Top 10 Highest Vertical Jumps in NBA History


The ability to jump extraordinarily high is one of the most jaw-dropping athletic feats in basketball. When players seem to hang in the air on their way to a powerful dunk or a blocked shot, it captures our imagination and awe.

Throughout NBA history, there have been claims and stories of players with almost superhuman leaping power. Michael Jordan’s iconic Jumpman logo testifies to his renowned airtime.

In this article, we will look at and examine the top 10 highest vertical leaps ever officially recorded in the NBA. With so many informal claims floating around, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the legendary jumping exploits of various players.

By digging into the actual measured vertical jump numbers, we can definitively rank the human pogo sticks of basketball history.

From all-time greats like Jordan and LeBron to relative unknowns, these are the 10 players who could leap higher than any others on a basketball court.

The heights they achieved, often 40 inches or more, are a testament to their almost gravity-defying gifts.

The NBA’s Highest Vertical Jumps of All Time

Top NBA Highest Vertical Jumps

#1. Michael Jordan – 48 Inches

The legendary Michael Jordan tops our list with an incredible vertical leap of 48 inches. At 6’6″, Jordan could elevate his head almost 5 inches above the rim when he jumped. His hangtime of 0.92 seconds allowed him to seem suspended in the air. Jordan’s iconic free throw line dunk during the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest, along with his Jumpman logo, epitomizes his gravity-defying athleticism.

Top 10 Highest Vertical Jumps In NBA History

#2. Darrell Griffith – 48 Inches

Darrell “Dr. Dunkenstein” Griffith became legendary during his college days at Louisville. His 48-inch vertical and 6’4″ height allowed him to reach 4 inches above the rim. While not winning any NBA dunk contests, Griffith electrified crowds with his high-flying athletic plays over 11 seasons with the Utah Jazz. His #35 jersey hangs in the rafters in recognition of his career.

#3. Jason Richardson – 46.5 Inches

Jason Richardson shocked with only a 39.5-inch vertical at the draft combine before being selected 5th overall in 2001. But his in-game leaping ability proved far greater, as he won back-to-back Slam Dunk Contests in 2002 and 2003. His actual vertical was a stunning 46.5 inches. At 6’6″, this meant Richardson could get his whole head above the rim. His reverses and 360s wowed crowds.

#4. Anthony Webb – 46 Inches

At 5’7″, rookie Anthony Webb was an unlikely 1986 Slam Dunk Contest entrant. But utilizing his 46-inch hops, Webb hammered down an array of jams. His diminutive size didn’t stop him from besting teammate Dominique Wilkins and claiming the Slam Dunk crown. Webb achieved his airborne feats without even needing to palm the ball.

#5. James White – 46 Inches

Although James White had a largely overseas career, he appeared briefly in the NBA with teams like San Antonio and New York. With a muscular 6’7″ frame and a 46-inch vertical, White had little trouble throwing down powerful dunks in games and contests. His personal best saw him reach 5 inches above the rim.

#6. Zach LaVine – 46 Inches

Like Richardson before him, Zach LaVine recorded an underwhelming 41.5-inch vertical at the NBA Draft Combine. But after being selected 13th overall in 2014, he proved himself an elite leaper by winning two epic Slam Dunk Contests. His gravity-defying jams and smooth athleticism have seen his recorded vertical leap amended to 46 inches.

#7. Zion Williamson – 45 Inches

The powerfully built Zion Williamson has been shattering rims and expectations since high school with his nuclear athleticism. His 45-inch vertical at 6’6″ and 285 pounds is almost beyond belief. At Duke University, Zion wowed crowds when a video emerged showing him nipping the top of his head above the rim. He continues to stun in the NBA with the Pelicans.

#8. Shannon Brown – 44.5 Inches

Shannon Brown may have been a role player for the Lakers championship teams. But he electrified Staples crowds with his leaping ability off the bench. With only a 6’4″ frame, Brown still managed to get his whole head above the rim thanks to a 44.5-inch vertical. His aerial artistry even left Kobe Bryant stunned courtside.

#9. Harold Miner – 44 Inches

The man nicknamed “Baby Jordan” won two memorable Slam Dunk Contests in 1993 and 1995. With a sculpted 6’5″ physique and 44-inch hops, the aptly named Miner could launch his head to just an inch below the rim when elevated. Injuries cut short his promising four-year NBA career.

#10. Dee Brown – 44 Inches

Dee Brown, winner of the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest, registered a 44-inch max vertical at the combine. This meant the 6’1″ Celtics guard could reach up to 3 inches shy of the rim’s underside. Though famously undersized, Brown never had issues throwing down during his 12-year NBA career. His “no-look” jam remains iconic.

📝 Meet Uzair, a seasoned content writer with 4+ years of industry expertise! 🏀🏈 Specializing in sports journalism, he's carved a niche with in-depth NBA and NFL analysis.


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