It didn’t take much to get Michael Jordan motivated. Jordan would find different ways to fire up and dominate.
In the 1993 NBA Finals, Phoenix Suns guard Dan Majerle was the subject of Jordan’s fury and it was through no fault of his own. Jordan told the story in Episode 6 of “The Last Dance.” A familiar name was at the heart of it.
“I knew that 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.”
Jordan's negative opinion of Krause was chronicled earlier in the series and continues to be a theme throughout.
Jordan went on to average 41.0 points per game in the 1993 NBA Finals against Majerle and the Suns. That’s still an NBA Finals record.
“I put it in my mindset that if I don’t do this, then they’re going to consider him on the same level as me and that motivated me to attack,” Jordan said.
Majerle made his second straight NBA All-Star Game in 1993, but no one was putting him on Jordan’s level at the time. Still, Jordan wanted to make sure there was no doubt.
Jordan and the Bulls beat the Suns in six games to finish their first three-peat.