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Karl Malone to Join Sotckton and Sloan in Hall of Fame This Summer

April 3, 2010

Karl Malone was absolutely the most dominant power forward of his time, and arguably the greatest power forward in the history of the game.

It was unofficially announced on Friday that Malone will be entering the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this summer. The official announcement is to be made Monday in Indianapolis as part of the NCAA championship festivities.

His induction comes a year after the enshrinement of his longtime running mate John Stockton, and venerable coach Jerry Sloan.

Joining Malone will be Scottie Pippen; making it back to back Jazz-Bulls inductions after Michael Jordan was enshrined with the aforementioned Stockton and Sloan last summer.

It’s only fitting as these two teams played in the Finals in back to back years back in ’97 and ’98.

There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that Malone would enter the hall of fame when his time came, though I personally find it to be a shame he didn’t enter at the same time as Stockton.

That extra year he played in LA didn’t do anyone any good, and it just wasn’t right seeing Malone in a different uniform.

Despite the unexciting ending to his career Malone gave the fans in Utah lots to cheer about.

He was a two-time MVP and twice led his team to the Finals.

He was strong on the inside, but had a tremendous fade-away jumper that really kept defenders on their heels. He wasn’t a shooter like some of the big men today, but he could hit the big shots when he needed too.

Anybody who grew up in the Utah area during Malone’s career can hear the familiar sounds of Hot Rod Hundley yelling out, “Stockton to Malone” on numerous occasions whenever the Jazz played.

It was one of those rare combinations where teammates just click with each other, and the result is something special.

Malone was always giving reporters plenty to write about with his play on the court, and his mouth off the court.

Despite his constant whining about wanting to go somewhere that it rained more, Malone will always be one of Utah’s most well respected athletes.

I had the chance to meet Malone a couple of times, but nothing beats the time that my five year old neighbor walked up to the massive Malone and told him he wasn’t a team player during one of Malone’s whiny periods.

Say what you want about the end of his career, and the many periods where he appeared less than thrilled to be in Utah, but you have to give the man his due.

He teamed up with Stockton to form one of the most consistent teams in NBA history. They were always in the playoffs, and often in it right until the end.

It is a pity that neither won the ultimate prize, but both had stellar careers that are easily admired.

The Mailman is finally getting his spot in the hall like we all knew he would. It just feels right for him to be back with Stockton again after all these years.

Thanks for all of the memories Karl, you deserve all the recognition you have gotten.

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