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Michael Jordan Reveals When He Was No Longer 'Intimidated' By Shaq

Michael Jordan at the All-Star Game in Cleveland.

9 Feb 1997: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls smiles on the court during the NBA All-Star Practice at the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.The East defeated the West 132-120 .

On the latest episode of the “Icons Club” basketball podcast, Jackie MacMullan sat down with Michael Jordan to discuss his incredible career in the NBA.

At one point during their conversation, Jordan revealed that he was slightly intimidated by Shaquille O'Neal when he made his return to the hardwood.

"When I came back from baseball, I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone this, I’m playing against Shaq,” Jordan told MacMullan, via New York Post. “Shaq’s the biggest player I’ve ever seen, in terms of physicality. He was this big, massive guy when I came back from baseball, so I was somewhat intimidated.

“I didn’t really know how to play against him. Do I go right at him? Do I stop and pull up? Blah blah blah. So I went right at him and he just knocked me straight to the floor, and then he reached down to pick me up."

It was in that moment that Jordan realized O'Neal was "a nice guy." As a result, he was no longer worried about going right after the All-Star center.

"I said, ‘Naw, he didn’t mean it, he’s a nice guy.’ If he’d’ve left me, stepped over me, a la the old school, I would’ve been somewhat intimidated,” Jordan added. “But his heart is too good. He’s not that type of guy. It took away some of the intimidation factor.”

Stories like this just prove how competitive Jordan was on the court.

Even though Jordan and the Bulls were unable to take down Shaq and the Magic in the 1995 playoffs, they managed to get revenge the following year.