Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley met just a single time in the NBA Finals. Jordan’s Chicago Bulls were intending to finish a three-peat while Barkley’s Phoenix Suns were hoping to win their very first association crown. Eventually, “His Airness” predominance was simply a lot for “Sir Charles” and his group to survive.
Heading into the NBA Finals, the greatest inquiry was whether Charles Barkley would take on Jordan no holds barred for the whole kit and caboodle. As “Throw” lived in the paint, his regular matchup in the series was against Horace Grant, Scottie Pippen and even Bill Cartwright. The advantageous assignment of guarding Jordan fell on Suns forward Dan Majerle.
Charles Barkley reveals Michael Jordan’s trash-talking during 1993 finals
Jackie McMullan, in The Icons Club by the Ringer, pulled up in a meeting with Barkley as he portrayed Jordan’s response after seeing Dan Majerle guard him:
“‘Chuck, Dan Majerle is guarding me.’ I’m like, ‘yeah, he’s our best defender.’ He says, ‘Charles, a white man can’t guard me, y’all better cut that bullshit out.’ You just gotta laugh when you hear it.”
In three rounds of the end of the season games, Jordan drove the NBA in scoring with 35.1 points to go with 6.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.1 takes. The Bulls cleared the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers in the initial two rounds prior to choking the New York Knicks 4-2 in the East Finals.
With Dan Majerle as his essential protector in the ’93 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan went wild. His 35.1 PPG altogether went higher at 41 PPG. He made 50.8% of his field objectives, including 40% of his three-point shots. Jordan drove the two teams in 5 of the 6 games. He was attached with Charles Barkley with 42 points in Game 2.
Game 2 was especially surprising in light of the fact that Barkley explicitly referenced it in the sixth episode of The Last Dance:
“In Game 2, I played as well as I could play, and Michael just outplayed me. That was probably the first time in my life that I felt like there was a better basketball player in the world than me, to be honest with you.”
To Dan Majerle’s credit, he battled without holding back. In any case, shy of placing him in binds, there was no halting Michael Jordan thriving.