Utah Jazz legends and Naismith Hall of Famers, John Stockton and Karl Malone were one of the best NBA duos to ever do it.
What made the Jazz duo successful was their ability to read each other perfectly on the basketball court.
Malone and Stockton were teammates for 18 seasons and did work.
The duo reached two NBA Finals series together and if you’re a child of the 90s, the phrase Stockton to Malone sometimes made more sense than peanut butter and jelly.
It just fit.
Who could forget Karl Malone’s one-handed dunks with one hand behind his back?
His dunk package is worth a look!
Stockton always found ways to get the ball to Malone in the low post that would simply amaze.
In return, Malone would score buckets by any means necessary.
Literally in one motion, Malone could have his back to the basket, his shoes untied, all while taping a ‘kick me’ sign to your back of his defenders jersey while in the post.
Simply put: Stockton, the NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals was an unselfish point guard who made everyone about him better.
If you have time to spare watch this video below. John Stockton was the REAL DEAL:
If Stockton passed Malone that darn basketball, The Mailman was still delivering on Sunday.
At 6’9 and 249 pounds, Karl Malone, the NBA’s second all-time scorer, was a fit athlete who could catch the ball on the inside but could also hit a consistent jumper too.
Offensively, Malone could do damage facing up his defender or with his back to the basket.
He was unguardable. There’s no mistake in that and if Tim Duncan never entered the NBA and won multiple NBA Finals, Malone would be getting the GOAT treatment at the 4 position that Duncan gets.
When you think Malone, think Joel Embiid except Embiid took the ball off the dribble more and in today’s NBA, Embiid fits the mold of bigs like his co-horts Karl-Anthony Towns and DeAndre Ayton. Because of the Golden State Warriors small ball impact on basketball, todays fours and fives prefer fadeaway three-pointers more often.No shade thrown to anyone. Just a basketball observation.
Karl Malone was also a two-time MVP and John Stockton was an all around great teammate. The two together were harmonious to watch. I got the chance to interview them both in my youth as a radio host with the Nets. Jeff Hornacek and former coach Jerry Sloan too!
It was a joy to do.
What was it like to cover them on the play-by-play side of things? I asked Bob Costas who called the 1998 NBA Finals when MJ hit that game-winner against Bryon Russell.
If you’re too young to remember see below.
Check out a snippet from my Q&A below with Bob Costas below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: When you look at the NBA game, the big men are trying to make a return. You look at Joel Embiid, you look at DeAndre Ayton, you look at all these other guys. To me, looking at the 76ers looking at their pick and roll with Embiid and Ben Simmons, not making a comparison but I think it’s cool to watch them in the pick and roll like it was to look at Stockton and Malone. Where do place Stockton and Malone in the lexicon of duos in the NBA?
Bob Costas: Stockton and Malone are right there. They’re one of the great duos in NBA history. Not because they were effective but because they were teammates for so long. In the case of Malone, you’re talking about a guy who’s in the discussion you want to back historically Bob Pettit, certainly more recently Tim Duncan, Karl Malone… 3 or 4 guys that are going to be talked about as the greatest power forwards in basketball history, maybe I left somebody out but they’d be right there in the discussion and Stockton I believe still holds the record for assists and steals, if he doesn’t anymore at one time he did hold the all-time record for steals and assists. That speaks for itself.