Dan Majerle gives his tell-all on how he felt when Michael Jordan set out to ‘kill him’ in the 1993 NBA Finals, and his affinity towards golf.
Michael Jordan’s fervor and competitive spirit towards the game of basketball and quite frankly, anything he put his mind to, was well documented and talked about at great length even before the Last Dance docuseries graced the silver screen.
Whether it was weeks of training for a measly table tennis game or his ‘never fold’ attitude while gambling, MJ did what needed to be done to come out on top when it’s all said and done.
A passion that Jordan indulged in during his playing days and well after, was golf. Unsurprisingly, he used golf as a means to further his own goals in the NBA when he invited Charles Barkley to a ‘friendly’ game on the teeing ground during the Suns-Bulls Finals of ‘93.
Though Chuck and Jordan were obviously the talk of the town when it came to that Finals series, Dan Majerle of the Suns had a bit of spotlight thrown his way as well.
Dan Majerle opens up about the 1993 NBA Finals and his ‘golf strategy’ to keep Michael Jordan at bay
The Last Dance was jam-packed with quotable moments, and Michael Jordan’s take on being guarded by Dan Majerle in the Finals was no exception:
“I knew that Jerry Krause loved Dan Majerle and just because Krause liked him, it was enough for me. You think he was a great defensive player? Ok, fine. I’m going to show you he’s not.”
In a recent appearance on the Golf Subpar podcast, Dan Majerle outlined what he felt when watching that episode of the Last Dance. “When he said that, I was just as shocked as anybody. I think of it as a badge of honor. The greatest player in the world is trying to ‘kill’ me, which he did.”
“My whole philosophy while playing Jordan was to talk golf. That’s all I did. I was like ‘Hey Mike, how’s the game? What kind of ball you playing? What’s your driver?’ I’m just trying to keep him mellow so maybe he’ll give me 35. Because if I pissed him off, he’s going to give me 55. So I’m just talking golf.”
By the looks of the box scores from the 1993 NBA Finals and how it played, seems as though Majerle’s strategy didn’t pan out all too well. Michael Jordan averaged an NBA-record 41 points per game in those Finals while snagging his 3rd straight Finals MVP.