Utah Jazz Hall of Famer Karl Malone holds court before his All-Star event
Malone then talked about Sloan’s banner-raising honor that took place on Jan. 31 and added, “He’s just not only a great coach, but he’s a special person, too.”
Malone loved playing for the Jazz from 1985-2003, but, understandably, his stint with the U.S. men's Olympic team was a special moment, especially in 1992. If you'll recall, that was the year when NBA stars Malone, John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin teamed up to win gold in Barcelona. He flashed a big grin while chatting about that squad.
"That was the original Dream Team. You guys can debate all you want to who would win (against other Dream Teams)," he said. "It’s a fun debate. But c'mon, really?"
Malone was then asked to expound on being part of that team.
"I would never pay to play in a game, but if I was going to ever pay money to be in that game or playing in practice, I would have paid a little bit," he said. "It was the most unbelievable experience ever."
The best part, he added, was behind closed doors.
"The practices we had and the games we had, if somebody had the rights to (broadcast) that and charged ticket prices," he said, pondering the possibilities. "The coaches would throw the ball up, Michael (Jordan) was the captain on one team, Magic on the other."
— How would you describe John Stockton?
“The best,” Malone said, smiling. “The best that ever did it.”
Fittingly, the moderator ended the interview session with that response.
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