Remember when Karl Malone would periodically say something shocking or controversial, just to get the public’s — or Larry Miller’s – attention?
Welcome back to Mailman’s world. He weighed in recently on Jason Collins’ announcement that he is gay, saying Collins had courage, and that people should let him live his life. (Malone once said he’d have concerns about playing against Magic Johnson because he was HIV positive.)
Malone took a job as a part-time Jazz low post coach, despite having strong differences in the past with CEO Greg Miller.
On Wednesday he left Michael Jordan off his all-time starting lineup.
Appearing on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Malone said his starting five would include Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, LeBron James and – get this – Scottie Pippen.
“I’m gonna shock the world. I’m gonna have to put Scottie Pippen at the 3,” Malone said.
Considering the way Jordan handled the Jazz during the NBA finals in 1997 and 1998, it seems unthinkable Mailman would leave him off. In fact, Malone later tweeted that he was “just messing” with the host, and that Jordan is among his top five.
Malone left himself off the list, but also disregarded someone else that likely should have been there: Magic Johnson. Instead, Malone took his former teammate, Stockton. Understandable. Malone didn’t become the No. 2 scorer in history without getting the ball passed his way.
He also chose Chamberlain ahead of the only person who scored more points than him – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
So, yeah, he shocked the world.
But not really.
It’s seldom a true shock when Malone says something controversial. Still, I love it. In a sports world where good quotes are few, it’s nice to have strong and sometimes differing opinions.
Right or wrong, he rarely fails to provide something to talk about.