Bulls stars Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen really tormented Dan Majerle

Bulls star Michael Jordan and Suns guard Dan Majerle
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
0 Comments

Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen shared a nemesis: Bulls general manager Jerry Krause.

Jordan and Krause spent years jostling for control of the Bulls and credit for their their success. Unhappy with his contract, Pippen clashed with Krause.

Yet, there’s no easy way to best your own general manager.

So, Jordan and Pippen channeled their resentment for Krause toward other players.

Most infamously, while playing for the Dream Team, Jordan and Pippen aggressively defended Toni Kukoc during the 1992 Olympics. Chicago had drafted Kukoc two years prior, and Krause talked up the Croatian prospect.

Jordan and Pippen also targeted Dan Majerle.

In the 1993 NBA Finals, Jordan attacked the Suns guard.

Jordan in “The Last Dance” documentary on ESPN:

I knew that Jerry Krause loved Dan Majerle. And just because Krause liked him was enough for me. He thinks he’s a great defensive player, but OK, fine. I’m going to show you that he’s not.

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.

Did Krause actually like Dan Majerle? Maybe. Krause was often looking ahead. Majerle was a talented two-way player.

But this also sounds like the type of thing Phil Jackson would play up. A master motivator who had his own issues with Krause, Jackson knew how to reach Jordan and had no qualms painting Krause as the villain.

Always eager to form and hold a grudge – whether over something real or imagined – Jordan torched Majerle. Jordan won his third championship and Finals MVP.

Two years later, Pippen used Majerle, perhaps again playing on Krause’s supposed fondness for the Suns guard.

Upset by trade talks outside his control, Pippen demanded a trade. During the 1995 All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, a rumor emerged Pippen could be dealt to the Suns for Majerle and Wesley Person.

Jack M Silverstein of NBC Sports Chicago:

Meeting the press that Friday, Pippen said playing for the Suns would be “paradise,” with Charles Barkley adding, “I’d take Scottie in a minute.”

“I’ve heard the rumors like all of you,” Pippen said to the press on the Friday before the All-Star Game. “People here today were saying Majerle and Person. But I don’t have any substantial evidence.”

The next night, during All-Star Saturday, Pippen went on TNT and practically begged any Western Conference team to trade for him.

Majerle was allegedly so upset by the trade rumor that Suns owner Jerry Colangelo had to personally assuage him.

Majerle, via Richard Evans of the Deseret News:

“It just kind of brought me down for a little bit, because I wanted to concentrate on the All-Star Game and have a fun time, and all the questions I was fielding were mainly about a trade going on. That just took away from the whole All-Star atmosphere for me.”

Silverstein:

A week later, the source of the Pippen-Majerle talks was revealed.

“I started it,” Pippen said, as reported by Lee Shappell of The Republic in a column on February 19. “I’ve been kind of stuck with a lot of rumors and speculation all year and I tried to have some fun with it.”

Poor Dan Majerle.

He caught all that grief just for maybe being liked by Jerry Krause.

Wembanyama encore: 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks against Ignite

0 Comments

Victor Wembanyama is for real.

And I don’t mean real tall, although he is that, too. Check out this image of him next to Rudy Gobert, who is a legit 7’1″.

Wembanyama is for real like a genuine generational talent — in his second game against the G-League Ignite he had 36 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocked shots.

That comes off his 37-point performance in the first meeting where he hit 7-of-11 3-pointers and had five blocks.

To be clear: That is 73 points, 15 rebounds, nine blocks, shooting 9-of-18 from 3 (and 22-of-44 overall) across two games against a good talent level. And he is 18 years old.

Everyone in and around the NBA has been trying to come up with player comps — Kristaps Porzingis, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan — but the reality is Wembanyama is one of one.

Scoot Henderson — the G-League guard projected as the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft — played just five minutes in this game after bumping his knee while guarding Wembanyama. He was taken out of the game and X-rays found a bone bruise, he did not return. He is officially day-to-day the team announced.

Wembanyama and his Metropolitans 92 got the win in this rematch, 112-106.

Draymond Green not expected to miss any games, Warriors to handle discipline ‘internally’

2022 NBA Summer League - Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
0 Comments

Draymond Green is not expected to miss any games for punching teammate Jordan Poole during an altercation during practice, Warriors GM Bob Myers said Thursday.

That’s not to say he is escaping any punishment, it will just be handled internally, Myers said.

Green showed up at Chase Center and apologized to the team and then left, he did not practice with the Warriors, reports Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Draymond apologized to the team this morning, Jordan was there in the room, I was there in room with the team, the coaches, the players and we heard that,” Myers said.

Whatever punishment the Warriors are handing down to Green, it will not include missing games, Myers said.

Coach Steve Kerr added, “I expect [Green] to return on Saturday and get back at it.” That implies a couple of days suspension, likely with a hefty fine.

Kerr was also quick to shoot down the rumors of Poole having an “attitude” around camp as he comes up on a massive contract extension. Stephen Curry echoed that, saying those reports are “absolute BS.”

The Warriors have seen their fair share of Draymond Green incidents over the years, and as a locker room and franchise they know how to move on from it. While this made headlines, the Warriors will shrug it off and move on.

Miami, Milwaukee have their eyes on Jae Crowder

NBA 2022 Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Getty Photo
0 Comments

The Heat and Bucks don’t just have interest in the same player. They’re looking to replace the same player.

Two years ago, P.J. Tucker helped Milwaukee win their first championship in a half-century. Last season, he helped Miami lock up the top seed in the East and make the Conference Finals.

With Tucker in Philadelphia, both the Heat and Bucks are looking to fill the void with a different lockdown enforcer that can stretch the floor.

Jae Crowder and the Suns agreed that he won’t participate in practice as the team looks to accommodate his trade request. In a recent ESPN+ article, Zach Lowe made it clear that both Miami and Milwaukee are interested in pursuing a trade for Crowder.

“The Bucks have internal interest in Crowder as that Tucker replacement after getting into the recent Jerami Grant and Bojan Bogdanovic discussions, sources say. They will search all season for one more piece.

“The Heat have interest in Crowder too, sources say, but finding matching salary is tough until Dewayne Dedmon, Caleb Martin and Victor Oladipo become trade-eligible in the winter. Martin might start, and the Heat are optimistic Oladipo can play a huge role.”

Grant and Bogdanovic were traded to Portland and Detroit, respectively. The Heat may struggle to find a trade that works since Phoenix probably won’t want to take on Duncan Robinson’s contract. Dedmon, Martin and Oladipo will become trade eligible on January 15th.

Crowder has a history with the Heat, as he helped them make the NBA Finals in the bubble. He helped Phoenix make the NBA Finals two seasons ago and then helped them finish with the best record in the NBA last season.

LeBron says Wembanyama is an ‘alien’ and a ‘generational talent’

0 Comments

There was a time when LeBron James was the “it” kid coming for the NBA — a freakish athlete like nobody in the league had seen. A player the size of Karl Malone with the quickness and skills of an elite point guard.

Now the “it” guy is Victor Wembanyama, the 7’4″ mold-breaking big out of France — and LeBron is impressed.

“Everybody’s been a unicorn over the last few years, well he’s more like an alien,” LeBron said after the Lakers’ preseason loss to the Suns in Las Vegas. “I’ve never seen, no one’s ever seen anyone as tall as he is, but it’s fluid and as graceful as on the floor…

“His ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot step-back jumpers on the post, step-back 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots. He’s for sure a generational talent. And hopefully he continues to stay healthy, that’s the most important for him personally, and as you could tell he loves the game. He was smiling a lot while playing the game last night. I think it was the two best players in the draft on the floor last night and they both did their thing.”

Wembanyama is projected to be the No.1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, just ahead of point guard Scoot Henerson, who scored 28 points with nine assists of his own leading his G-League Ignite to a win over Wembanyama’s Metropolitans 92. Wembanyama scored 37 points in the game, hit 7-of-11 shots from 3, had five blocks and a few other shots changed because of his length (7’11” wingspan) and the threat of his block.

Wembanyama and Henderson face off again tonight in a second game between the Ignite and Metropolitans 92 just outside Las Vegas in Henderson (9:30 p.m. ET on NBATV).

Wembanyama will play, with his agent telling ESPN there are no plans to shut the No.1 pick down to avoid injury and protect his draft status. “He’ll never agree to that. He wants to compete and get better,” Bouna Ndiaye said.

LeBron looked back on his time as the “it” player and said simply, “thank got there wasn’t social media” at the time. It’s a different world now, but game still recognizes game.

And LeBron recognizes it in Wembanyama.