordan’s secret advantage on the court is his longer-than-average hands and wider-than-average palms. With a hand length and palm span of 9.75 inches and 11.38 inches, respectively, he remains one of the most dexterous NBA stars.

His Weight and Other Body Measurements

Although retired, Michael Jordan still works out to keep fit. To maintain his height and body weight of 216 lb (98 kg), Jordan stocks up on a high carb diet and low protein. According to sources, the basketball legend lives on 70% of calories from carbs, 20% from fats, and 10% from protein. Jordan has maintained this weight right from his active days, only alternating by small margins over the cause of his career. As he puts it, a weight of 98 kg or less has been instrumental to his incredible speed and high leaping ability in the court. As of this writing, Jordan measures 44 and 36 inches for his chest and waist, respectively. He wears shoes of sizes 13 (US), 46 (EU), and 12.5 (UK).

Stephen Angbulu
Stephen Angbulu
Stephen’s essays have been published by the Embassy of Ireland, Nigeria. He has also been featured on interviews with BBC News Africa and Daily Trust Newspaper. Stephen has over 6 years experience writing on a wide range of topics from biographies to lifestyle and entertainment. He has authored several articles, journal entries, book reviews, short stories, flash fiction and essays on both local and international media


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