Reggie Miller ‘might punch’ Michael Jordan after watching ‘The Last Dance’
With ESPN airing the first two episodes of the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls–centered 10-part docu-series “The Last Dance” on Sunday, there has since been a cacophony of NBA personalities voicing commentary on the championship team and career of Hall of Fame shooting guard Michael Jordan. Fellow Hall of Fame swingman Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers is the latest to weigh in on Jordan’s larger-than-life personality.
Miller, now a Turner Sports broadcaster, raised eyebrows on Wednesday when he half-jokingly said on “The Dan Patrick Show” how he’d “punch” Michael Jordan the next time he saw the six-time champion.
“I was not on equal footing with MJ, okay? But I loved the battles, and I know a lot of players would bow down to him, and that just was not going to be me. It was not in my nature to do that. Maybe I should have bowed down to him. But it was good to talk about some of those times, to help myself move on.” Miller, who is expected to speak in the documentary at some point, later went on to say that he wanted no part of being interviewed for it, but was more or less forced to speak on camera.
Miller was asked by Dan Patrick what he would do if he saw Jordan today.
“I might punch him,” Miller said.
“Are you being serious?” Patrick asked.
“Man, there was a lot of stuff being thrown back and forth,” Miller replied.
Miller and the Pacers were subjects of derision by the two-time three-peat Bulls in the 1990’s and frequently matched up with Jordan.
When Jordan retired a second time following the “Last Dance” 1998 championship, the Pacers reached two consecutive Eastern Conference Finals in 1999-2000, reaching the NBA Finals in 2000 and losing to Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and the Los Angeles Lakers in that franchise’s early-2000’s threepeat.
While Miller certainly respects the legacy of Jordan and the incomparable Bulls dynasty, clearly bad blood between the bitter rivals exists to this day, especially for Miller, the bearer of multiple losing playoff series against Chicago.