|Born||September 9, 1965|
Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||222 lb (101 kg)|
|High school||Traverse City|
(Traverse City, Michigan)
|College||Central Michigan (1984–1988)|
|NBA draft||1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 14th overall|
|Selected by the Phoenix Suns|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|2008–2013||Phoenix Suns (associate HC)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||10,925 (11.4 ppg)|
|Rebounds||4,265 (4.5 rpg)|
|Assists||2,755 (2.9 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Daniel Lewis Majerle (/ˈmɑːrli/; born September 9, 1965), also known by the nickname "Thunder Dan", is an American former professional basketball player and former coach of the Grand Canyon Antelopes. He played 14 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He won a bronze medal with the U.S. national team at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and a gold medal at the 1994 FIBA World Championship.
Born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan, Majerle starred for Traverse City High School (now Central) and Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where he played for four years with averages of 21.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. In 1987, he helped lead the Chippewas to the NCAA Tournament. He held the school season record for points until Marcus Keene broke the mark in the 2016–17 season.
Majerle's great-grandfather Frank Majerle Sr. emigrated to the United States in 1901 at age 20 from what is now Slovenia but was then part of Austria-Hungary. Frank Sr. settled in Haring, Michigan, and married American-born Anna Suhorepec (anglicized to Suhropetz) whose parents were also from Yugoslavia, more specifically Slovenia.
The Suns selected Majerle with the 14th pick of the 1988 NBA draft, which the Suns acquired (along with Kevin Johnson) in a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Larry Nance. During the draft, he was promptly booed when his name was announced over the public address system. Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons publicly chastised the Suns fans and told them "you'll be sorry you ever booed this young man". In his rookie season Majerle played in 54 games and started in 5, averaging 8.6 points as a bench player. The Suns won 55 games and made the playoffs, and Majerle increased his scoring average to 14.3 points a game as Phoenix advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
The young Majerle continued to be used as a backup for the next two seasons and became popular for his impressive jumping ability and "thunderous" slam dunk that would lead to his nickname "Thunder Dan". During the 1989–90 season, he started in 23 games and increased his scoring average to 11 points a game as the Suns again advanced to the Western Conference Finals where this time they were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite another successful season for Majerle and the Suns in the 1990–91 season, they fell in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz. Majerle had become an effective three-point shooter and defensive specialist and was named to the 1990–91 NBA All-Defensive Second team at the conclusion of the season.
The 1992 season featured more improvement for Majerle, who had become an even more effective three-point shooter and defensive specialist. Despite starting in just 15 of the 82 games he played in, Majerle was selected to play in the 1992 NBA All-Star Game. The Suns again made the playoffs but lost in the conference semifinals to Portland. In the offseason, Phoenix managed to pull off a major step towards an NBA title, as they acquired superstar forward Charles Barkley in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Suns had improved significantly with the addition of Barkley, while the trade itself which featured the departure of guard Jeff Hornacek meant that Majerle now served as the team's starting shooting guard. The result was a 62-win season for Phoenix, with Barkley winning the Most Valuable Player Award and Majerle finishing second on the team in scoring while being named to his second NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Majerle also finished first in the NBA in three-point field goals made and attempted, and scored 18 points in the 1993 NBA All-Star Game. The Suns entered the playoffs as the number 1 seed in the Western Conference, and defeated the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Seattle SuperSonics to reach the NBA Finals with Majerle averaging 15 points in the playoffs and posting big games such as a 34-point performance in the 5th game against Seattle. In the Finals, the Suns faced the defending champion Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Despite having home court advantage the Suns could not beat the 2-time champions, who won in 6 games to win three championships in a row. Majerle performed well in the Suns win in game 3, scoring 28 points in the win in Chicago.
Majerle would again lead the league in three-point field goals and attempts in the 1993–94 season, as the Suns won 56 games and made the playoffs before losing to the eventual champion Houston Rockets in a 7-game semifinal series. He would then go on to play for Team USA and win in the World Championships in Canada. He would earn another selection to the All-Star game in the following season, scoring 10 points in the 1995 NBA All-Star Game which was held in Phoenix. Despite this, Majerle started in 46 games, playing small forward often as the team now featured Wesley Person at shooting guard and veteran A. C. Green at forward. The Suns again lost in the semifinals to Houston in 7 games, and Majerle was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason.
In Cleveland, Majerle was used as a reserve at small forward, starting in 15 of the 82 games behind Chris Mills and averaging 10.6 points a game. The Cavaliers won 47 games before losing to the New York Knicks in a 3-game sweep in the first round, with Majerle increasing his scoring to 16.7 (second on the team) during the series. In the offseason the Cavaliers released Majerle, and he would go on to sign with the Miami Heat.
The Heat were a team with a bright future, as they featured all-stars Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, and were coached by Pat Riley. Injuries limited Majerle to 36 games during the 1996–97 season, as the Heat managed to win a franchise-best 61 games and the Atlantic Division. During the regular season, on December 7, 1996, against the Chicago Bulls, Majerle made a three-pointer with one second remaining to win the game 83–80. In the playoffs, the veteran Majerle was in healthy shape, and the Heat beat the up-and-coming Orlando Magic in the first round before facing the Knicks in a grueling 7 game series in which Majerle scored 18 points in the sixth game. The Heat would eventually fall to the defending champion Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals in 5 games.
Majerle would again play as the team's backup small forward in the 1997–98 season, averaging 7 points a game as one of the team's main three-point threats, and Miami would post another winning season before losing to New York in the first round of the playoffs. The 1998–99 season would be shortened to 50 games as a result of a league lockout, and with teammate Voshon Lenard hurt for much of the season, Majerle stepped in to start in 48 games. Miami won another Atlantic Division title, but again lost to New York in 5 games in the first round.
The team continued to use Majerle as a starter during the 1999–2000 season, as he started in 69 of 82 games and again averaged 7 points during the season. In the playoffs, Miami defeated the Detroit Pistons in the first round before facing the Knicks in another 7-game series in which New York again prevailed. Majerle averaged 9 points in the playoffs and led the team with 20 three-point field goals. In the 2000 offseason it was revealed that Alonzo Mourning would not play as a result of a kidney disease, and the 2000–01 season would feature new acquisitions such as Eddie Jones and Anthony Mason, and Majerle would serve as a reserve. The Heat would lose in the first round of the playoffs in a sweep to the Charlotte Hornets, and in the offseason Majerle would sign a deal returning to his original team in Phoenix.
In his return to the Suns, Majerle received much praise and applause from the hometown Suns fans, playing in 65 games and leading the team in three-point field goals made with 79. His NBA career finished on April 17, 2002, when he officially retired as a member of his original team.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Majerle was inducted into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor on March 9, 2003. In 2006, he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2003, Majerle made his broadcasting debut covering the 2003 NBA Playoffs for TNT and later became an analyst for ESPN. During the 2005 All-Star Weekend, he was a member of the Phoenix team that won the Shooting Stars Competition.
Majerle was the associate head coach for the Phoenix Suns from 2008 to 2013.
On March 15, 2013, it was announced that Majerle would coach for Grand Canyon University in their first season as a Division I team.
On December 23, 2015, Majerle led Grand Canyon to their first tournament victory as a Division I team when they won the 2015 Global Sports Classic championship.
He was fired on March 17, 2020, after his first losing season, with his seven years stint at Grand Canyon coming to an end. On May 19, 2020, Majerle filed a lawsuit against Grand Canyon University over the handling of its firing from the head coach position and pending salaries. 
Majerle owns three sports grill restaurants called "Majerle's".
Dan has four children with Tina Majerle: Madison, McKenzie, Mia, and Max. Max also plays basketball and joined Central Michigan's basketball team in 2022.
Dan had a hole in one at Shadow Ridge Country Club in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2021 with Creighton coach Greg McDermott and Doug McDermott as witnesses.
|Grand Canyon Antelopes (Western Athletic Conference) (2013–2020)|
|2013–14||Grand Canyon||15–15||10–6||3rd||CIT First Round|
|2014–15||Grand Canyon||17–15||8–6||T–2nd||CIT First Round|
|2015–16||Grand Canyon||27–7||11–3||T–2nd||CIT Quarterfinal|
|2017–18||Grand Canyon||22–12||9–5||3rd||CBI First Round|
|2018–19||Grand Canyon||20–14||10–6||3rd||CBI First Round|
|Grand Canyon:||136–89 (.604)||67–36 (.650)|