Brad Rock: 15 years later, Malone's big game lost in the shuffle

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  • ratiocinationftw LA/USA, CA
    June 16, 2013 6:36 a.m.

    On Malone: this is just a microcosm for him. His career is now horribly disrespected simply because he did not win a title. In the 90s people often ranked him higher than Hakeem all-time. Today? Guys like Garnett and Nowitzki get more respect, and Malone is simply remembered as a "loser".

    The same guy that has the most All-NBA first team selections in history, the most 2000 point seasons, the most defensive rebounds and FTA/M's all-time, and one of the greatest sustained runs as a star athlete (look at Malone's stats at 34, now look at the much-praised Duncan's) ever, is only remembered as a "choker".

    Certainly ESPN -- particularly the rather hateful Bill Simmons (if there's a guy who lies about and attacks the 90s Jazz/Malone more than him, it could only be Charley Rosen) -- has contributed to this. Recently there was a listing of the 50 Greatest Playoff Runs Ever. Malone was not once listed, yet the guy he used to regularly dominate in the playoffs -- David Robinson -- was for a run of games averaging 15 and ten boards. The idea that that was a better run than Malone's 92 is farcical.

  • ratiocinationftw LA/USA, CA
    June 16, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    There were terrible calls against Utah throughout that series. Pretty clearly, as Malone himself said, Utah was not "supposed" to win that Finals -- no doubt as decided by the most corrupt commissioner on the planet, David Stern.

    Further, what stuck out to me was that Chicago employed a zone defense against Utah; problem is, zone was illegal back then. You mean to tell me that the officials couldn't read a modified 2-3 zone? The so-called "best officials" in the world couldn't see that? yeah right.

    One can see the effect it had on Utah, as their TO rate was uncharacteristically high. In a series where every game but one came down to the last few plays, that is huge. Further, the rotational aspect of Chicago's defense not only took away passing lanes with the Zone, but also allowed them to far more effectively contest shots.

    Without the Zone, it's highly doubtful that Chicago wins Title 6.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    June 14, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    The two killer blown calls in that game were shot-clock related: the waved-off Howard Eisley three and the Harper 2-pointed that should have been waved off. I'll probably never get over those. You miss a foul call, and you can never be sure what would've happened if the correct call had been made. Would the guy have made his ill-gotten free throws? If a guy is fouled while shooting but no call is made, would he have made the bucket if he wasn't fouled? Impossible to say. With the two shot-clock plays, that's a definite, unambiguous 5-point swing. Brutal.

    In general the article is right, but Karl did throw up some stinkers in big moments and came up on the short end of big moments in Game 1 of their first finals and Game 6 of their last. I have always defended him for Game 6, as he had a really solid game, and the Jordan steal was just a great defensive gamble that worked out.

    June 14, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Still stings for me. The blown call on Eisley's jumper that was actually before the shot clock expired, then Harper's three after the shot clock expired was the real difference. That's 5 free points for the Bulls, which is pretty huge with the way those two teams were playing. Although technically a push off, I've never complained about Jordan pushing Russell. This is one of those instances where the officials truly blew the game.