Jordan was born in Houston, Texas, to Kimberly and Hyland Jordan.
Jordan attended Episcopal High School through his junior year. Jordan averaged 15.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as a sophomore; and 16.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 7.0 blocks as a junior. Jordan transferred to Christian Life Center Academy for his senior year, where he averaged 26.1 points, 15.2 rebounds and 8.1 blocks per game. He was a third-team Parade All-American, named to the first-team All-Greater Houston squad by the Houston Chronicle and was a two-time all-state selection. At Christian Life Center, Jordan posted a career high of 37 points in a game and also set the school record for most blocks in a game with 20.
Coming out of high school, Jordan was rated as the number 8 overall prospect, the number 2 center in the country and the number 1-ranked prep player in Texas by Rivals.com. Jordan was recruited by Florida, Florida State, Indiana, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Kentucky and others.
In the summer of 2007, Jordan played for Team USA at the 2007 Under 19 World Championships in Serbia. Jordan played only 9 minutes per game. The team finished 2nd with an 8–1 record.
Before Jordan arrived in College Station, Aggies head basketball coach Billy Gillispie left the school to take the head coaching position at Kentucky. Jordan chose to honor his commitment to the university.
Jordan started 21 of 35 games in his freshman season at Texas A&M. He averaged 20 minutes and 1.3 blocks per game. In those games, he shot a team-high of 61.7 percent in field goals, but a team-low of 43.7 percent in free throws. Most of his field goals, however, were within a few feet from the basket. He finished the season averaging 7.9 points and 6.0 rebounds. He made the Big 12 All-Rookie Team for his efforts. After the season, he declared for the 2008 NBA draft.
Prior to the draft, draftexpress.com, a third party NBA draft website, listed Jordan's strengths and weaknesses. A few strengths include "incredible physical specimen", "defensive potential", "incredible upside", and "freakish athlete". Some weaknesses include "not productive", "poor fundamentals", "mediocre footwork", and "high bust potential". The website also projected him to be picked at No. 16 by the Philadelphia 76ers. Other mock drafts had him projected to be picked at No. 10 by the New Jersey Nets or at No. 11 by the Indiana Pacers due to his attractive ability to run the floor. ESPN's Chad Ford had him going to the Memphis Grizzlies at pick No. 28 in the first round.
Jordan was selected with the 35th overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 NBA draft. Due to injuries among the Clippers' low post players, Jordan was pushed into the starting lineup for the January 19, 2009 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his first game as a starter, he recorded 6 blocks, 10 rebounds, and 8 points in 34 minutes of game play. In the January 21, 2009 game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he played 43 minutes and recorded a career-high 23 points. This included 10 dunks, which had only been accomplished by two others players (Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal) over the past 10 NBA seasons.
On December 11, 2011, Jordan signed an offer sheet with the Golden State Warriors reportedly worth $43 million over four years. However, one day later, the Clippers decided to match the offer and keep him.
For the 2011–12 NBA season, Jordan changed his jersey number from 9 to 6. On December 25, 2011, Jordan recorded a career high 8 blocks against the Golden State Warriors in an opening day 105–86 victory.
During the 2012–13 NBA season, Jordan's free throw percentage dropped from 52.5% to 38.6%, which was one of his career worsts. However, he led the league in field goal percentage, shooting 64.3%. This was his first season playing all 82 games.
In 2013, Jordan was selected to Team USA's minicamp in Las Vegas. On November 29, 2013, Jordan recorded a career high 9 blocks in the 104-98 victory against the Sacramento Kings. On January 3, 2014, Jordan scored a career-high 25 points in a 119-112 victory against the Dallas Mavericks. With 13.6 rebounds per game, he was the league's rebounding leader for the 2013–14 season.
On April 29, 2014, Jordan became the first NBA player with at least 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots in a playoff game since Tim Duncan in 2008.
On February 9, 2015, Jordan recorded 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds in the 115-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On March 13, in a 99-129 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Jordan made his first career three-pointer early in the first quarter. On May 21, Jordan was named to the All-NBA third team. Jordan became the fifth player in NBA history to average at least 10 points, 15 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks during the regular season. It was last accomplished by Moses Malone during the 1982–83 season.
Despite verbally agreeing to sign a four-year, $80 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks on July 3, 2015, Jordan began having second thoughts just days later, and on July 8, a number of Clippers personnel flew to Houston for a meeting with Jordan to convince him to back out of his Mavericks deal. Hours later, Jordan officially re-signed with the Clippers on a four-year, $88 million contract.
On November 4, 2015, with 13 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors, Jordan became the Clippers' all-time leader in total rebounds, surpassing former Clipper Elton Brand (4,710), finishing the game with 4,711 career rebounds. On November 30, he recorded 18 points and a season-high 24 rebounds against the Portland Trail Blazers, but he also missed 22 free throws (12-of-34) to tie Wilt Chamberlain's NBA record and set a franchise record with 34 attempts. On January 13, he was sidelined for the team's game against the Miami Heat because of pneumonia, ending the NBA's longest active consecutive games played streak at 360.
Jordan helped the Clippers record a league-best 7–1 record to start the 2016–17 season. He played his 600th career game on November 9 against the Portland Trail Blazers, joining Randy Smith (715) and Eric Piatkowski (616) as the only players in franchise history to do so. On December 28, he recorded 13 points and a season-high 25 rebounds in a 102–98 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. On January 14, 2017, he recorded a season-high 24 points and 21 rebounds in a 113–97 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He surpassed that mark on January 19 with a career-high 29 points in a 104–101 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. On January 26, he was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, marking the first All-Star selection of his career. During the All-Star Weekend festivities, Jordan participated in the Slam Dunk Contest, but failed to make it past the first round.
Jordan is a Christian. Jordan prays frequently and has spoken about his faith saying, "I know my relationship with Christ, and I know what he has done for me, and that is what I live on." Jordan has a tattoo of Matthew 5:4-5 on his chest, a Christian cross on his left arm, the Serenity Prayer and his own message saying "I thank God for the gift that he has given me. I will honor, sacrifice, and dedicate myself to my talent. I know where I have come from but I know where I am going" on his right arm, and Philippians 4:13 with praying hands and "G.W.O.M" (God Watch Over Me) on his stomach.
Jordan is a strong rebounder, averaging 10.1 rebounds per game in his career and leading the league in two different seasons. He is also an excellent post-defender who averages 1.8 blocks per game for his career. Jordan's defensive play has even been compared to the defensive play of Bill Russell, Hall of Fame center who is considered by many to be one of the greatest defenders and players of all time. On offense, he heavily relies on put-backs and alley-oops to score. He has led the league in field goal percentage in four different seasons. However, he is a poor free throw shooter, making just 42% of his shots at the line, leading to opponents exploiting this weakness by intentionally fouling him with the Hack-a-Shaq strategy. Jordan is considered one of the more durable players in the NBA, having played in 360 straight games at one point.