Almost every NBA fan knows that Karl Malone and Michael Jordan didn’t and may never get along. That’s probably the reason why whenever “The Mailman” gets a chance, he subtly or indirectly discredits the so-called GOAT.
Pippen over MJ? Really Karl?
In a rare interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Malone was quizzed to pick his starting lineup from the star-studded roster of “The Dream Team.” Of course, Karl quickly replied, “I would have to start my team with John Stockton.” However, Patrick wanted to hear names other than the former Utah Jazz point guard, so he scratched Stockton off the list, leaving Malone with the obvious choices between Jordan and Magic Johnson.
“I would have to say, I would start my team with Scottie Pippen… I’m not crazy,” Malone stressed.
Malone knew all along that Patrick was kind of egging him for not picking Jordan. So when asked why, “The Mailman” backed his answer with some depth.
“This is why I would take Scottie. Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched, I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls wasn’t really good. And Scottie led that team in every statistical category. And I just remember that. Plus, he’s a guy that can care less about scoring. He want to stop the best player on the other team…And that would’ve been pretty cool to see Scottie guarding Michael,” he explained.
Malone went on and included Magic Johnson on his team, and it didn’t need further explanation.
In all fairness to Malone, stats show that Pippen indeed had his best season in the league when Jordan was out of the picture. But while “The Mailman” made a good point in emphasizing that Pippen took off when Jordan retired in 1993, it appeared like he never wanted MJ on any of his lists.
In another discussion, Patrick asked Malone to name his all-time starting line-up. Based on Malone’s list, he seemed happy to exclude himself, as long as Jordan isn’t on it too.
“I got to have Wilt Chamberlain as my center. I gotta have John Stockton as my point guard. I gotta have LeBron James, and I’m going to put him on my power forward position because he would be a tough matchup. I gotta put Oscar Robertson at my two-guard. I will shock the world, and I would put Scottie Pippen as the three man,” Malone declared.
We may never know whether it is because of Malone’s bitterness or not. One thing we can be sure about is that in two consecutive seasons, Malone could’ve won the chip, but Jordan didn’t let him.