Former Phoenix Suns’ Player Claims He Wasn’t “Star-Struck” Playing against Michael Jordan

Published 11/16/2020, 1:36 AM EST
Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)


In 1992-93, the Phoenix Suns were one of the most iconic teams of the league. They dominated that season and set a record of 62 wins but lost to Michael Jordan in the NBA finals. Their star player, Charles Barkley, became the only player in the franchise’s history to get NBA MVP honors in his very first season. And rookie Richard Dumas caught everyone’s attention instantly.

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Even though the Suns won their second Western Conference title that year, they lucked out against the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals. Despite having talent in their roster, the Suns did not stand a chance against Michael Jordan, who averaged 41 points in those six games. A finals record that still seems impossible to break even today.

The 6’7″ Dumas had the length, speed, and explosiveness that very few players of this era do. His incredible performance in Game 5 of the finals, with him scoring 25 points, led the Suns to survive another day against the Bulls.

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What it was like to play against Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

In an interview, Dumas revealed his view of Jordan, how it felt playing against the legend, and tried to recall whether he faced off with Jordan before the NBA Finals.

He confessed, “John Starks and I, in college, used to sit there and watch his games… Right before we go to practice, we used to sit there and watch his game. So, we kind of studied him in college and already getting prepared for it.”

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When asked about his experience of playing against Jordan, he stated, “Everybody asks me that question and they know my answer. I always respond ‘Ask Mike, how was it playing against me?’ because I never got caught up like that. I’m like it’s just another game to me. I always had that mentality. I mean, I wasn’t at all star-struck or anything like that.

“I’m like ‘Oh! I get to go now! I get to play against the best now. Let’s go!’ That’s how I felt.”

If it weren’t for Dumas’ personal issues, he would have had a promising career in the NBA. Since then, the Suns have lost their spark. Will we ever see them back in the finals?

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Yashima Bhatia

1215 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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