Karl Malone deserves some credit.
During an interview Monday on The Dan Patrick Show, Malone was asked to give his all-time starting five. Right away he said he wasn't going to include himself in the group, a humble approach considering he has the resume (second-most points scored in NBA history) to be worthy of at least consideration.
Update: 7:15 a.m. ET: By Ethan Norof
Malone has backtracked on his previous sentiment, and he told ESPN's SportsCenter that Jordan was now in his starting five. "Michael Jordan is in my starting five. Relax my little grasshoppers."
Sounds like he realized how ridiculous his initial statement was.
--End of Update--
Then again, Malone wasn't all that concerned with putting too many of the game's all-time great scorers on his roster.
That meant no Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (first on the list) and no Kobe Bryant (fifth). Oh, and no Michael Jordan (third).
Let that one sink in a moment.
Most fantasy starting groups start with Jordan as the centerpiece; he's at least no worse than the second choice behind LeBron James (Malone's starting power forward, by the way) for the new generation of hoops heads.
But Malone opted to use his starting guard spots on John Stockton (obviously) and Oscar Robertson. He put James at one forward spot and Wilt Chamberlain in the middle.
That left him with one open roster spot, and given that it was a fantasy lineup, Jordan could have certainly filled his other forward position.
Should MJ have been given a roster spot?
But that wasn't Malone's idea. Instead he tabbed Jordan's teammate Scottie Pippen for the spot. He argued that Pippen deserved the position because he "led the team in every statistical category" when Jordan wasn't there.
Of course, Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships (in addition to leading the team in scoring all those years). So I'm not sure I'm following Malone's logic there.
Patrick had an idea of why Malone went with Pippen over Jordan: "You got a man crush on Scottie Pippen?" Patrick asked.
Malone denied that and said he just liked him as a player. But the Hall of Famer did admit to having a man crush on LeBron James.
Safe to say, then, that Malone will be watching James' Miami Heat open their NBA Finals series with the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.