Playing with former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan was tough. Playing against him was even tougher. His competitive drive was unmatched, and he wasn’t going to stop until he won. Perhaps nobody felt that wrath more than former Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller.
Both NBA stars loved to trash talk and probably respect their places in history, but neither liked each other. It dates back all the way to Miller’s rookie season and still continues today. The Hall of Fame sharpshooter told The Dan Patrick Show that he didn’t want to participate in ESPN’s “The Last Dance” and “might punch him” if he saw His Airness in person right now.
Reluctantly — and basically forced by the league office and other parties — Miller, who is still bitter about the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals, did the interview, and his feuds with MJ are likely featured in the 10-part documentary series.
There is one specific altercation, however, that stands above the rest.
Michael Jordan vs. Reggie Miller Fight in 1993
Since both players are long retired, it’s probably safe to say the dust has settled some, but grudges can still exist. In this case, they might never go away.
Back in February 1993, the Bulls traveled to Indianapolis to face the Pacers at Market Square Arena, and Jordan was the league’s top attraction. Everyone wanted a glimpse at the game’s biggest and brightest star.
Early in the first half, though, Miller bumped Jordan after a fast break and all hell broke loose.
Jordan didn’t like the bump at all. Within seconds, he was in Miller’s face, talking smack, and the two needed separated. Jordan shoved Miller’s face and even threw a punch before he was pulled away.
Do you want to guess who got ejected for the fight? You’re right. It was only Reggie Miller. The great Michael Jordan never even got called for a foul.
“We both start fighting. We both throw bows. How do I get tossed out in my building and he goes on to score [40 points]?” Miller told The Dan Patrick Show. “But still, I get thrown out of my building in Indiana and Black Jesus, the Golden Boy, who was obviously the No. 1 draw — Okay. I get it. I knew everyone came to see him. — but how do I get thrown out?”
The Bulls ended up winning the game, 115-104. Jordan went on to score 40 points, while Scottie Pippen added 30. Miller went to the showers early after scoring just four points.
The NBA eventually suspended Jordan for one game (against the New York Knicks) and fined him $10,000. Miller was slapped with a $6,000 fine as well. However, the damage was already done.
Miller recognizes Jordan’s greatness and understands they were never on “equal footing” during their careers. But the All-Star shooting guard was never going to “bow down” to him like “a lot of players” did, according to The Dan Patrick Show. He actually liked the battles from the regular season or in the playoffs to decide who played in the NBA Finals.
“A lot of stuff” went down between the two basketball players. Some of it we may never know. That fight is only part of it, but will remain the crowning moment of their feud in the 1990s.