Tag Archives: karl malone

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Basketball Players Of All-Time’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Basketball Players Of All-Time’

The NBA has been unavoidable over the last two months.  And if you live in South Florida, there is a lot to be excited about.  We are witnessing NBA history being written in our backyards down here – and if you fail to recognize that, even if just for a split-second, then you have issues.

So, with so much attention getting paid to my second favorite sport, I thought I would take my ‘Top Ten’ lists on a detour this week and present to you my ‘Top Ten NBA Players Of All-Time’.

As you can imagine, I like the history of the sport – and the legends that helped build it.  So while I appreciate West, Russell, Jabbar, and the other guys that helped bring the sport to new heights, they are not on my list.  Instead I will focus on the guys that I loved watching – the guys that represent the NBA to me.

Honorable Mention – Kobe Bryant, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Dennis Rodman, Grant Hill, Chris Webber, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Dan Majerle, Udonis Haslem, and David Robinson.

And now, I will throw a few chest passes, and a few bounce passes, and a few alley-oops to my ‘Top Ten Basketball Players Of All-time’.

10B – Tim Duncan – Mr. Fundamental.  The guy’s skills were solid from the day that he stepped onto the NBA hardwood.  I guess that fou years of college helped with that.  Still, multiple championships later, Duncan is a reflection of the game that I love.  Too bad that he is a dying breed.

10A – Hakeem Olajuwon – The most gifted big-man that I have ever seen play.  Olajuwon could do it all – score, shoot, play defense, and for a center, he was a heck of a passer. 

9 – Isiah Thomas – I love the little guys that play bigger than their frame.  Thomas was able to dominate games on a regular basis, and he was always the smallest guy on the court.  He may be one of the toughest little men that the sport has ever seen too.

8 – Dwyane Wade – He ia absolutely fun to watch.  And even when he is having an ‘off’ night by his standards, it takes just one shot to get him going.  And when he is not, there is absolutely no more exciting player in the game to watch than D-Wade!!

7 – Scottie Pippen – One of the most well-rounded players from my youth, Pippen could do it all.  And as a ‘second’ option next to MJ, he was fabulous.  His defense was brilliant, and I really enjoyed watching him guard point guards when no other 6-8 guys would even try.

6 – Tim Hardaway – Timmy thrived in big moments, and I saw a lot of them live and in person back in the day.  He played with such a high level of confidence, and when he was battling the Knicks, he was AWESOME!!!

5 – Allen Iverson – Say what you will about his shot selection and field goal percentages, but Iverson was fearless on a basketball court.  And as the competition got bigger and stronger, Iverson’s speed and tenacious style of play kept him at a very high level of play.  And I think he was seriously underrated as a defender too…

4 – Alonzo Mourning – What can I say?  I was so happy for him to win a title in 2006.  Zo was and is still the heart and soul of the franchise.  A tough and incredibly skilled defender, I enjoyed watching Alonzo take his game to the next level when he came to Miami.  He is, and will always represent Miami Heat basketball to me.

3 – Michael Jordan – Not much to say here.  I am happy that I got to live in Chicago from 1989-94 so I could witness the greatness more regularly than the regular fan.  MJ is the best of the best – enough said!!

2 – John Stockton – My definition of a ‘pure point guard’ is #12.  Stockton was as tough as they come – and while he was never relied on for scoring, he was a fantastic shooter and was never afraid to take it into the paint.  And if there was anyone I wanted shooting free throws at the end of a close game it was Stockton.

1 – Karl Malone – One of these days I will have to tell you about when I met Malone in Utah during a Spring Break road trip.  There is nothing that I didn’t like about Malone’s game.  A tough rebounder, and a versatile offensive threat, I am so very proud to call Malone my favorite NBA player of all-time.  As a kid, when everyone’s room was decorated in Jordan, I was the odd-man-out, but I would not have wanted it any other way.  I got to witness and celebrate of the game’s greatest scorers and one hell of a ‘real team player’.

Man, that really took me down memory road…  I still enjoy watching hoops, and I have been re-enthused now with the success and celebrity of the Miami Heat, but nothing will replace the game I spent enjoying during my youth and the players that made me really value the fundamentals of the sport.

Who is your favorite baller?  Come on, give me your lists now too….

Thanks for reading!

Showing Off My Karl Malone Basketball Card Collection

Showing Off My Karl Malone Basketball Card Collection

When it comes to collecting, baseball was a focus of mine 95% of the time.  During that 5%, I spent quite a bit of energy collecting basketball cards.

But, I was not a set builder, or team collector.  Surprise, surprise, I was a player collector.

And my player of choice just happened to be my favorite NBA player – Mr. Karl Malone!!!

My love for basketball was born while living in Illinois.  And while 99.9% of the people in the state cheered and rooted for a certain team that won 6 championships in 8 years, I was the guy that didn’t conform.  Did I value the Bulls and what they did?  Of course.  Who wouldn’t?  But as a fan of the sport and a huge supporter of the fundamentals, I found myself a Utah Jazz fan.

My Karl Malone collection is large.  It is not catalogued the way that my Dawson one is, but I would guess that  I own 3,000 total cards with there probably being 800-900 different ones in that mix.  It didn’t take long to accumulate these as I found tons of willing trade partners.  While I bought packs and boxes like all kids did, everything I got was traded away except for my Malone and Stockton cards.

Here is my collection:

I made a quick re-entry into the hobby when I heard about ‘jersey’ cards from a friend.  I managed to grab a bunch of them right before I completely left the hobby some years ago:

 I have not purchased any basketball related cards in over 6 years now.  And while I have no intention of adding any more to my collection at this time, I have to wonder what new goodies may come out once Karl Malone’s Hall of Fame induction breeds new life into collectibles that feature him…

Time will tell!!!

The Basketball Hall Of Fame Irks Me!!!!

The Basketball Hall Of Fame Irks Me!!!!

I haven’t had the best luck when it comes to chosing successful teams to cheer for and align myself with.  And in my 25+ years of being a sports fan, I could probably count my championship moments on less than two hands(and that involves all sports, including some individual ones too).

So with that being said, when a team or player that I have enjoyed during their career is honored, I gain a little more salvation from that than the average fan.

All of this leads me up to the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame inductions.

The headliners of the class of 2010 are Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen. 

Pippen was an absolute joy to watch on the court, and is probably one of the most accomplished of the versatile players that the sport has ever had.  I enjoyed watching him play during his career in Chicago and I am happy that he will be honored as a Hall of Famer.

My admiration for Karl Malone goes well beyond that.  Malone is my Andre Dawson of the basketball world.  While everyone else was cheering on #23, I was hooked on ‘The Mailman’.  And while it was not an easy feat while living in Chicago, I was able to immerse myself in everything that was Karl Malone related.  He is one of the greatest scorers in the history of the sport and will be honored as a Hall of Famer with Pippen in a few months.

So what has me irked??  How about this…

Along with the Pippen and Malone inductions, the HOF has decided to enshrine the ‘Dream Team’ as part of the class of 2010 as well.  And while I have tons of fond memories of watching these guys play and dominate for the United States, I am quite frankly pissed that the Hall has chosen this year to honor them.  Is there something special about 2010?  No.  Does 2010 mark an anniversary of the team’s success?  No.  So, why this year?  Why 2010?  Why, Why, Why???

I just don’t get it.  Do they deserve to be honored as the greatest assembly of basketball talent ever seen?  Of course!  But, why now??  Give Malone and Pippen the same spotlight that you gave Robinson, Stockton, and Jordan last year.  Why not wait until the HOF doesn’t have a 1st ballot entrant?  Then give the ‘Dream Team’ the headline so the induction class is still relevant.  And that way it doesn’t take away from the joy that 2 of its members will get from their inductions. 

Personally I see this as nothing more than the HOF parading MJ, Magic, Bird, and the others around to keep people interested.  But I find it completely unfair to Pippen and Malone as well as their faimlies and fans who want to see them have this moment to shine on their own.  I just don’t see why they would do that this year when two of the greatest and most decorated players from the last 25 years have earned their chance to stand alone in the spotlight.

Will I watch?  Yes.  Am I already preparing myself for a let down?  Sadly, yes.

I, and many others as well, have been waiting far too long for this day to come to see ‘The Mailman’ and ‘Pip’ share a stage on this special night with Christian Laetner, Chris Mullin, and Clyde Drexler.

The 2010 Hall Of Fame Class Gets Sweeter!!!

The 2010 Hall Of Fame Class Gets Sweeter!!!

As all of you know, Andre Dawson is my favorite baseball player of all-time.  My enjoyment of watching ‘The Hawk’ during his playing days has filled my brain with incredible memories.  And now I choose to honor him by collecting his baseball cards and autographs.

His induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is long overdue.  And I look forward to watching it and I have already started to countdown the days until his election becomes a reality.  I’m serious, 112 days…

And then today, I got more great news.  Both Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen have been elected as inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Both superstars during my youth, and into my twenties, Karl Malone is absolutely my favorite basketball player of all-time.  And Scottie Pippen is in the Top 10(probably closer to Top 6).  One of these days I will have to share my Karl Malone stories and collection with you all.  Trust me when I say that have been a loyal Karl Malone fan for the better part of my life.

So the weeks between Dawson’s induction and then Malone and Pippen’s induction will be incredible for this fan.  And although I will always keep ’30-YOC’ as a baseball and baseball card related blog, please excuse me if I pepper it with a little hoops talk during that time.

Congratulations to both Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen – Well deserved!!!

My first jersey card leaves me disappointed…

I purchased my first ‘modern-era’ card and went after a game-used jersey card as I find them extremely appealing.  Hell, it only cost $2 and is of one of may favorite pitchers of all time, Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins.  For $2, I got a piece of Cubs history as well as a piece of memorabilia from possibly the best Cub pitcher ever.  I was extremely excited to get this card, and when it arrived I was a little more than thrilled.

Check it out:

This card has everything a Jenkins fan could ask for.  A beautiful black and white portrait, a symbol representing Wrigley Field with the title ‘Wrigley Field, Home of Cubs Greats’.  It also includes the years that Fergie pitched for the Cubs, 1966-1973, and lastly a perfect square piece of a jersey he wore for the Cubs in his home, white uniform.  The only thing that could be better would be to have a Royal Blue pinstripe on the jersey but beggars cannot be choosers…

Since this is the first time I have actually held a game-used jersey card I wanted to take everything in and quickly turned it over to see what kind of cool Fergie Jenkins info would be on the back.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised to find a certificate of authenticity as well as more Cub’s team logos and colors.

That was until I read this – “On the front of this card is an authentic piece of a jersey worn by Fergie Jenkins in an official Red Sox MLB game.”

WHAT???  Quickly I turned the card over confirming it had the Cub’s logo on the front and that I didn’t mess up and buy a Jenkin’s Red Sox jersey card.  Nope, I was right.  On the front it has the correct team logo, and Cubs colors.  Let me check the back again….  Shit!  What the hell is this?  I mean, I know that he played for Boston, but why on earth would they give me a piece of a Red Sox jersey on a card that is SCREAMING Cubs???

Needless to say I am more than a little disappointed.  Again, I only paid $2 for this but I want what was advertised.  Would you want a Karl MALONE jersey card with a Lakers piece of jersey?  NO.  Or how about a PETE ROSE card with a nice piece of jersey from his playing days with the Expos?  NO.  You want what you want, and what I really wanted was a piece of Cubs jersey from this Cubs legend!!!

Has this ever happened to you?  Is this normal practice?  Can someone help me with this?  If I was to buy another one of these am I going to get the same thing or do they vary?  HELP!!!  SOS!!!