9th June 14:47
Malone breaks Stockton's record
LOS ANGELES, May 16 -- Lost in Lakermania, amid the madness of winning four
straight games against the defending champions, another milestone from the
Mailman: one hundred eighty-three playoff games for Karl Malone -- and
Malone is not particularly proud of the record, because it expounds on his
frustrating, 19-year journey through the NBA playoffs. He topped his partner
in time on Saturday night, eclipsing John Stockton's record of playing 182
postseason games without winning a championship.
"I hope he's okay with it, but I don't think I'll call Stock to tell him,"
Malone said, half-smiling.
An hour had passed since Malone had put his 40-year-old bones on Tim Duncan,
holding the most complete big man in pro basketball to 7-of-18 shooting in
the deciding sixth game. Malone used his forearms, his rump and his grit the
past week. He used everything he had left to ensure another 20-something did
not raise the Lawrence O'Brien Trophy before Malone could at least daydream
When Duncan put the ball on the floor from Game 3 on in the series, Malone's
massive right arm came down like a steel pallet dropped in a wrecking yard.
Sometimes, he knocked the ball away. Sometimes he raked Duncan's forearms.
Either way, San Antonio hurt.
"I wanted to keep Tim from averaging 30 points," he said. "That was my goal,
along with making him work for everything he got.
"I went into the series not even thinking about scoring," the second-leading
scorer in league history added.
Malone embodied their turnaround. When the Lakers were down 0-2 and were in
a deep rut, he was the one who said he was stubborn enough to believe they
could pull themselves out. "I just thought -- and I said this to everyone --
the stuff we went through all year, this is nothing," Malone said. "And when
I say something, I mean it."