Karl Malone is one of the best players in the NBA to never win a championship. 'The Mailman' came tantalizingly close in 1997 and 1998. But he couldn't get past Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, despite pushing them to their limits like no other team. Malone tried to get himself a championship in 2003-04, signing with the dominant Los Angeles Lakers.
But he and the Lakers ended up falling to the underdog Detroit Pistons, amid tension between Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. And thus, Malone missed out on closing his career out with a championship win. Regardless of this, Malone remains a two-time league MVP and one of the greatest to ever play the game. But who would Karl Malone have in his all-time starting 5?
From the looks of things, not Michael Jordan. In an interview with Dan Patrick, Malone spoke about what his ideal all-time starting 5 would look like. To make it completely objective, Malone said he would not include himself in the team. At center, he picked the legendary Wilt Chamberlain. Then he selected his former Utah teammate John Stockton as the starting point guard for the team.
When it came to LeBron James, Malone surprisingly moved him to the power forward position. When it came to the shooting guard spot, Malone surprisingly went for Oscar Robertson, over MJ and Kobe Bryant. And for his last pick, he went even further to pick Scottie Pippen. In his mind, he excluded MJ and kept Pip because Pip showed that he could lead a team in the absence of Jordan.
“Okay, I’m not going to be in it. My all-time starting five, I got to have Wilt Chamberlain at centre, got to have John Stockton as my point guard, got to have LeBron James. I’m going to put LeBron James at my power forward position. He could be a tough matchup…Now, I got to put Oscar Robertson at my two-guard. My other guy…I’mma shock the world. I have to put Scottie Pippen as the three. Let me tell you why. Scottie Pippen led the team in every statistical category when he was there without Michael Jordan.”
Some fans can question this omission from Malone as to where it is coming from. One can argue that Malone may be a little resentful of Jordan because of how he dominated the Utah Jazz and kept them from a championship. But the fact that he included Pippen, who was also a Bulls player doesn't help that case. Regardless of MJ or no MJ, Malone's team would be one for the ages.