Karl Malone and the deadliest elbows in NBA history
Some say Deke. Some say Shaq. Many say Metta but I say Karl Malone had the deadliest elbows in NBA history. The Mailman delivered (but not on Sundays) a few deadly bows to the faces of NBA greats like David Robinson, Hakeem, Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas who needed 40 stitches during his fabulous 18 year career.
Those elbows turned 51 today and unlike most retired NBA players, Karl Malone still looks great and is currently 256 pounds which is what the two time NBA MVP weighed when he was busy putting up enough points to finish 2nd in NBA history.
In honor of the Mailman and his elbows, here’s his greatest hits and arguably his greatest game.
61 points (21-26 shooting) in 33 minutes
On January 27th of 1990, the Mailman delivered a career high of 61 points against the Bucks and the Bucks can blame basketball fans for it. Malone was snubbed by fans that voted AC Green to the starting lineup for the 1990 All-Star game and the league’s 2nd best scorer was so bitter about the snub that he said he was going to boycott the game.
“I can go to Miami, or I can go fishing in Louisiana. Right now, fishing in Louisiana sounds pretty good to me,” Malone said when asked about the game.
Malone, the MVP of the previous year’s All-Star game, was eventually asked to play and he did show up in Miami but didn’t play due to “an injury.” An injury he didn’t have when he took out his anger on the Bucks after news of the snub.
I’m not sure what’s more impressive about the 61 he scored against the Milwaukee Bucks. The fact that he made 82% of his shots (21 of 26 field goals and 19 of 23 free throws) or that he only played 33 minutes or that the Jazz scored 144 points in regulation and won by 48.
The numbers are just mind-boggling in this game and maybe the most mind boggling stat to me is that their wasn’t any other “standout” performances. Usually when a team scores over 130 you will have multiple players with 30+ points but the 2nd highest scorer in this game was Ricky Pierce with 21 off the bench. You would also think if Malone scored 61 points then league leader in assists John Stockton probably had at least 20 dimes but he only had 16 – he also only played 26 minutes.
Crazy is the only way I can sum it up. Almost as crazy as AC Green starting over him in the NBA All-Star game.
MALONE’S GREATEST HITS