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I know. It seems strange to see Karl Malone on a list with the likes of Smush Parker and Vladimir Radmanovic. But it’s hard to argue Malone was anything but a bust in his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the Lakers signed Malone and Gary Payton as free agents in the summer of 2003, some predicted the team to win 70 games and cruise to the championship.
Despite a tumultuous season that resembled a reality TV show more than an NBA season, the Lakers made it to the NBA Finals before being shocked by the Detroit Pistons in five games.
As far as Malone being a bust, the Hall of Famer missed half of the regular season with a knee injury, and when the playoffs rolled around, Malone had fans wondering if his injury wasn’t still bothering him. Malone’s scoring average went from 13 points a contest during the regular season down to eight in the postseason, including a paltry five points a game in the NBA Finals.
I believe if Malone had been 100 percent healthy, the Lakers would have beaten Detroit for the championship.
Needless to say, Malone’s one and only season with the Lakers is one he and Lakers fans would like to forget.