How to Play Basketball Like Michael Jordan

Written by jacob bourne
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How to Play Basketball Like Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of the best professional athletes ever. (basketball image by Dron from

Many agree that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time. Considering this, hoping to play basketball like Jordan is a lofty, if not impossible goal. It is however, not an uncommon goal. Gatorade began their "Be Like Mike" campaign in 1991, playing off of this primary desire of basketball fans everywhere. Reaching his stratospheric level of talent is next to unattainable. Playing the same style of basketball however, or with similar tendencies as Jordan did throughout his 15-year career, can be possible by adhering to several rules.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nike or Air Jordan shorts and shirt
  • Air Jordan Basketball Shoes
  • Two 5- or 10-pound weights

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    Being like Michael Jordan

  1. 1

    Dress like Jordan. Looking the part helps you feel his confidence and swagger. Wear Nike brand basketball shorts and a T-shirt, coupled with a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes. Jordan has been wearing Nike since he signed his first endorsement deal with the company in 1985.

  2. 2

    Move like Jordan. His iconic mannerisms have permeated the game of basketball. To further "be like Mike," stick out your tongue and chew gum while playing, wear your shorts loose and to the knee, and lick your fingers in intense moments.

  3. 3

    Practice vertical leap exercises. Jordan wasn't known as "Air" Jordan for nothing. According to, Jordan's vertical leap was once measured at 48 inches.

    Start strengthening your muscles by doing 15 deep knee bends. Keep your back straight and bend your knees as far as you can, then slowly rise back up.

    Repeat the knee bends, but add jumps at the end. When you get to the bottom of your knee bend, explode upwards into the air. As soon as you land, go back down into your knee bend. Repeat 15 times.

    Finish your leaping exercises with toe raises. Standing straight, rise up onto your toes and go slowly back down. Do not go too fast, or too slow. Repeat this 30 times. To increase the intensity of this exercise, hold a 5- or 10-pound weight in each hand.

  4. 4

    Play solid defence. Although Jordan is known for his scoring ability, having scored more than 32,000 career points, his under-publicised defence was also stellar. Regarding defence, Jordan has recommended putting your feet shoulder-width apart, and standing on the balls of your feet, rather than your heels, for better reaction time. "In terms of your hands," Jordan has said, "Your right hand is going to be mirroring the basketball ... so you can deflect the basketball and not give him a direct passing lane to the other offensive player. Your left hand is going to be sitting here [motioning low and scooping up]...trying to flick the basketball."

  5. 5

    Master the mid-range jump shot. Jordan's shot from inside 19 feet, as well as his shooting form, was one of the best of all time.

    Put your left foot slightly in front of your right. If you are right-handed, your right hand should be just barely right of centre of the ball, with the ball resting in the "Y" formed by your thumb and index finger. Use your left hand to for balance and to guide the ball. Tuck your elbows close and in front of your body. Cock your right hand so your wrist wrinkles. Straighten your right arm and snap your wrist to shoot.

    Repeat this as many times as possible to perfect your form and accuracy.

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