Skip to main content

Michael Jordan's reaction when Karl Malone was selected as the 1997 MVP: 'I can't have any jealousy or animosity towards Karl'

malone mj

Michael Jordan achieved everything a basketball player and an athlete can accomplish both individually and from a team perspective. During his 15-year-long career, Jordan won five regular-season MVP awards, but the one in 1997 got away from him and went to the hands of Karl Malone. Leading the Utah Jazz to a 64-18 record averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds per game, Malone, without a doubt, deserved the MVP award that year.

You can also make a strong case for Jordan because he led the Chicago Bulls that season to a 69-13 record, with Dennis Rodman missing almost 30 games in the regular season. He was 35 that season but still averaged 29 points,6 rebounds shooting exceptionally efficiently from the field. Nevertheless, in an interview before the NBA finals against the Jazz, Jordan conversed with Ahmad Rashad about the award. Jordan said he doesn’t have jealousy towards Karl, saying it’s enough if people still consider him an MVP.

Because of the opinion of others, they choose to give it to a guy that’s been in the league as long and consistent that I was. He’s also been on the team that was equally as successful this year. I can’t have any jealousy or animosity towards Karl even though I may had a good season, and certainly, from a stats standpoint it wasn’t my best season. As long as I am consistently thought of an MVP, I’m happy with that.

Michael Jordan

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Jordan knew from the get-go the championship was all that mattered. Individual accomplishments at that stage of his carer didn’t mean that Jordan was aware that the most significant advantage over the Jazz was their experience playing in the finals. The Jazz and Karl Malone had no experience in that area, which was essential in the series.

I’m the ultimate competitor. I add that to the challenge that I’m presenting to myself just by being in the finals. There are other challenges outside that. I haven’t been in the final that we didn’t win, but sure I have an individual challenge. Yeah, Karl, you won the MVP this year. This is the MVP of the finals. Just like winning a championship, this is leading your team to the ultimate goal.

Michael Jordan

From the initial start of the Finals series, it was evident the Bulls were a much superior team, and when it mattered the most, Jordan proved he was still the best player on the planet, no matter who won the MVP award. He averaged 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists while leading the Bulls to their fifth NBA championship and second straight after returning from his first retirement.

JJ Redick explains why Eric Gordon could've helped Phoenix Suns in the playoffs

JJ Redick explains why Eric Gordon could've helped Phoenix Suns in the playoffs

The Phoenix Suns fans wanted Eric Gordon but the front office panned their wishes.

LeBron James names three players he'd team up with in a 2v2 vs Jordan and Pippen

LeBron James names three players he'd team in a 2v2 vs Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen

History showcases LeBron knows how to adjust his role to accommodate his teammates.

Damian Lillard defends Chris Paul from Pat Beverley’s attacks

Damian Lillard defends Chris Paul from Pat Beverley’s attacks: What CP do to you?

Since the Suns went down in Game 7, Patrick Beverley has attacked Chris Paul for his poor performance. Damian Lillard chimed in and defended CP3.

Doncic dominated the Suns in a way no player ever has in the postseason

Luka Doncic dominated the Phoenix Suns in a way no player ever has in the NBA postseason

Doncic beat the Suns top players in their best skill, showcasing how talented he is despite being just 23 years old.

How Ime Udoka’s confidence in the Boston Celtics role players helped them beat the Milwaukee Bucks

"I told him let it fly” - How Ime Udoka’s confidence in the Boston Celtics role players helped them beat the Milwaukee Bucks

Udoka never lost faith in any of his players, and his encouragement to Grant Williams ended up being the difference in the series between the Celtics and Bucks

Kevin Love and Dwayne Wade confirm that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade confirmed that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade are a puzzled at how cheap LeBron James is.

We're entering the Luka Doncic-Jayson Tatum era, and Jimmy Butler and Steph Curry hope to postpone the invetable

We are entering the Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum era, and Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler hope to postpone the inevitable

The performances of Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum tell us they are going to be good for a very long time. Meanwhile, Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler are going to do everything to postpone the young stars' ascension to superstardom

anthony-edwards-chris-paul-min

Anthony Edwards bashes the Suns after Game 7: "They were talking so much sh*t. This is a disgrace!"

LeBron also warned the Suns to pipe down last year: "Stay humble.. You was at home a year and a half ago. Now you wanna pop off."