I rooted for the Utah Jazz’ great power forward Karl Malone and his team in the late 19990’s, especially when they took on the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.
I was a Knicks fan from New York and I HATED the Bulls, but I also lived in Utah for a year and built an affection for the Jazz.
Anyway, Malone frequently came up soft and short in both finals’ series as the Bulls snuffed out the Jazz.
Utah’s other Hall of Famer, John Stockton, played poorly in the first finals but was stellar in the second go-around.
On the biggest stage and in the biggest games Karl Malone faded worse than an old pair of Levi’s. He deferred to Stockton and was completely taken out of his game with some credit going to defenders Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen.
Flash forward to this year’s finals, and LeBron James has morphed into Karl Malone.
After scoring eight stinkin’ points in that game 4 loss, LeBron needs that “binky” his friend in the State Farm ad offers him. Instead of rising to the challenge, LeBron has turned games over for Dwyane Wade to win
LeBron better learn that there’s no guarantee the Heat will be great forever, and he will be in the finals every year.
The rest of the series he better step up in big spots, demand the ball and take and make shots.
Or risk becoming another Karl Malone, a second tier great player with no championships.
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