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View Full Version : Karl Malone: Where does he rank?



JasonJohnHorn
12-26-2015, 09:28 AM
I posted what was meant to be a Dirk appreciation thread in honour of him passing Shaq on the All-time scoring list, but the thread seemed to have quickly devolved into a 'who is Dirk better than' thread instead of an appreciation of this milestone.


One of the biggest targets (aside from KG) was Karl Malone.

Frankly, speak, I'm have a boner for guys who can defend and rebound, and as do most people, championships as well. Hence, TD is at the top of my list of power forwards (as I imagine he is with most people). KG comes second for me, largely due to his rebounding and defense (as I said, I am a sucker for that).

After that, it's a toss up between Barkley and Malone, though I give the edge to Malone for his longevity. Dirk is firmly in 5th place for me, which is not meant as a knock on him, because he is an amazing player.


I realize that Dirk has range that Malone didn't, but outside of that, I don't see there being any question as to who the better player is. Malone was a superior rebounder; a 4X All Defensive team player (Dirk has never made the team and as far as I know has never even received a vote); Malone was a better passer (more assists with about an equal assist-to-turnover ratio); Malone was a master at the pick-and-roll (there likely has never been a forward more skilled at that play); and he had AMAZING post moves/foot work, not to mentioned a respectable jumper that was likely as good as TD's and KG's, though, as mentioned, it didn't have the range that Dirk had. Malone was also a fierce finisher. Give that he also maintained a high level of play for two decades, sits at number 2 on the All-time scoring list, and is 7th in rebounds (not to mention he is second among all PF is assists, and no power forward has more steals than him), it seems like anybody who makes a case Malone being anywhere in the top 5 all-time (outside of perhaps the first spot) has a legit case.

However, some are suggesting that despite all these accomplishments, Malone isn't on the 'same level' as Dirk and doesn't even warrant top-five standing (I for one cannot name 4 power forwards who are quantifiably better than Malone).

Now I realize that Malone was a grade-A @$$#ole, and that his having had sex with a minor whilst in college turns him off to a lot of people, and for good reason. However, as to his on-court performance, I don't see a reason why anybody would have him ranked lower than 4th all-time, and would be willing to buy an argument that had him ranked as high as second.

Is there a reason K. Malone seems underrated as a player? Where do you rank him?

Gander13SM
12-26-2015, 10:17 AM
I don't like doing all time lists. I prefer ranking guys within their era. Too much has changed from era to era to accurately rank guys all time. Same reason I don't believe in a GOAT.

But with a gun to my head, I would say Malone I top 10.

Dirk top 4 with Duncan, Hayes and Pettit. 5-8 are Barkley, KG, McHale, Malone in some sort of order.

Not sure where this idea of Malone being a good defender comes from. The gap between himself and Dirk defensively is minimal. Aside from him being a bigger body and being solid 1 on 1. I don't see it.

Also I don't care who you are. If people say you're top 10 you're not being overrated. The gap between 1 and 10 isnt enough to be underrated. But that's just me.

It's like when people say Kobe is top 5 and then someone says he's top 10, people go crazy. I don't get it. That's still a compliment.

Gander13SM
12-26-2015, 10:19 AM
And I know it's a joke but calling someone racist because they don't have him in their top 5 is farcical.

It's more likely the people that think Dirk isn't top 5 are xenophobic arse holes who can't bare the thought of a European destroying their favourite players. Which Dirk would ultimately do.

Gander13SM
12-26-2015, 10:20 AM
And again might be a joke. But FYI the NBA wasn't that awesome in the 90s. It's much better now. And I'm probably older than you buddy ;)

80s was the best time for NBA. Second to that is right now/last decade.


It's interesting you feel the need to belittle everyone's opinion that doesn't fall in line with your own. Why are you so emotionally attached to Malone? You shouldn't take this stuff to heart. It's not that big a deal if he's regarded as top 5 or top 10. It's all subjective anyway. There's no right or wrong answer.

ghettosean
12-26-2015, 11:02 AM
I'd rank him him a top 2 PF of all time only because he was probably to strongest PF in the history of the league and let's all be real here if it wasn't for MJ he would have a few ships under his belt and we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

Gander13SM
12-26-2015, 11:13 AM
He is without a doubt the strongest (physically) ever.
Imo

JasonJohnHorn
12-26-2015, 02:00 PM
And again might be a joke. But FYI the NBA wasn't that awesome in the 90s. It's much better now. And I'm probably older than you buddy ;)

80s was the best time for NBA. Second to that is right now/last decade.


It's interesting you feel the need to belittle everyone's opinion that doesn't fall in line with your own. Why are you so emotionally attached to Malone? You shouldn't take this stuff to heart. It's not that big a deal if he's regarded as top 5 or top 10. It's all subjective anyway. There's no right or wrong answer.


I'm not emotionally attached to Malone at all, but I do think the level of play he put up for the period of time he maintained it is compelling enough to quantifiably put him in the top 4.


As to the 90's not being that awesome.... I love the 80's myself. I wouldn't disagree with you about it being the best era. Magic; Dr. J; Bird; Moses; Thomas. They have great talents. But to suggest the 90's weren't that awesome? Hakeem. D-Rob. Shaq. Mourning. Ewing. That is just the C position. Barkley, Malone. I mean, that league was so deep guys like Reggie Miller and Larry Nance struggle to get on the All-Star team. Drexler. Jordan. Richmond. Nash and Kidd were starting out as Stocton and Hardaway and KJ were in their prime. Grant Hill, C-Webb starting out. If you don't think the 90's was one of the best decades for basketball, then you and I have some very different opinions about the game and we can just leave it at that.

I think the league is great today, don't get me wrong. And inter-generational comparisons are hard to gauge, granted, but the 90's was an exceptional decade for basketball. There is a reason it saw its highest ratings and merchandise sales at the time.

As to the 'belittling', I think you overlooked the jovial nature of the options. They aren't meant to be serious.

Gander13SM
12-26-2015, 02:05 PM
I agree 90s was awesome but to act like it was the epitome of awesome just isnt right. It's awesome, just not THAT awesome. It was awesome from a stars and commercial perspective. From the perspective of basketball purity I'm not so sold on it.

I grew up with 90s basketball so I love it... but I also hate the rose tinted view people have about it.

Anyway. I did think they were jokes. But a joke poll for a serious opening post seemed awkward.

Never mind.

JasonJohnHorn
12-26-2015, 07:54 PM
I agree 90s was awesome but to act like it was the epitome of awesome just isnt right. It's awesome, just not THAT awesome. It was awesome from a stars and commercial perspective. From the perspective of basketball purity I'm not so sold on it.

I grew up with 90s basketball so I love it... but I also hate the rose tinted view people have about it.

Anyway. I did think they were jokes. But a joke poll for a serious opening post seemed awkward.

Never mind.

I think part of what I love about the 90's is the post play. I'm a big fan of the post game. I love team play and ball movement (Spurs and Warriors are the best teams to watch right now), but there was something about watching a guy like Barkley or Malone, and most especially Hakeem, get into the post, and dance with somebody one-on-one. Some guys don't like that. They think it slows the game down, and obviously the league agreed given the back-to-the-basket rule. But I loved watching that. Having a series where you get to see Shaq v Ewing or Hakeem v Robison, or Hakeem v Shaq, and earlier when it was Kareem v Hakeem.... those are epic showdowns for me.

But I also love the Rockets and their in-and-out game, which really set the standard for the 3-point shot (though the Celtics made excellent use of it first).

I love the fundamental play of guys like Stockton, and thought Penny and Hill were amazing talents with stellar all-around games. I loved watching Mourning's defense. I love watching KJ's run the floor like a general, and Tim Hardaway break ankles. I loved watching Reggie Miller knock down game winners. I remember series with Indy and the Knicks, and Indy and Orlando. Bulls/Knicks. Suns/Bulls. Pistons/Bulls. I was on the edge of my seat wit those games.

I've seen great playoff series lately as well. The Spur/Clippers last season was great for instance. But the disparity in the East, for example, made it hardly worth watching (I think the Pacers/Heat series that went 7 games was the only series in the East since that Bulls/Celtics series in the first round a few years back that was worth remembering). The first finals with the Spurs/Heat was amazing, but the second one; the Spurs just dominated.

I love the game today, don't get me wrong, and I'm not sure what you mean by 'basketball purity', but I loved watching a Riley coached team in the 90's, or a Daly coached team, or Jackson's Bulls. That was pure basketball in my mind.

I do think a lot of today's teams would swarm 90's teams with the 3-ball, but that didn't make the players any less talented or any less fun to watch; it was just a different style of game.

I don't have rose-tinted glasses on in this respect. I realize, for instance, that the Warriors would likely blow out the Piston (who I loved), but I also believe that the 94/95 Rockets would go toe-to-toe with any team today because they have perhaps the best post player of all time and a host of sharp shooters. I also realize that while Riely's Knicks would be killed by the Warriors, if they went back to the 70's, they Knicks would dominate and the Warriors would be killed because there's no 3-point shot.

Bartlee23
12-26-2015, 08:53 PM
And again might be a joke. But FYI the NBA wasn't that awesome in the 90s. It's much better now. And I'm probably older than you buddy ;)

80s was the best time for NBA. Second to that is right now/last decade.


It's interesting you feel the need to belittle everyone's opinion that doesn't fall in line with your own. Why are you so emotionally attached to Malone? You shouldn't take this stuff to heart. It's not that big a deal if he's regarded as top 5 or top 10. It's all subjective anyway. There's no right or wrong answer.

Thanks for your opinion... Couldn't agree with your opinion though. As a person who actually grew up during 80's basketball the game was great but the 90's took it to another level. You do know up until about the mid 80's a lot of games were on tape delay due to the lack of interest? The league was made up of druggies and alcoholics until a change. David Stern... Magic Johnson... Larry Bird.... there were great players but a lot of bad ones too. Boston and Los Angeles dominated the era with some of the best teams of all time. Maybe one of the most fundamentally sound eras. Great teamwork.

The reason why in MY opinion the 90's was the greatest era ( and again this is my opinion everyone is entitled to their own opinion of who/what they liked... never saw 60's and 70's ball so can't comment on it) is because it took basketball to another level. Magic even said this himself ( be glad to show you the quote) The rivalries were incredible...Chicago vs Detroit, New York, Indiana.... Reggie Miller vs the Knicks, the Heat vs New York... Alonzo vs Larry Johnson... there was multiple teams that again in my opinion would destroy any team today... Chicago,Detroit,New York,Indiana,Utah,Seattle,Portland,Phoenix,Houston ,San Antonio,Orlando,Miami, Los Angeles.. who'd I miss? These teams competed and you could actually play defense, fouls weren't called every other play,players weren't "friends" with each other, they wanted to kill each other....competition.. it was soooo exciting. Remember all the fights ???

There was a great game on all the time.. again the rivalries and great players, over 20 hall of famers played in the era, Dream Team....great centers who didn't play 20 feet from the basket.. what's not to love?

Lastly Michael Jordan... where do I begin? Greatest player/competitor ever, in my opinion no one will ever pass what he did for the game. The Bulls were the Beatles.... everyone wanted to see them play like them or not. No one will ever pass Jordan in sales,commercials,media....everyone wanted a piece of him. Still the most popular athlete and he doesn't even play. I had the pleasure of having season tickets though the Bulls championship years. I had my season tickets from 87 when no one was at the games until 2000 when they were just getting too expensive.

Again the 80's were great... love watching the games but again in my opinion nothing compares to the 90's. Maybe because I'm bias because Chicago won so much but I watched all the rivalries and have yet to see that since then. Basketball today in my opinion is made up of a few good teams, a few great teams and today a team that is killing everyone. I don't rate this era better than the 80's and definitely not better than the 90's. It's a different game now. People may love it and that's great but nothing will ever change my mind that this era is even close to the 80's and 90's. I'm so glad I got to see it all live.

flgatorsandjags
12-26-2015, 10:27 PM
1. Duncan

2. Malone

3. Barkley

4. KG

5. McHale/Dirk