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The Dynamic Duo


John Stockton & Karl Malone


 

Sports Notes - THE NBA's DYNAMIC DUO - STOCKTON & MALONE

James Loving - National Radio Text Service

 

At the ages of 38 & 39 you could consider these two older than dirt by NBA standards. The bottom line they are producing with the same potency as they did when they were in there twenties.

 

Saturday April 14, 2001

 

Stockton & Malone's Smooth Partnership

No… the Dynamic Duo is not Batman & Robin; it's John Stockton & Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz…and ONLY the Utah Jazz. When you consider that five is the magic number of years in some professional leagues for professional athletes to qualify for a pension that embellishes the productivity of Stockton & Malone who have been teammates for 16 seasons. They have helped produce 16 consecutive winning seasons for the Jazz, the second longest such streak in NBA history.

Their egos blend together. In contrast to the Lakers Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant who have been teammates only five years. Watching the Laker duo's relationship is like walking on hot coals hoping your feet don't burn or on eggshells and hoping the shells don't crack. With Malone & Stockton it's a smooth business partnership…they are in harmony. There is no argument over who has the ball and who takes the shots.

Stockton became 39 March 26th, 2001 and is the elder of the two. The Jazz selected the 6-1 (18,5) guard in the first round as the 16th overall pick of the 1984 NBA draft. The club selected Malone a 2-9/259lb (2,06/117,5) forward who will be 38 July 24th, in the first round the following year as the 13th overall pick. With those selections the Jazz laid the foundation of long time NBA respectability.

At the ages of 38 & 39 you could consider these two older than dirt by NBA standards. The bottom line they are producing with the same potency as they did when they were in there twenties. The Jazz have reached the playoffs every year that the duo have been members of the team. Prior to their arrival the Jazz were virtual league cellar dwellers and qualified for the playoffs only one other season without Stockton or Malone in franchise history.

They made it to the NBA finals twice losing to the Chicago Bulls on both occasions in 1997 & 1998. The Jazz reached the Western Conference finals three other times 1992, 1994 & 1996. Prior to this season the Jazz finished first in their division six times. The teams 64-18 record in 1996-97 was their best ever. By being so productive throughout their careers Stockton & Malone each hold a number of franchise and NBA records.

Now playing his 17th NBA season, Stockton holds the NBA record for most games played in a career with 1258 through the end of last season. Malone is 37 [38 on July 24] playing his 16th NBA year is the leagues all time leader in free throws made. Stockton is the leagues all-time assists and steals leader. Through the end of last season he totaled 13,790 assists. He finished sixth in the league last season with 8.6 (apg). He was one of only four players to dish out over 700 assists with 703. That trailed only Gary Payton's 732, Sam Cassell 729 and Nick VanExel 714.

Through 68 games this season he added 712 to his overall total giving him 14,502. That's over 4,300 more than Magic Johnson who is second on the NBA's all-time list with 10,141. The Washington state native's best single game performance was against the San Antonio Spurs when he registered 28 on January 15, 1991.


TRIVIA QUESTION:

Who is the NBA's all-time assists leader for a single game?


MORE STOCKTON MALONE

As the NBA's all-time steals leader Stockton had 2,844 through last season. He added 115 through 68 games this year. He was ranked No. 1 in assists per 48 minutes played this campaign through 68 game s with 14.6. He also led the NBA in 3 point shooting with 53-108 (.491%).

Both are members of the 50th anniversary all-time NBA team that was selected in 1996.

The dynamic duo do not have pedigree big time college backgrounds. Stockton attended Gonzaga University when hardly anyone knew about the school nor where it was. Malone attended Louisiana Tech, which has never been considered a basketball powerhouse.

In 1984 when Stockton graduated from Gonzaga the school had never achieved the NCAA Tournament status and recognition that it has earned these past few seasons with their success in the event.

Malone was a pillar of strength for his Louisiana Tech team averaging 18.9 point per game, and had 889 rebounds during the three seasons he played with the team. When you consider his NBA lifetime scoring average is 26 ppg you can see his game has improved.

He is one is one of only three NBA players to have scored 30,000 points with 31,041 through last season trailing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387 and Wilt Chamberlain 31,419. He has added 1550 through 68 games this year. His 61 against Milwaukee January 27, 1990 is his all time best. His 41 against Philadelphia Dec 20, 2000 is his seasons best. He also holds the NBA record for most seasons with 2,000 or more points.

Though they haven't won an NBA championship ring together they have achieved a championship that many NBA champs haven't. Both were members of the Original Olympic Dream Team that won the Gold medal in 1992. They repeated winning the gold as members of Dream Team 2 in 1996.

They duo have the one thing in common…when they play the game they are as serious as a heart attack. In the locker room Stockton seldom cracks a smile just as he is when on the court. He is also reticent to talk about himself.

Several years ago when I asked him how could he adjust and develop as such an impact big time NBA player after he attended such a small school as Gonzaga he looked bewildered. In those days Gonzaga has very little NCAA exposure and success. Stockton proved that coming from a small school with a small time basketball program was not a detriment in his playing big time NBA basketball.

Malone's has always been a pillar of strength. His locker room persona varies with his feelings. If he's happy, he talkative but guarded. If he doesn't' recognize you or know who you represent he is tight lipped. With a group of reporters after a good game he's loose lipped and humorous if in a good mood.

In stature the two differ. Malone has a body that appears to be chiseled in steel. He looks as though he lives in the weight room. Stockton is slight of build and looks as though he never picked up a weight in his life.

The two are almost as productive as they were during the peak of their careers. Stockton's lifetime assists average per game is 11.0. Through 68 games this season he is averaging 9 per game while playing fewer minutes per game. Last season, he was ranked 10th in average assists per game with 8.6 per game.

Malone had 2,095 points last season for a 25.5 average the leagues 5th beast. Only two other players had over 2,000 points, Shaquille O'Neals 2,344 [the league leader and Vince Carter 2,107.

The question is with the light dimming at the end of their NBA longevity tunnel can the duo come up with an NBA championship before their dynamic NBA career's end. Stay tuned… the playoffs are on the way.


TRIVIA ANSWER:

The Phoenix Suns coach SCOTT SKILES with 30. At the time Skiles was a member of the Orlando Magic. He achieved his feat in a game against the Denver Nuggets December 30, 1990.

 

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