Since its invention in 1891, basketball has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that catapults athletes into sports stardom. Modern basketball is a forum for high-flying, sometimes theatrical athletes that seem to defy gravity as they go to the hoop. Basketball was supposed to be a game people could play indoors to stay in shape during frozen New England winters. Instead, it is that and more as today's basketball players compete with each other for NBA Most Valuable Player and other awards.
Michael Jordan's accomplishments as a basketball player are well-known among basketball fans. With six NBA Championship titles and a truckload of other accomplishments on the court, Jordan has the nickname "Air Jordan" for a good reason. Jordan's exploits on the court were always highlighted by spectacular dunks that routinely made highlight films for nightly newscasts. Jordan's vertical was most obvious when he dunked the ball from the free line. His vertical height routinely reached close to 48 inches as he jumped to the rim with a .92-second hang time. His most notable slam dunk competition occurred during the 1988 All-Star Game.
Darell Griffith played his entire NBA career with the Utah Jazz from 1980 through 1991. He wasn't as high profile as Jordan but nonetheless was a gifted athlete. His vertical jump was also 48 inches, but his game theatrics were more team-oriented. For example, he was a precision shooter the Jazz could count on for three-point baskets. Indeed, Griffith broke his own record during the 1984-85 season with 92 three-pointers. Unfortunately for Griffith, his body couldn't keep up with basketball's demanding physical endurance. Injuries, especially a nagging knee problem, would eventually sideline him into retirement.