Timeline: Dan Majerle Through the Years
New Grand Canyon University basketball coach Dan Majerle enjoyed an All-Star career as one of the most popular players in Phoenix Suns history. His “Thunder Dan” nickname originated from his rugged play and thunderous dunks early in his career, and he later changed his game to become more of a perimeter shooter and defensive specialist during the Suns’ playoff runs in the early 1990s. The 6-foot-6 swingman specialized as a sixth man coming off the bench. Here are some highlights of his life, including a 14-year NBA career as a player.
Sept. 9, 1965 — Born Daniel Lewis Majerle in Traverse City, Mich.
Early 1980s – Was a two-time Class A all-state selection at Traverse City High School, where he averaged 37.5 points and 16 rebounds per game as a senior.
Mid-1980s — Played college ball at Central Michigan University, where he averaged more than 20 points in three of his four seasons and was an All-Mid-American Conference selection in each of those years. Averaged 23.7 points and 10.8 rebounds as a senior and finished his college career ranked second all-time at CMU in scoring (2,055), steals (171) and field-goal percentage (.536).
Summer, 1988 — Played for the U.S. Olympic team that won a bronze medal in Seoul, South Korea.
June 28, 1988 — Chosen by the Phoenix Suns with the 14th overall pick in the NBA draft, which the Suns acquired (along with Kevin Johnson, Mark West and Tyrone Corbin) in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Larry Nance. When Majerle’s name was announced, Suns fans booed the selection. That led Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons to chastise Suns fans, telling them they would never boo Majerle again.
Nov. 29, 1991 — Scored a career-high 37 points against Charlotte Hornets.
December, 1992 — Opened Majerle’s Sports Grill in downtown Phoenix. Today, there are four Majerle’s restaurants across the Valley.
1992-93 — Member of Suns team that won Western Conference championship before falling to Chicago Bulls in NBA Finals.
Summer, 1994 — Was a member of Dream Team II, the U.S. basketball squad that won gold at the World Championship of Basketball in Ontario, Canada.
Feb. 12, 1995 — Started for Western Conference in NBA All-Star Game played in Phoenix. As the Suns’ sixth man, he became the first reserve in NBA history to be voted an All-Star starter. He was also named to the All-Star team in ’92 and ’93.
Oct. 7, 1995 — Traded along with Antonio Lang and a conditional first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for John “Hot Rod” Williams.
Aug. 22, 1996 — Signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat.
Jan. 11, 2000 — Hit nine 3-pointers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves.
July 19, 2001 — Signed as a free agent with the Suns.
April 17, 2002 — Sank his Suns franchise-record 800th and final career 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining in the season finale vs. Dallas. He retired as a player following the game and ranks sixth in league history with 1,360 3-pointers made. He also holds the NBA Finals record with 17 3-pointers made in a series against Chicago in 1993.
October, 2002 — Began first of four seasons as an analyst on Suns television broadcasts. Also worked for TNT during the 2003 NBA playoffs.
March 9, 2003 — Inducted into the Suns’ Ring of Honor. At the ceremony, Suns Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced the creation of the Dan Majerle Hustle Award, explaining, “When you think of Dan Majerle, you think of a guy who gave maximum effort in every game, every practice, in everything he did. It is this work ethic that inspired the creation of the award.” It is given annually to a Suns player exemplifying those attributes.
Nov. 1, 2006 — Inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
2008-2013 — Served as an assistant coach for the Suns.
Jan. 21, 2013 – Left Suns after being bypassed for head coaching position when Alvin Gentry was fired.
March 18, 2013 – Hired as Grand Canyon University’s men’s basketball coach.