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how tall is michael jordan | The Real Height of Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. But one thing many don’t know is how tall Michael Jordan actually was. His height played a key role in his legendary playing career, so understanding Jordan’s true height provides valuable context about hisskills and accomplishments.

Jordan’s listed height throughout his NBA career was 6’6″, but there has been much speculation and debate around whether this was his real height without shoes or with shoes. So let’s take a deep dive into the facts and evidence surrounding Michael Jordan height.

How Tall Was Michael Jordan Without Shoes?

Most experts agree that without shoes, Michael Jordan’s true height was somewhere around 6’5″ to 6’51⁄2″. When first drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and measured at the draft combine, Jordan’s height without shoes was listed at 6’51⁄2″.

However, some have claimed Jordan may have been closer to just 6’5″ without shoes. In 1992, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe wrote that Jordan told him he was “a shade under 6’5″” without shoes. Jordan’s former teammate Will Perdue also said that Jordan was about 6’5″ when they stood barefoot next to each other.

So while the draft combine measurement was 6’51⁄2″, most analysts believe Jordan’s true height without shoes was likely around the 6’5″ mark. Either way, this put him right on the cusp of being considered a small forward instead of a shooting guard.

How Tall Was Michael Jordan With Shoes?

Where things get murkier is how tall Michael Jordan was measured when wearing basketball shoes. Typically, NBA players are given about 1⁄2 to 1 inch in height when measured in shoes versus without shoes.

For Jordan, most reports list his official NBA listed height as 6’6″. This seems to corroborate that with a base height around 6’5″ barefoot, shoes gave Jordan that extra inch to be officially listed at 6’6″.

The NBA began measuring heights with shoes starting in 1994. Around this time, the NBA had Jordan’s physical on file with the Chicago Bulls listing his height as 6’61⁄2″ in shoes. So it appears the extra half inch from shoes precisely lined up with Jordan’s listed NBA height of 6’6″ throughout his career.

Jordan’s 1985 Fleer rookie card also lists his height as 6’6″. And in his book “Drive” co-authored with noted sportswriter Bob Greene, Jordan referred to himself as being 6’6″ tall. So overwhelmingly, the evidence points to a height of 6’6″ being accurate for how tall Michael Jordan measured in his basketball shoes.

Michael Jordan’s Competitive Advantage

While it may seem minor, that extra possible half inch in height without shoes mattered greatly for Jordan’s playing career and allowed him to dominate at both small forward and shooting guard positions. Standing 6’6″ with shoes also granted Jordan a major competitive edge over other guards he would consistently tower over.

Jordan used his impressive vertical leap paired with his height to overwhelm opponents in the paint and when finishing at the rim. He could dunk almost effortlessly and owned the air space above the basket. This supported Jordan’s status as one of the greatest ever at scoring and helped fuel his astronomical point totals season after season.

Jordan’s size also let him effectively guard multiple positions. He had the length and wingspan to defend point guards, as well as the height to match up against small forwards. This versatility proved a nightmare for opponents and was crucial for Jordan and the Bulls defensively.

Beyond stats, Jordan’s taller 6’6″ frame with thick, muscular thighs and calves made him extremely difficult to push around the perimeter or down low. He was not easily knocked off his line when driving to the hoop, and the strength in his lower body allowed him to consistently finish through contact.

So while 6’5″ to 6’6″ may seem a negligible difference, this slight edge in size worked tremendously in Michael Jordan’s favor throughout his Hall of Fame basketball career. His height, combined with his incredible leaping ability, skills, and competitiveness, set the stage for Jordan to continuously rise above all opponents and cement his status as the greatest of all time.

In summary, Michael Jordan’s true height without shoes was likely around 6’5″, with shoes giving him a listed 6’6″ playing height at the NBA level. This athletic frame allowed Jordan to thrive at both shooting guard and small forward and use his height and leaping ability to utterly dominate opponents for nearly two decades in the world’s best basketball league. Jordan’s greatness was due in large part to his God-given physical gifts, and a key part of that was a height that occupied that sweet spot just above most guards but below the average forward of his era.

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