“I knew that [Bulls GM] Jerry Krause loved Dan Majerle and just because Krause liked him was enough for me,” Jordan said in the documentary. “You think he’s a great defensive player? OK, fine. I’m going to show you he’s not.”
“I was sitting there on the couch watching [the documentary] and thinking, OK, is he going to mention me? I hope he doesn’t kill me; maybe he shouldn’t mention me,” said Majerle, the recent guest on GOLF’s Subpar Podcast. “So when he said that, I was just as shocked as anybody. And people bring it up to me all the time and I think it’s a badge of honor. The greatest player in the world is trying to kill me — which he did.”
Jordan averaged a Finals-record 41 points per game and was named MVP as the Bulls won in six games. Apparently Majerle’s strategy didn’t work so well.
“My whole philosophy playing Jordan was to talk golf — that’s all I did,” Majerle said. “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 [points against us]. Because if I piss him off he’s going to give me 55. So I’m just talking golf.”
“That guy was so great, not only offensively, but defensibly,” Majerle continued. “If he wanted to score on you, he’s going to score on you. If he didn’t want you to score, you’re not scoring. All I tried to do was beat him up. I was stronger than him. I wasn’t faster, quicker, obviously not more talented, so I just tried to hold, grab, beat him up, hold him, try not to let him get to his spots. That didn’t work either.”
You can listen to Majerle’s entire Subpar episode below.