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Michael Jordan can still dunk at age 48

Jul 18, 2011, 10:40 PM EDT

Quail Hollow Championship- Pro Am Getty Images

Perks of going to the Charlotte Bobcats fantasy camp is that the owner may show up and hang out.

Which is what happened Monday. According to at the morning camp session one girl asked if MJ could still dunk. And we know how Jordan reacts to a challenge.

At the evening session he showed up and threw one down — pretty easily, we should add. Follow this link to the video (we would embed it, but stopped making their videos embeddable last season because… we have no idea, but they are not).

Over at CBSSports Eye on Basketball Ben Goliver did the math. lists Jordan’s standing reach at (8’10”) while noting that you need to be able to touch four to six inches above the rim to dunk a ball. So we can calculate (estimate) that Jordan has, at minimum, an 18″ vertical leap. Pretty solid given that he is pushing 50 years old. In case you were wondering, the site lists his highest measured vertical at 43″.

That’s slightly higher than my best. We’d say that Jordan is the only owner who can dunk, but we’re not sure about Mikhail Prokhorov of the Nets. And of course Michael Heisley of Memphis.

My guess is that a decade from now, if challenged, Jordan would still have another dunk in him.

  1. yippityskippity69 - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I wanna see the video but if this is true, than that just shows MJs prowess and athletisism even while bieng close to applying for AARP membership! Could anyone imagine their 50yr old coach, dad, teacher, neighbor throwin one down. I can’t than again that list was’nt as athletic as MJ to start with!

    • rh5918 - Aug 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Here you go

  2. danvoges - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    the heat should sign him

  3. trbowman - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    New all star event – Each conference picks 5 owners who square off in a 24 minute basketball game.

    Would be entertaining, in a “watch a trainwreck” sort of way, no?

    • p1nch3dloaf - Aug 9, 2011 at 8:33 PM

      Lol, imagine Paul Allen posting up MJ – trainwreck indeed.

  4. mrcowpatty - Jul 19, 2011 at 12:20 AM

    It sure is a shame that there are not more MJ’s playing in the NBA. I also miss Bird, Magic and the Mail Man.

  5. genericcommenter - Jul 19, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    If I had a 8’10 standing reach at 48 years old, I could dunk, too. I’m a 5’11 white guy in his 30s. I can’t dunk now- my standing reach is around 7’10, but I could dunk when I was 18-22. And I never had an incredible vertical or anything.

    • cosanostra71 - Jul 19, 2011 at 4:20 AM

      cool story bro

    • hollywood26 - Jul 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      I’m 40/ 6 feet tall/ and can still dunk. Perhaps it’s your genetics?

      Seriously though, what does race have to do with anything?

      • genericcommenter - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        I added race, because in real life most people don’t expect any sub 6′ white guys to dunk. That’s all. I’m just saying a 6’6 guy of any race that can dunk isn’t much of a story, unless he’s in really bad shape or has blown out knees.

        You said yourself- you are 40 and 6′ and can still dunk. So in 8 years, if you stay in shape and can dunk- is it going to be a huge feat? Why would it be a huge feat that the best basketball player in history can still dunk at 48 years old and 6’6?

        I could dunk now if I got in a little better shape, and surely I could dunk at 48 barring any injuries/maladies. So If I could reach an entire foot higher, I’d hope I could dunk.

        Sorry I ruined the fun for everyone who is really impressed a 6’6 guy can dunk.

  6. seanb20124 - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Hey genericcommentor it sounds like a coach probably held u back from making it to the league. Jajaja

    • genericcommenter - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:21 PM

      Believe it or not, I am pretty realistic about my lack of athletic ability. My ceiling was probably a shorter and slower Jon Diebler with a less effective shot.

  7. florida727 - Jul 19, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Anybody watch the celebrity golf tournament over the weekend? Looks like MJ found the 30 pounds I lost recently. Couldn’t care less if he could still dunk or not, but do miss seeing him play in his prime. Who wouldn’t? It was the best era in the history of the NBA.

  8. betamaze - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    At least Jordan hasn’t let himself balloon up like Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley.

  9. Fred - Jul 19, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    I get why being 5’11”, in your 30’s and a guy are relevant. Does it really matter that you’re white?

    • genericcommenter - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM

      It doesn’t matter to me, but it matters to other people. My best friend and I are around the same height and build. People are going to be less surprised if he dunks, I assure you.

      I also can’t tell you how many times I went to courts in my younger years and many players asked “Why did someone bring this white guy with them?”

  10. chargerdillon - Jul 19, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Jordan is an overrated sack of crap built on the product of great coaching and great teamates

    There would be no Jordan without Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson

    Jordan is a fat old piece of crap, his days are over, worship your old timer from afar and the days of old, we have new stars, younger stars, better stars and none of them have to play for a jabrone team like the Bulls.

    • fouldwimmerlaik - Jul 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      Wow, Generation Angst.

      • chargerdillon - Jul 19, 2011 at 5:22 PM

        Actually im with the generation that grew up watching jordan at his best, his best was just a really long time ago

        believe it or not, basketball was popular and successful long before Air Jordan came to be, and believe it or not, it’s still successful with him nothing more than a distant memory to the talent of today.

        Jordan is the best basketball player in one category, and that is he’s the best commercial basketball star to ever play the game.

      • philtration - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:45 PM

        Oh… so it is not Generation Angst after all.
        Just old fashioned stupidity.

    • karolinatrooper184 - Jul 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM

      I bet you wouldn’t say that about Richard Petty!

    • ragtop61 - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

      Actually, chargerdillon, you are just an idiot.

  11. ricofoy - Jul 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    I naturally assumed MJ could still dunk so I’m not sure what all the amazement is about. Nique is 51 and he can still dunk.

    • genericcommenter - Jul 19, 2011 at 8:19 PM

      I agree. Glad you got all thumbs-up when I said pretty much the same thing and got all negative feedback.

  12. ripjvh1009 - Jul 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Check this out, I’m 31, 5’9 and can dunk too……..after being launched 5 feet up from a mini-trampoline.

    Good to see the best player (or at leat of the best) in NBA history can still dunk.

    As for anyone else making dunking claims, who gives a damn, it’s not like anyone is going to go to your place to verify that it is true.

  13. greenbaypackerbacker - Jul 19, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Well I am glad you can all dunk… I am 5’11” and 26 never could dunk in my life; part of me thinks half of you really can’t dunk but heaven for bid you actually tell the truth on the big ol’ internet.

    Kinda funny this article has turned into a bunch of adult men grunting and farting in front of their computer to see who has the bigger ego… lol get real.

  14. jr10cross - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Well, I can dunk. I’m 24 and black, but believe it or not a NBA player did not give me the motivation to try to start dunking at age 15. It was a 5’6, 38 year old, bald white guy. He drove baseline, double pumped, stuck out his tongue, and backward slammed on a regulation 10 foot hoop. I was amazed and thought if he could do I could too. I do find it more common for black guys to dunk then white guys. But its all about how much you what to do it and how important it is to your game. Obviously your at a disadvantage if your 5’6, but if not I think its mind over matter. Seen plenty of sub 6 foot white dudes get bucks with authority.

  15. rh5918 - Aug 3, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Go to Google and type in 56 year old man dunks on regulation rim

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