NBA legend Michael Jordan taught Knicks forward Xavier McDaniel a lesson for playing bully ball with his teammate Scottie Pippen. The 1992 eastern conference semi-finals between the Bulls and the Knicks went down to the wire.
There is no denying that Michael Jordan is an all-time great when it comes to the sport created by James Naismith. Nonetheless, very few know that MJ was an equally good teammate. Though his ways of communicating were rough, his Airness always had his teammates back.
The Bulls were coming off their first championship during the 1992-93 season, with the Bulls finishing the season with 67 wins, solidifying their position as the top seed in the league. Jordan won his 3rd league MVP that season.
The Bulls would sweep the Miami Heat in the first round, going on to have an intense battle with the New York Knicks in the conference semi-finals. The Knicks comprised of All-Stars Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and Xavier McDaniel.
The series would go down till the wire. However, the highlight of the series was the Knicks employing physical tactics on Scottie Pippen via Xavier McDaniel. However, Jordan would teach the Knicks a lesson, taking matters into his own hands.
Michael Jordan had teammate Scottie Pippen’s back during the latter’s altercation with Xavier McDaniel.
The 1992 eastern conference semi-finals were a thriller. The series would go till a Game Seven. During the time Knicks coach, Pat Riley decided to employ a tactic primarily targeting Bulls forward Pippen. Riley instructed his team to play physical with the Bulls, especially Pippen.
May 17th, 1992: The infamous stare down between Michael Jordan and Columbia native & @acflorahigh grad Xavier McDaniel.
This series was an all-timer. pic.twitter.com/sKjHEP53ii
— Mitch Brown (@MitchBTV_) May 18, 2020
Knicks forward Xavier McDaniel played the role of an anchor in this strategy. X-Man would constantly elbow and shove Pippen, preventing him from driving into the paint. It got to such a point that Bulls head coach Phil Jackson had to intervene with the officiating. However, that resulted in Phil being ejected
MJ, who was a witness to the entire happenings of events, decided to take matters into his own hands. The superstar took X-Man head-on, destroying the Knicks in Game Seven. Many who were present during the game heard Jordan trash-talk McDaniel.
“F*** you, baby. F*** you.”
Jordan would torch a 42-points performance in the elimination game, with Pippen scoring a 17-point triple-double. The Bulls would destroy the Knicks, defeating them by 29-points.
MJ faced a similar situation to that of Pippen in 1991, against the Detroit Pistons when the Bad Boys famously coined the term Jordan Rules. Thus Jordan wouldn’t let Pippen go through the same, taking up for his teammate immediately.