Karl Malone was one of Michael Jordan's last rivals in the NBA. After taking on Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, it was Karl Malone that posed the biggest threat to Michael Jordan. Malone led the Utah Jazz to the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, but couldn't get past Michael Jordan. But he did give him one of his toughest fights.
Perhaps Malone isn't all too happy about losing to Michael Jordan. In an interview from 2012 on the Dan Patrick Show, Malone was asked about which players he would pick from the Dream Team to build a team. Surprisingly, he picked two other players over Jordan to do so, including MJ's greatest ever teammate (5:47 onward).
“I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen. This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren't really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he's a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael. My second one would be Magic.”
Well, Malone has snubbed Jordan in favor of Pippen in the past. Malone left out Michael Jordan from his all-time starting 5 a few years ago and picked Pippen to be in his all-time starting line-up, stating that Pippen led the Bulls in 5 categories when Jordan was away from the team.
Malone clearly has a lot of respect for Scottie Pippen. And he remembers how well Pippen played during his time as the lead superstar for the Chicago Bulls. Malone is a big admirer of Pippen, and the same goes for his admiration for Magic Johnson. But why does he not acknowledge Michael Jordan? Perhaps their shared history plays a role in that decision-making.