Stockton Says Relationship With Malone ‘Inseparable’

Mar 26, 2022, 9:36 AM

John Stockton and Karl Malone...

Karl Malone #32 stands next to John Stockton #12 of the Utah Jazz before Game five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Sacramento Kings during the 2003 NBA Playoffs at Arco Arena on April 30, 2003 in Sacramento, California. The Kings won 111-91. (Photo by: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz legend John Stockton described his relationship with former teammate Karl Malone as “inseparable.”

In a two-part interview with Jason Whitlock, Stockton discussed his relationship with Malone, his career with the Jazz, and some of the great players he faced during his career.

In Stockton and Whitlock’s first conversation, the Hall of Famer discussed having his season tickets suspended by his alma mater Gonzaga due to his refusal to wear a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second part of their conversation, the duo dove into Stockton’s record-setting career.

Stockton and Malone Inseparable

Prior to their 18 years together suiting up as teammates with the Jazz, Stockton and Malone first met during the 1984 Olympics trials as two of the top college players in the nation.

Though neither player made the 1984 team, it sparked what would become a long relationship between the two superstars.

“We were going to the lunchroom one day and we don’t know each other from Adam,” Stockton remembered. “There was a table open and Karl and I just kind of pumped down next to each other and started the conversation and it was unbelievable how easy the conversation was.”

The iconic pairing would later win two Gold Medals together as members of the Dream Team in 1992 in Barcelona and against the Summer Games in Atlanta in 1996.

“This kid from Spokane, that country kid from Louisiana, sat down at a table and had a conversation that lingered,” Stockton said. “Generally, we enjoyed the talk.”

Stockton was later selected by the Jazz with the 16th pick of the legendary 1984 NBA draft, while Malone was chosen with the 13th pick one year later.

After the Jazz drafted Malone, Stockton said he and his future pick and roll partner quickly reconnected.

“He comes to Salt Lake and he and I go walking through the Hogle Zoo up there together one day and just kind of reacquaint ourselves,” Stockton said. “And we weren’t wrong, there was something there we were going to be buddies.”

Stockton and Malone combined for 25 All-NBA selections, 24 All-Star games, nine All-Defensive teams, and two trips to the NBA Finals.

But even after their Hall of Fame careers ended, Stockton said he and Malone continue to share a unique bond.

“He’s literally inseparable for me as a brother,” Stockton said of Malone. “I mean, we don’t see each other every day, we talk occasionally on the phone, that term is probably overused, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Karl Malone. And I think there’s, I think he feels the same way.”

Both Stockton and Malone were named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team this year, and the two were honored during halftime at the All-Star game in Cleveland.

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Stockton Says Relationship With Malone ‘Inseparable’