Dan Majerle (pronounced Marley
) was a standout college player at Central Michigan
, averaging 24 points and 11 rebound
s as a senior. Majerle played forward
in college, but was moved to shooting guard
in the NBA
The Phoenix Suns used the 14th pick of the 1988 NBA Draft to select Majerle. As a rookie, he provided instant offense off the bench, and was soon given a starting role. In his best statistical season, 1992, Majerle averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds. The Suns during Majerle's stay in Phoenix were a perennial Western Conference playoff power, going as far as an NBA Finals loss to the Chicago Bulls in 1993, and Majerle was a complementary scorer to stars Kevin Johnson and Charles Barkley. In 1993 and 1994, Majerle led the league in three-pointers made. Majerle's game gradually changed from the slashing and rim-rattling dunks that earned him the nickname "Thunder Dan", to shameless three-point gunning. Majerle attempted 548 threes in the 1995 season, second only to the even-more shameless John Starks, who jacked up 611.
Majerle was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers after the 1995 season for center Hot Rod Williams. He spent one season in Cleveland, where he shot poorly and only averaged 11 points per game. Pat Riley signed him for the Miami Heat after that season, based on Majerle's reputation as a tough defender. In Majerle's first season in Miami, he missed 46 games due to knee and back injuries. Majerle was never really the same afterward. Though he continued to play heavy minutes and draw difficult defensive assignments, his offensive contribution was reduced entirely to stand-still three-point shooting. In five seasons with Miami, more than half of Majerle's shot attempts came from three-point range. In his last season in Miami, Majerle averaged only 5 points, and shot a dreadful 34 percent from the floor, and the Heat did not re-sign him. Majerle instead went back to Phoenix, where he sees infrequent minutes as their third-string shooting guard.
Dan Majerle, in his early career, was a major offensive weapon, but fell in love with his three-point shot. He is only a 36 percent career shooter from downtown, and definitely shoots the three too much. By the time he came to Miami, his ability to get to the basket and finish was pretty much gone. Majerle, in his later career, saved his energy for the defensive end. Despite lacking quickness, Majerle has long arms and at 6-foot-6, is tall for a shooting guard. He is an extremely intelligent defender, who is very good at stripping the ball from an offensive player without committing the foul. He is an excellent rebounder at his position, and also rarely turns the ball over.
UPDATE: Not surprisingly, Majerle retired following the 2002 season, when he shot a dreadful 34 percent with Phoenix.