Karl Malone puts Scottie Pippen in all-time starting five, no Michael Jordan

charles-barkley-karl-maloneMichael Jordan is widely considered by many to be the greatest all-around player in NBA history. If you asked most people to come up with the best starting five of all-time, most of them would build the lineup around Jordan. Karl Malone is not most people.

During an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Monday, Malone spoke about LeBron James and some of the greatest players who have ever played the game. When asked to name his all-time starting five, Malone took John Stockton and Oscar Robertson as his guards, Wilt Chamberlain at center, LeBron at power forward and Scottie Pippen at small forward. Pippen and no Jordan — really?

“Scottie Pippen led the team in every statistical category while he was there without Michael Jordan,” Malone explained. “That’s why I have to put him there. So now you know.”

But when Jordan was there, the Bulls won six NBA championships. In fairness to Malone, the best starting five is not the same as the top five players of all time. His top five players could all be centers for all we know. That being said, it would have been an acceptable answer to put MJ at small forward or shooting guard. Robertson and Pippen over Jordan is crazy.

Malone’s answer would be surprising if he didn’t say the exact same thing in an interview last year. For whatever reason, he loves Pippen and refuses to give Jordan the same amount of credit everyone else gives him. Toward the end of the interview, Malone also admitted that he has a “man crush” on LeBron James. If he has a crush on LeBron, he must be in love with Scottie.

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  • dave psy

    Pippen came a heck of alot closer to winning a championship without Jordan than Jordan did without Pippen. Jordan is, if not the GOAT, easily top 3 of all time, but that doesn’t mean Pippen should be left out of the conversation, at all.

  • Dean Swiatek

    I would put Michael Jordan as my 6th man too, because if I have the next best 5 in my starting lineup, I wouldn’t need Jordan in my starting 5 — he can carry the bench weight nearly himself so using that reasoning I can agree.

  • Randy Neal

    You guys are idiots!!

  • TFear

    Absolutely true, before Scottie, Michael never came close to a title. Without Mike, Scottie was one bad call (Hubert Davis’s 3-pointer) away from getting to the conference finals.

  • Jacks Daily

    That’s because by the time Jordan retired in 1993, the Bulls had already built a team that could win a championship. When Jordan was drafted by the Bulls in 1984, and up until 1987 when Pippen was drafted, the Bulls did not have a team that could compete for a championship.

    Malone’s reasoning for picking Pippen was that he lead in all stat categories in the 1994-1995 season for the Bulls. Pippen lead in steals, total rebounds, blocks, assists, and points. Jordan did practially the same thing his rookie year, but only lead in four categories instead of five (did not lead in blocks).

    And I do not know how you could not put Jordan in your starting five anyways. He is the best Shooting Guard to play the game and most likely the greatest, most consistent scorer to play the game.

    Jordan lead the league in scoring 10 times (a record); and he did it 7 consecutive times before retiring in 1993 (a record tied with Wilt). Jordan recorded more 30+PPG seasons than any player ever with eight, and recorded seven consecutive 30+PPG seasons before retiring in 1993 (a record tied with Wilt). Jordan is the only perimeter player in NBA history to average 30+PPG in a single season while shooting 50+% percent from the field; and he did FIVE times. Jordan is the only player to average for a career over 30PPG for the regular season, Playoffs, and Finals. Talk about consistancy. No other player matches that.

    Jordan is the only player to never score below 15 points in a
    Playoff game or below 20 points in a Finals game. He
    holds the Playoff record for most points scored in a game (63 points) and the second most points in a Finals game (55 points). Jordan has the most points scored in the Playoffs with 5,987 points
    in 179 games? And Jordan has the most 50 point, 40 point, 30 point, and 20 point games in the Playoffs. And that he has the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 10th highest scoring averages for a Playoff series. He also has the record for most consecutive
    games scoring 10+ points in the Playoffs. Jordan holds the record for the most points in a three game Playoff series with 135 (45.0 PPG). This record can never be broken. He also holds the record for most points in a five game series with 226 points (45.2 PPG). Can never be broken.

    Did you know that he is the only player to score 50+ points in back to back playoff games or to score 45+ in three straight playoff games? Jordan has the highest scoring average for any Finals series at 41 PPG. Or that Jordan is one of 5 players to score 30 or more points in all games in a Finals series. Also, Jordan
    scored 13 consecutive field goals without a miss which is a record in the Playoffs. Jordan also holds the all-time Finals record of 35
    points in a half. That is a Finals record, but it is also an all-time
    Playoff record.

    Jordan was not only a great offensive player, but he could also play great defense. Jordan won Defensive Player of the Year and 3 Steal Titles. Jordan has the 4th highest Steals Per Game for a career, the 7th highest steals total for a season, and 8th highest Steals Per Game for a season. He ranks 3rd in total steals for a career. Jordan was ranked 1st in total career steals until Stockton and Kidd passed him as each played 20 seasons and more than 300 games than Jordan (Jordan played fewer games than anyone ranked
    in the top 10 in career steals, other than Alvin Robertson who ranks 8th).

    Jordan is 1 of 3 players to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season, and he is the only player to do it twice. He is also 1 of 2 players to lead the league in scoring as well as steals, and is the only player to do it 3 times. He is also tied with most steals in a half. He has the most career blocks for a guard in NBA history, as well as most blocks for a guard in a single season. He is ranked 96th in career blocks, only behind Forwards and Centers.