‘Woke up The Beast’: Former Center Reveals How the Heat Instantly Regretted Challenging Michael Jordan

Published 11/01/2021, 2:30 PM EDT
NBA legend Michael Jordan seating next to Larry Miller (left), the president of Nike division Jordan, attends the Jordan Classic, a contest between the 30 best French players under age 16, during a European tour to promote his clothing and shoe brand, at Stade Pierre de Coubertin arena in Paris, France. (Photo by Christophe Dupont Elise/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)


Michael Jordan has put up some unforgettable and iconic performances during his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. Whether it was the playoffs or the NBA Finals, Jordan made sure he gave it his all. Apart from his dedication towards winning games, he was always determined to give his opponents a hard time, especially those who messed with him in any other way.

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In a recent interview with Rony Seikaly, who was one of the first international NBA players to leave their impact on the league, he revealed what it was like playing against MJ during his prime.

How the Miami Heat poked the bear

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Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls during the 1997 McDonald’s Championship. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)

From 1988-89, the Miami Heat were one of the few teams going through an expansion. In fact, the franchise made it to the playoff for the first time during the 1991-91 NBA season. However, they had to play against the man who was about to kick start the Chicago Bulls‘ first three-peat.

At the time, the Heat had players like Glen Rice, Rony Seikaly, and Steve Smith on the team. And in the first round of the Eastern Conference, they had to play against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. In the interview, Seikaly revealed that Jordan was such an entity that in Miami, fans would cheer for him as well as the Heat. However, he narrated a much more interesting encounter with MJ.

“He decided to play 36 holes of golf the same day we had a game,” he started off. “They were up 2-0. It’s the first game here at the arena. He goes scoreless in the first quarter. Glen Rice and Steve Smith, at the time, gave him a little look. Like he hadn’t scored a point, he had played 36 holes of golf, he’s not taking us serious. We’re up 15, you cannot hear anything in the gym, it was so loud…”

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Michael Jordan sought revenge instantly

It was a lesser-known fact back then, than it is now, that Jordan takes everything very seriously. In fact, he uses his rivals as fuel for motivation and that’s what happened thanks to Glen and Steve’s actions.

Seikaly revealed, “These guys gave him a little look, and they woke up the beast. He ends up scoring 56 points in the next three quarters and they beat us by 15 or 20, or whatever.”

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It was a lesson well learned for the Miami Heat, something Rony is still unable to forget. That’s MJ’s charm. He leaves an unforgettable impact on those he plays with or against, and this was the most perfect example of that.

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DIVE DEEPER

WATCH: Rare Video Showing Jake Paul Hanging Out With NBA Legend Michael Jordan

about 1 month ago

 

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Yashima Bhatia

1748 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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