Utah Jazz Legend Karl Malone Describes Running Pick-And-Roll With John Stockton
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz legendary power forward Karl Malone detailed his experience running the pick-and-roll with hall of fame point guard John Stockton.
Malone broke down the play that former Jazz play-by-play announcer “Hot” Rod Hundley coined “Stockton to Malone” during a recent appearance on the Barstool Sports’ podcast, Pardon My Take.
“It all started with John Stockton,” Malone said.
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In recent days, Malone and the Jazz have been the subject of many sports conversations after ESPN’s airing of “The Last Dance” documentary series featuring Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Malone and the Jazz fell to Jordan and the Bulls in back-to-back NBA Finals during the late 1990s.
During the interview on the Pardon My Take podcast, Malone was asked about the famous pick-and-roll play that former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan consistently ran with Stockton and Malone.
“Patience. Patience. Patience,” Malone said is needed to create the perfect pick-and-roll. “Which when I played, I didn’t have a whole lot of it.”
Malone might think that he didn’t have a lot of patience and even if he didn’t, Stockton made it worked regardless.
The two are consistently named among the greatest players to ever play in the NBA at their respective positions.
Stockton, who played his entire career (1984-2003) with the Jazz, finished his NBA career as the league’s all-time leaders in assists and steals.
“It’s always about the point guard,” Malone said. “If the point guard is doing their job and not thinking about themselves, he will be patient. That’s why it was just solid. I felt it. You know it.”
Malone, who played for Utah from 1985-2003 and is the No. 2 scorer in NBA history, certainly “felt” that connection with Stockton as many of the forward’s baskets came on assists from the hall of fame guard.
“If you see John Stockton, at least 75-80 percent of the time, he would be dribbling the ball and put his hand up and telling me to wait… I’m just high octane and I’m ready,” Malone continued. “If you go back and watch us, when he did that, we was not calling a play. He was watching me and he was telling me because if your point guard leave to quick, it just about always gonna be an offensive foul on me. So he was protecting me as well. So the perfect pick-and-roll is patience.”
Stockton’s patience led to 15,806 assists over 19 seasons that included 10 NBA All-Star nods, two All-NBA First-Team honors, two trips to the NBA Finals, and the Jazz retiring his No. 12 jersey.
That patience also led to a large portion of Malone’s 36,928 points during their 18 seasons together.
Malone said that most people knew exactly what play the dynamic duo was going to run but couldn’t stop it due to Stockton’s greatness.
“Number one, you had the best that ever did it running the show,” Malone said. “I was decent, so I would set the pick. But all of our teammates knew where they were supposed to be at and all they had to do was do it. But it all started with John Stockton.”
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