In one of the most bizarre stories you’ll ever see, Karl Malone was recently asked to name his starting 5 if he could pick any player from any time period. So who did he pick? John Stockton at point, Oscar Robertson at the 2, SCOTTIE PIPPEN at the 3, Lebron James at the 4, and Wilt Chamberlain at the 5. Before I even get to picking Scottie Pippen over MJ and the absurd reason Malone gave for doing so, let me first address two of the other picks. First up: John Stockton. I get that they played together for like 48 years or whatever it was, and I get that he is the all-time leader in assists with 15,806 and first all-time in steals with 3,265, but he also played nearly double the amount of games that Magic Johnson played (Stockton with 1,504 and Magic with 906). If you took Magic’s assists per game (11.2) and multiplied that by 1,504 games, you’d end up with 16,845, over 1,000 more than Stockton. And if you took his steals per game (1.9) and multiplied that by 1,504 games, you’d find Magic at 2nd all-time in steals with 2,858. Granted, you have to factor in a slight dip in numbers due to getting older, but there’s also the fact that Magic was fucking 6’9, an inconceivable height for a point guard these days. I would take Magic in his prime over Stockton in his prime any day of the week. Then there’s Lebron at the Power Forward position. I get that Lebron sometimes plays the 4. But naming him your starting PF is a little ridiculous, especially when he’s still playing. I might consider putting him at shooting guard for my all-time starting 5, just because once all is said and done, Lebron will be one of the most decorated players to ever pick up a basketball. In all honesty, I would probably but him at point guard before anything, even over Magic, because he is that good of a play maker. I have no problem with Oscar at the 2, although I never got to see him play, I’m pretty sure if your first 5 years in the league consist of averaging 30.2 PPG, 10.6 APG, and 10.4 RPG, which is what you get if you average Robertson’s stats for his first 5 years in the league, then you’re pretty damn good. Take a second to wrap your head around those numbers. Although he only truly averaged a triple double one time in those 5 years, if you average all the years together he would have averaged a triple double EVERY YEAR HE PLAYED FOR THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF HIS CAREER. And scoring 30 a night to boot. Fucking incredible. So no arguments there. And Wilt at the 5 I also can’t argue with. Only guy to score 100 points in a game, averaged 30 PPG and 23 RPG over his career, including one season of 50 PPG and 26 RPG, not to mention all the blocks he could have had, a stat they didn’t start keeping until after his playing days were over. I can’t even imagine how many games he had with quadruple doubles, let alone triple doubles, once you throw blocks into the mix. I wouldn’t mind picking Bill Russel at the center position either. Basically a win-win situation with either of those guys. But now we come to the most absurd part of this entire list, and the reason I even decided to write about this story. Malone picked Scottie fucking Pippen over Michael Jordan. His Airness himself. His rationale behind his pick? “Pippen deserves inclusion because he managed to lead the Bulls in categories led by Jordan in the seasons he played”. Okay, so Pippen lead the Bulls in basically every statistical category when MJ was off playing ANOTHER PROFESSIONAL SPORT. Cool. Did you take the time to think that MJ lead all those categories even when he had Pippen on the team? And it took MJ not being there for Pippen to be able to do that. Literally the dumbest thing I have ever heard come out of the Mailman’s mouth. I’m surprised such an accomplished basketball player would say something so utterly stupid. The only explanation I have for such an erroneous statement is that throughout his career, Malone was seen as second-best to Jordan, the defining player of his era, and so he has his panties in a big bunch about MJ being the best. Get over it bro. You couldn’t even win a ring. You lost to MJ twice in the finals, then bolted to LA at the end of your career to try to steal one with Kobe and Shaq leading the way, and you guys STILL lost to the Pistons. I used to be a big fan of the Mailman, but after these incredulous picks for his all-time starting five, I’m think I might hate him.
For the record, if I were to pick my all-time starting 5, it would look a little like this. Point Guard – Lebron James. Shooting Guard – Oscar Robertson. Small Forward – Michael Jordan. Power Forward – Tim Duncan. Center – Shaq.
First guys off the bench – Magic at the 1, Kobe at the 2, Elgin Baylor at the 3, Larry Bird at the 4, and Bill Russel at the 5…..Only reason Wilt didn’t make the cut is because I think his numbers are skewed because there was no 3-second violation when he played so he basically just had to stand under the rim, catch the ball, turn, and dunk it because he was playing against of a bunch of 6’8 white guys.