The Greatest Power Forward of All-Time: Karl Malone
Now when people talk about great Power Fowards, the names Barkley, Nowitzki, and Duncan get thrown around alot. All of those aforementioned guys are top 25 All-Time, but when you talk about the greatest Power Foward of all time, two guys come to mind, Malone and Duncan. Many people regard Duncan as the greatest of All-Time and the breaking point is quite frankly that he has Jewelery, and although I can sit here and write probably an even stronger and more convincing arguement for Duncan, I believe what Malone did with his time in the league is nothing short of amazing. I have had the pleasure of watching Duncan for the past 9 odd years, and he is everything you want in a franchise player. I infact think that if he and Pop wanted to, he could still go out there and averge 18 and 10, and od that for several more years. He is one of the most skilled post players of all time, he was a very underated defender, for several years he was the anchor in the middle for that Spurs defense, their forte during their tittle run, he has had to alter his game of late but who hasn't had to. 4 years ago we remember Garnett and Duncan battling for position in the post, still having their swim moves as their go-to moves, or a dropstep hook, but not anymore. Both of these guys have elolved into the twilight parts of their careers, and have settled into a nice niche, 15 points and 8 boards in limited minutes, knocking down midrange jumpshots, but we will forever remember those four chamionships and how he carried himself. Had the Spurs been a faster paced team, he could have easily averaged 28 a game for a 8 year span. His per 36 numbers for this year are still 19 and 9.
But this thread isn't comparing Duncan's greatness to Malone's greatness, it's looking at everything Malone did in his career. Now one may argue that John Stockton made things much easier for him, gave him the ball in the right places, led him to the right spot, and inflated his numbers, but even so, it's amazing how productive Malone was and even moreso his longevity and how long he did it for.
For 17 years, not counting his first and last, he averaged at least 20 and 8 each season, even including the seasons where he was 38 and 39 years old. Malone was also extremely durable he never missed more than two games a year until his final season in LA. Now days we marvel to see Kobe averaging 28 a game at 33 years of age, and while it may take more of a toll on a perimeter player's body, you can't discount everything Malone did in his later years as well. He averaged 27 and 10 at age 34, and while you could definatly say that a guy like Kobe had more minutes and seasons on his odometer, you can't discount what Malone did in his mid-late 30s. Today we see guys like Tracy McGrady who are brely 31 or 32, and they aren't even close to what they used to be. McGrady had several injuries so you could esasily argue that's not a true example, but look at Mike Bibby, hes 33 I believe and hasn't been useful in a couple years. He was traded to ATL 4 years ago, put up 14 a game the rest of that season, and hasn't averaged more than 8 a game since. Look at AI, he sscored his career high at age 30, scored 26 a game at age 33, and although his inability to get an NBA job may be attributed to other things, and that he took an unheralded amount of abuse and minutes for many many years, he crumbled in his mid 30s. Who have we seen be so dominant after age 33, MJ, Bernard King that one season, Kobe, Dominique, and Alex English. Magic would have stayed dominant had it not been for HIV, and Larry was hindered by back problems. There have been so many great players to grace our game, but only a couple stayed dominant for as long as they did.
Let me say it again, 20 and 8 at 39 years of age, we saw Shaq take us back to the past that one year in Phoenix at age 36 or 37, but he couldn't even get up and down the floor last season. Juwan Howard is still chugging along, but he doesn't resemble anything near what he once was, Kurt Thomas is productive and scrappy, still fighting off father time, but to get 20 points for a whole 81 out of 82 games at that tender age, and even the years preceding that.
He was never the defensive player Duncan was. Had it not been for KG, and Big Ben, Duncan should've won a couple DPOYs, he was phenomemal at that end. The way Duncan went about everything looked so smooth, he was so calm, until it came to foul calls, lol, but even though watching the Spurs through some of those finals runs might have been painful to the eye, you could at least switch on your TV and say, "Hey, at least we get to watch Duncan".
Now I know all of the arguements against him, Malone never won the ring, he choked in big moments, I know all of it. But just take a look at the big picture and what he did for 17 consecutive years day in day out. I may not have been able to convince you that Malone is the greatest PF of all time, that's conpletly fine, Duncan is one of the top 10 players of all time, I for one believe they are interchangable, but the point of this thread was to basically remind us how dominant and consistent he was. He may not have won the big one, but he was one hell of a great player.
I wish Malone would have won just 1 ring, the argument would definitely have greater substance... unfortunately for the Mailman, Duncan's stats weren't bad and counting his rings, I dont think you can argue this.
Duncan never had the pass-first point guard that Malone did, but he still got tons of production. This, along with defensively, is what seperates him from Malone. Just my opinion.
give me garnett or duncan
mailman always delivered. could maybe argue he's the most consistent all-time
I feel like the reason why the people that take Duncan over Malone do so, is because they look past the body of work, they look past the rings, they look past the stats and only look at one thing -- talent. Malone's longevity and stats go without saying, however, the skill set the Duncan brought, and still brings to the court everyday is matched by noone who plays his position. His ability to gain position and execute in the post is unmatched. His ability to guard AND rebound from his position is matched by KG and maybe Moses Malone. I don't think that Karl Malone was the one on one defender that those 3 were. Even though Utah has no rings, that doesn't change much for me, cuz Malone was a winner in the league for a long time regardless of rings. There is no doubt Karl Malone is one of the top 10 or 15 players of all time, but I will argue for Tim Duncan on every level aside from being second all time in scoring.
Malone's longevity and all around offensive game were so impressive that he certainly deserves a mention as the greatest PF ever but frankly I don't even think he was that much better than Charles Barkley. Yes Malone was the better scorer and played at a very high level well into his late 30s but Barkley was the better rebounder, passer, (althought Malone could rebound and pass also) was more efficient from the field and was no slouch offensively as well averaging over 25 PPG on five occasions. Barkley averaged at least 20 PPG, 10 RPG, and 3.2 APG for eleven straight seasons and averaged over 10 RPG for a ridiculous 15 consecutive years.
Malone was certainly an all time great and it would be interesting to see where he would be considered all-time if he had a title or two.
On a sidenote I find it kinda funny that Bob Petit's name never seems to come up when people talk about the greatest PFs ever. I realize that he played in a different era and that players then were nowhere near as athletic or skilled as they are today. However Wilt Chamberlain, Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor often are considered locks for being among the top 3 players at their respective positions and they excelled around the same time.
Petit was a ten time All-NBA first team, a 2 time NBA MVP, and a 4 time All-Star game MVP. He led the Hawks to a championship over a young Bill Russell and Bob Cousy led Celtics squad in 1958 which would be the only year Boston would not win a title in the ten year period from 1957 to 1966. Career averages of 26.4 PPG and 16.2 RPG (third all time after Wilt and Russell) and career highs in PPG of 31.1 and RPG 20.3.
I can't stand Karl Malone. He's a despicable human being, and I am happy he never won a ring. He was a selfish prick who only cared about his stats. When the moment got big, he folded faster than a house of cards.
You can't dispute Karl's stats, and he had a great career statstically speaking. I just can't stand the man.
Half the kids on here didn't see Barkley and Malone in their prime. An argument for KG, duncan, barkley and malone can be made as they are all very even. Im old school so i will stick up for barkley and malone
Rings - Malone only really had stockton. Hornacek was ok also but not quite the same as having Ray Allen/ Paul Pierce or Parker / Ginobilli / David Robinson.
Plus lets count the Jordan factor - they were six ring opportunites gone. Put KG or duncan back in that era, would they have won a title on that Jazz team - NO.
The mailman is underappreciated - he was very dominant for a very long time. He was stong as an ox and had great conditioning
I tried my best to make a case for Malone, but I only got to see him and Stock for the last half of 2003, and Malone for that one season in LA, and I have watched Duncan for several years, and I could probably make a thread ten times as long for Garnett, Dirk, or Duncan, but I thought that Maone deserves some long deserved credit expecially for his ongevity and productivity for so long, it really is amazing.
Malone is averaging 5 more ppg career. But Duncan has the rings. You can probably argue this all day.
it's Duncan by a wide margin over malone
Duncan > Malone
it's really not even that close for me, Duncan has clutch playoff performances on his resume, rings, stats ... skill wise, he's a better defender, rebounder, shot blocker, and passer. i don't even think it's that close, especially given malone's struggles in big spots! the mailman didn't always deliver, the record will show that. stats never tell the whole story, don't be seduced by them.
I forgot what year it was but it was during the All-Star Saturday night and Karl Malone was a judge in the slam dunk contest... Camera sets its sights on Malone...
Charles Barkley: Karl Malone, the THIRD greatest power forward of all time...
Mike Breen: Who is the greatest?
Charles Barkley: Tim Duncan.
Mike Breen: Fair enough. Who's the second-best?
Charles Barkley: Me...
This is tough...
Tim Duncan was a better rim protector than Karl Malone, but Malone was a great on ball post defender. He had a high IQ at the defensive end and was always where he was supposed to be. The only thing Duncan has on him as a defender, is being a shot blocker. I mean, Duncan is 6' 11" - 7' 0" while Malone was 6' 9". You could argue Duncan is a center.
When we talk about longevity, this isn't even close. Duncan is still playing, but he's not putting up the kind of numbers Malone was putting up towards the end of his career. Malone was a freak of nature physically and was consistent as they come.
And people like to use rings as an argument for Duncan, but Duncan is lucky he just missed the Michael Jordan era.
It's closer than people think.
I'm going with Duncan over Malone, but it really isn't as lopsided as some suggest. And I also clearly take Malone over kg and Barkley. Malone was a great defender and great passer as well as the best scoring pf of the bunch. He was one of the first pf's who really ran the court hard and would get out ahead on the fastbreaks. He was a very solid starting pf even his last season at over 40 years old and was still scoring double digits and defending well for the lakers. To do it at that age really says a lot about his skill set and not just relying on strength or athleticism.
The only thing Duncan has on him as a defender, is being a shot blocker.
I'm jut shocked at that statement I really am.
I don't even know what to say about that...TD was the defensive anchor of the Spurs for years; man to man, weakside and at protecting the rim. He was a shot blocker but he was also a better defensive rebounder than the Mailman, a better post defender and had more of a motor on the defensive end of the floor while Karl's effort on the defensive end was questionable until later in his career.
And people like to use rings as an argument for Duncan, but Duncan is lucky he just missed the Michael Jordan era.
People love to use that argument on Malone's behalf but the truth is that Malone and the Jazz couldn't just get past MJ Bulls they couldn't get past Hakeem's Rockets, Magic's Lakers, Drexler's Blazers, Payton's Sonics, Chris Mullin's Warriors or Kevin Johnson's Suns either. The Jazz lost to the Bulls twice in the playoffs during the Malone era but they lost to the Blazers 4 or 5 times even though Malone had a very good supporting cast.
Duncan played in the Kobe/Shaq era and still came away with titles.
I don't understand what you're so shocked about...
They're two different defenders. Duncan defends like a center. He's 6' 11" - 7' 0" tall and he is a shot blocker/rim protector. He had a similar impact to Dwight Howard.
Malone on the other hand was a 6' 9" power forward. He wasn't a rim protector, but he was a great on ball/post defender and he was very good within the team concept as well. To ignore his defensive ability because he wasn't a shot blocker/rim protector is foolish. I was old enough to watch Malone play and I remember all too well how many times he stripped players, pulled the chair, pushed them off of the block, made his rotations and took charges. He was a great defender, just not a shot blocker/rim protector.
So once again, I don't understand what you're so shocked about... The main difference separating the two is that Duncan was a rim protector/shot blocker and Malone was not.
And defensive rebounding wise, I don't see your point... The gap isn't that huge. You can look up the stats, but I'm almost positive that gap isn't huge.
And MJ took out a lot of those teams that took out Malone's Jazz... Regardless, it was a tough era to play in.
If I had to win a playoff series and I could have any modern powerforward in their prime, I think I would take Duncan, KG, Dirk, McHale and Barkley over Malone. Malone got his guady stats partly from being really good (easy top ten of all time), but also partly by feeding on players who weren't trying as hard during the regular season (Malone's conditioning was rediculously good) and then by just playing for years and years. But he had almost no post moves, he didn't have a real pull up jumper, his stand still jumper was decent but needed the defense to leave him open and someone to set him up (which he had in Stockton, so it wasn't a problem). But that jumper would tend to fail him during key stretches of the playoffs. He could run you off the court and get easy buckets being fed by Stockton. But in the playoffs, when other teams tried really hard, and the game slowed down to half court with other team making a real effort to stop run outs, Malone just couldn't dominate games. He didn't shot block and he wasn't disruptive in the passing lanes. He couldn't create his own shot all that well. If you made a mistake on D, he got to the rim and finished everytime. But he needed the defense to make that little mistake first. Duncan, KG, Dirk, McHale and Barkley could just stick the jumper in your face and there was nothing you could do about it. And Duncan, KG and McHale where better defenders (not saying Malone was a bad defender, just that these guys were elite defenders in their prime).
Maybe Malone is the second best PF of all time. But I'd pick other guys first if I needed to win a playoff game.
There was this guy named John Stockton too who was helping out with those gaudy stats.
well after that incident with bostjan nachbar back when he played for lakers, he first lowbridged bostjan on his dunk and after bostjan blocked him he wanted a fist fight, i mean i know he was old and whatever, but that was classless, he is in my top7 ot 8 PFss but only because of his stats
Malone scored damn near 37,000 points for his career on 52% shooting and you're saying he did that just with no post moves and only a decent jumper???
And even during the playoffs, which you claim teams tried harder, Malone still aveaged almost 25 on 50% shooting.
I specifically remember Malone having a consistent outside jumpshot. And in the post, he had the strength to overpower you and he had a go-to turn around jumpshot... He could also face you up and either go around you/shoot that shot. He could put the ball on the floor and shoot...
And defensively, you said he didn't play the passing lanes, but averages almost one steal and a half per game for his career.
Sooooo... let me get this straight. People love Karl Malone and dub him the greatest power forward without even winning a ring..
Yet, on that same token, they HATE LeBron because he hasn't won a ring and he's an a--hole? Did anybody here even watch basketball during the 90's? Karl Malone was by far one of the biggest a**holes in NBA history. From not wanting to play with Magic to leaving children all over the place and never speaking a single word to them their entire lives.
Not only that, the person dubbing him the greatest power forward is a 14 year old kid that probably only got to see him play on the Lakers in 04. What?
If only you people remembered that Karl Malone was more arrogant and a bigger a**hole than LeBron, it would be fun to see how you would rank him then.
on board with tallmannyc here.
I would take
Duncan, KG, Dirk, Barkley, and then Malone.
Duncan and KG are easily better than Malone.
Why? Because the help defense is a crucial differentiator. Duncan and KG both had dominant help D that anchored some of the best defensive teams of all time. Spurs + Celtics.
Barkley set himself apart as an absolutely dominant offensive rebounder.
Dirk is probably the most efficient scoring PF of all time, and he's passable defensively.
I'm not sure Malone is much better than Pau Gasol or Kevin Love... Stockton is a very important consideration in this.
First of all Tol, I'm 15. And although I've only seen him that one season in LA, I've watched many NBA Classic games, and I've seen tons of Stockton Malone games and I've watched plenty of games online, I do my reasearch before I make threads.
And I know Malone was sort of the arrogant KG sort of guy of his time. I know how much of a B*tch he was about the whole Magic playing in the All Star game.
And I for one thought it was foolish that people were so harsh on Lebron for not winning a ring. I thought it was ridiculous tht people were panicing about him not having a ring when he was only 24, and the whole "Ring for the King" thing was alos sort of stupid. MJ didn't win one till he was 28, albiet he was in his 7th season and Lebron in his 9th. I was not a Lebron hater and several times during my post I stated that Duncan probably has an even better arguement, and my main purpose for this was for people to realize how amazing malone's longevity really was, although I firmly believe Duncan and Malone are even, and eve though I made this thread about Malone, I could write a much longer one about Duncan and am much more attatched to Duncan.
Sorry, I am kinda new to this forum. But I just don't understand what does this have to with NBA draft?
Nobody really posts on the NBA part of the forum so anything regarding the draft or the NBA in general is posted on this sub-section.
I wasn't exactly speaking about you directly when I said people hate LeBron for being arrogant and not winning but love Malone even though he fits that criteria, I'm speaking more towards the general outlook and thought process of an average NBA fan.
I also cannot vouch for whether or not you have watched Karl Malone. Now that you have said that you do, it would be baseless and childish of me to try to say that you haven't or that you're lying so I'll take your word for it.
I'm my opinion though, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett are both better players than Karl Malone. Both on the defensive and offensive end, what they were able to do without a guy like John Stockton was extraordinary. A lot of Karl Malone's points came off of dunks because of the PnR situation with John Stockton. I mean, imagine if KG or Duncan in their prime got to play with Steve Nash for their entire careers? It would be a great sight, instead they played with scoring guard Tony Parker and the best point guard KG played with in his prime is arguably Sam Cassell, who anywhere near John Stockton's level.
Also, if my reply came off as an attack towards your age or basketball knowledge from the 90's, I apologize for that. It's the internet, it's difficult to transcribe with tone.
not saying I'm right, and honestly I wouldn't have a problem with a different order
^Great list, but as much as I love Dirk, I have Garnett ahead of him. KG was the ultimate all around player in his heyday, matched by none, but that is a good list you have there. Hopfully Amare can get healthy so in 4-5 years we can put him on that Honorable Mention list.
So John Stockton made Karl Malone, but Malone had absolutely nothing to do with all of those assists Stockton picked up, right? Stockton never benefited from Malone during the pick and roll, when defenders couldn't ignore Malone rolling to the basket or popping out for that jumpshot?
I wouldn't take Malone over Tim Duncan in his prime... Probably wouldn't take him over Kevin McHale either. However, I'd take him over Charles Barkley. Not saying Barkley wasn't more talented, but he had a rep of not working hard, having off of the court problems and only playing for stats. And I'd definitely take Malone over Kevin Garnett. Garnett is somewhat overrated... He's a better overall defender than Malone was, but he's never been the offensive player. Garnett didn't want the ball in the 4th quarters. His teams were never successful into he had players who did (Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell).
KG in his prime was better than Dirk imo, and def could argue he's better than Dirk or some other guys, but I went with Dirk since he's been putting up the same numbers his career, where KG's numbers slid in Boston due to reduce of role and injuries, but still either way they're both Hall of Famers. I thought of putting Amare up there, but I just couldn't do it with his terrible year this year, all-time he's prolly top 10, but my only problem with him is that he was never the guy, Phoenix was always Nash's team. However Amare showed last yr he could have been the guy for NY before getting Carmelo.
But yea, different folks, different strokes, I suppose
all nowitzki has on garnett is that he is a go-to guy, thats it. kg > dirk
you cant forget kg and duncan defense is legendary
"So John Stockton made Karl Malone, but Malone had absolutely nothing to do with all of those assists Stockton picked up, right?"
Tell me, where did I say Stockton made Malone and Malone had nothing to do with the success of Stockton.
Point it out please.
Very true, Garnett's defense was the catalyst to Boston winning a title, and would've won a second had Perkins hadn't gone down. Still can't look past how Dirk carried Dallas to two Finals, and won them a title, granted his team blew it in their 1st trip, but that wasn't soley his fault, other guys played bad, and Wade was channeling Jordan during that series. Dirk should get some credit for carrying his team to the finals twice. KG never carried a team to a finals or title, on Boston he was a key player, but he had Pierce and Allen to share the burden unlike Dirk. But hey, that's how I see it.
ok let's not over-credit nowitzki now, cuban has done a great job of having talent around him believe it or not, even if they weren't "all stars", they were all good players. i don't really want to get into it, but he's had good teams in the past.
in last year's finals he shot 41%, while EVERY player stepped up for the mavs. marion, chandler, kid, barea, terry, deshawn, even brian cardinal
kg's had 2 more season than nowitzki with a "PER" over 25. and nowitzki defensive rating has only been below 100 one season, while kg has done it 11 times.
kg is also a better presence in the locker imo
^Your using metric stats! Out of curiosity, is it because of that thread I made yesterday, lol.
i've known about those. so no, it was not because of your thread aamir... tho it was a good read
Tim Duncan is the best all-around PF of all time...scoring, defense, passing, leadership, IQ, RINGS
i wonder how many people on here who are discrediting malone and saying things like kg and barkely were better actually watched most of his career. Malone was leigt and would be an mvp candidate today and would have been dominant without stockton. He was a better scorer and passer shooter ran the court more and got to the foul line more often then duncan. Duncan is better becasue he could anchor a defense and was a significantly better post player and won rings, but some of you guys are overreacting to how much of an edge it is.
I just don't think it's fair to discredit Malone for playing with Stockton because he would've been great without Stockton as well. Not taking anything away from Stockton, but Malone was going to the Hall of Fame with or without him.
I've never liked Malone, but he's better than KG. I also have Dirk above KG. KG for all his incredible talent - I think he's the most talented 4 ever (special shout outs to DC for wasting all his talent too) - spent far far too much time, especially in the playoffs, 15 feet or more from the basket. He was utterly unguardable in the post and demanded a double team there, giving his team a huge advantage that all those long jumpers simply did not.
My order goes Duncan, Malone, Dirk, KG, McHale, Barkley. Chuck wasn't the defender the others were, and McHale never had to do it on his own and lacks the longevity. I'm only going with guys I've seen at their prime, sorry Mr. Petit. Dirk can still catch Mailman, if he hasn't already.
true, i would probably take malone over kg.
In a 7 games series matched up head to head, I would take Barkley in his PRIME over Dirk... Barkely played with a mean streak and I think he would intimidate Dirk... I think Barkely was a very relentless player and he would wear Dirk down in a 7 game series, even David Robinson had issues with Barkely and is one of the most athletic 7 footers of all time...
Players I have seen:
Dirk has a mean streak of his own... and about 8 inches on Chuck. He'd be fine.
Barkley would bully Dirk, straight up!
Karl Malone had a mean mid-range game. That's why he was such a great pick and roll player. Many pick and roll buckets assisted by Stockton came off 15 foot jump shots and he was great at freezing his man by pump faking 17 feet away from the bucket, because his shot was respected so much.
Malone was highly skilled, could fade away in the most over either shoulder, shoot hooks with either hand. To think he was just some sort of charity case dunk machine who was only more than Carlos Boozer because of John Stockton is way off.
This is also a guy who averaged more than 4 assists per game 7 times in his career, beat Michael Jordan out for an MVP and was a beast of a rebounder despite not being the most athletic guy on the court.
Whether or not he's the best PF ever, is a tough debate, but give the man his props. I'd still take Duncan, but it's close. Malone was a hell of a player, and if those two Jazz teams in 96-97 or 97-98 were playing ball in the early 2000's they would have been Championship teams. Rings do matter, and the fact Tim Duncan has a few is a valid arguement as to why he's had a better career, but Malone has played in NBA Finals, logged 193 playoff games won a Gold Medal with the Dream Team. The guy is a winner dispite not having a Championship.
Good post... Good to see somebody other than myself and Llperez remembers this guy had a mean mid-range game and was very good in the low post as well. Plus one of the best passers at his position of all-time.
Somebody above said he couldn't play the passing lanes, etc but I remember he averaged almost a steal and a half per game for his career.