Michael Jordan revealed when he noticed an indication of weak spot in Shaquille O’Neal.
As a ruthlessly aggressive participant, Jordan didn’t imagine in serving to opponents up off the court docket, and judged those that did — akin to Shaq — as missing killer intuition.
“When I came back from baseball, I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone this, I’m playing against Shaq,” Jordan informed The Ringer’s Jackie MacMullan on her “Icons Club” basketball podcast. “Shaq’s the biggest player I’ve ever seen, in terms of physicality. He was this big, massive guy when I came back from baseball, so I was somewhat intimidated.
“I didn’t really know how to play against him. Do I go right at him? Do I stop and pull up? Blah blah blah. So I went right at him and he just knocked me straight to the floor, and then he reached down to pick me up.
Jordan smelled blood.
“I said, ‘Naw, he didn’t mean it, he’s a nice guy.’ If he’d’ve left me, stepped over me, a la the old school, I would’ve been somewhat intimidated,” Jordan mentioned. “But his heart is too good. He’s not that type of guy. It took away some of the intimidation factor.”
MacMullan requested, “You knew you had him?”
“I did,” Jordan responded.
Shaq and Anfernee Hardaway’s Magic did defeat Jordan’s Bulls 4-2 within the 1995 Japanese Convention semifinals, after Jordan had returned to the NBA late within the common season. Nevertheless, the following yr the Bulls swept the Magic within the Japanese Convention finals to get the final chortle on their solution to an NBA championship.