Whenever you turn on the TV to watch an NBA game, you see tall athletes that are athletic beyond comprehension. It seems like almost every one of them can dunk the basketball with ease and it often makes you wonder whether their athleticism is the reason that they are in the NBA.
But out of all of these players some are significantly more athletic than others.
In this article, we will be looking at the players who are some of the most athletic out of all of their peers. Specifically, we will look at the players with the Highest Vertical Jumps in NBA history and how this combination of gifted athleticism and hard work has assisted them throughout their careers.
We will be looking at maximum vertical jumps throughout this article.
10) Shawn Kemp – 41 Inches
Shawn Kemp has been one of the best dunkers that the NBA has ever seen, and it’s a shock that he is only number 10 on this list.
He has had some of the most creative and entertaining posterizers on his defenders, and always seemed to bring the crowd to their feet.
He is a lengthy power forward that doesn’t muscle his way through but soars above his opponents with his incredible leaping ability.
For Shawn Kemp, his athleticism made his career. He was not known for his shooting, but his vertical and dunking ability allowed him to not rely on his jump shot.
9) Dominique Wilkins – 42 Inches
Dominique Wilkins is a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion and it is not a surprise that he is on this list.
He was a small forward who had a decent jump shot, but was extremely athletic. He was another star like Shawn Kemp, who was able to get above his opponents. But compared to Kemp, Dominique Wilkins was more of a physical player and would often over-power a lot of his smaller defenders.
Coupling the physicality of his game with his sheer athleticism of 42 inches on his vertical, we can see why he is a first ballot hall of famer.
8) Tracy McGrady – 42 Inches
When you think of Tracy McGrady you think of 13 points in 33 seconds, where he hit four 3-pointers to win the game against the Spurs. This was during his days as a Houston Rocket where some of his glory days were spent.
However, in his earlier days during his tenures with the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic, he would often light up the crowd with his incredible dunks.
He comes out as number 8 on this list, and you will understand exactly why once you have seen his Orlando Magic days.
7) Clyde Drexler – 43 Inches
Clyde Drexler also known as “Clyde the Glide”. That nickname was based on his ability to glide through the air so graciously and with such ease.
He was often compared to Michael Jordan based on their similar style of play and positions. With his 43 inch vertical, he would finish easily over defenders going for a baseline slam or off of an alley-oop pass.
Boy, was Drexler athletic.
6) Vince Carter – 43 Inches
Vinsanity. Vince Carter is the best dunker in NBA history and is still dunking at the age of 42.
From the 360-windmill dunk in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest to literally jumping over a 7-foot defender while playing for Team USA, it is extremely hard to find any style of dunk that Vince did not already do.
Vince just misses the top 5 in the Players with the Highest Vertical Jumps in NBA History, but he is definitely the best dunker out of all of them.
5) Nate Robinson – 43.5 Inches
When you see a 5-foot-9 point guard that can win the dunk contest, you KNOW he has a high vertical. Being a 3-time Slam Dunk Contest Champion, it is incredible to see such a small person top his massive colleagues three different times.
He is a world-class athlete. If you have seen how hard this man works out though, you understand why a 5-foot-9 guard is in the top 5 of the highest jumpers.
4) Andrew Wiggins – 44 inches
Andrew Wiggins has gotten a lot of backlash for his apparently terrible work ethic. However, nobody can deny the God-given talents that this guy has.
Even since high school his athleticism was looked at by NBA scouts as purely the reason why he was the top pick in his draft.
It makes sense though. Who wouldn’t want a small forward with a 44-inch vertical leap that has an unlimited room for potential? His father was an NBA player and his mother was an Olympic track star. Those are some high quality athletic genes, if I do say so myself.
3) Lebron James – 44 Inches
LeBum, LeGOAT, LeBrick, whatever you want to call him, this man is one of the greatest players of all time.
He has extreme God-given athleticism and an incredible work ethic. This is a player who is an all-around in not just his skills but also his basketball IQ.
Although his athleticism seems to be declining, he always seems to figure out a way to get the job done. He is number 3 on this list.
Just a kid from Akron, Ohio that became arguably the best player in NBA history with a 44-inch vertical. What a story.
2) Zach Lavine – 46 Inches
Zach Lavine is not the power dunker that you might see, but his dunking ability is ridiculously high. Since high school, he was seen doing windmill dunks jumping from the free throw line. Something that grown men in the NBA cannot even imagine doing.
Although he has had a bad injury in his career, it does not look like it has affected his 46-inch vertical one bit. He is looking healthy as ever, and I hope that this guy becomes a great player.
With great ball-handling, shooting, and leaping ability, I believe that he has the potential to be one of the best players in due time.
1) Michael Jordan 46 Inches
The GOAT. Your Airness. MJ.
This man is the best player of all time. Winning a total of 6 NBA titles while retiring 3 different times, the NBA looked just too easy for him.
His nickname was earned. The man had a 46-inch vertical jump and there are hundreds of highlight tapes to prove it.
Not only did he have the athleticism, he was an extremely efficient scoring guard who has shot almost 50% from the field in his entire career. That is almost unheard of.
His jump, body control, and ability to finish tough shots was something that has not been seen in the NBA for some time. The ease that he does it with is also unbelievable.
So there you have it. The 10 Players with the Highest Vertical Jumps in NBA History.
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