This Karl Malone playoff stat is just amazing to me. Everyone was talking about Tim Duncan and how poorly he did on his 35th birthday against the Grizzlies. I'm not taking anything away from Duncan. I don't think the Spurs are done yet. They've been written off for at least the last 3 season prior to this one as being too old, etc. That was a common refrain in the Stockton and Malone era as well.
The stat though that's remarkable from Malone is the number of 20 & 10 games he put up past the age of 35. From the Spurs Nation blog:
Here's a look at those NBA players who have notched playoff games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds since 1991 after turning 35.
Karl Malone 16
David Robinson 4
Charles Barkley 2
Patrick Ewing 2
Hakeem Olajuwon 2
Robert Parish 2
Sam Cassell 1
Derrick Coleman 1
Vlade Divac 1
Magic Johnson 1
Michael Jordan 1
Shaquille O'Neal 1
Dominique Wilkins 1
I'll do the math for you. That's 19 20 & 10s by someone over the age of 35 in the playoffs not named Karl Malone. He nearly matches that himself. There are only 12 other players to have done that ever.
One thing to note is that according to basketball-reference.com, he only had 15 such games. Regardless, it's far and away more than anyone else and is a testament to his conditioning and skill.
Until the NBA's labor situation is resolved, however, Hornacek won't know his future employment status. His current contract with the Jazz ends on June 30, but he hopes that gets extended eventually.
This is just one of the side effects of the lockout. There's no incentive for the team to give Horny a deal if he's not going to be doing anything while the new CBA gets resolved. Once it looks like things get are going to start up again, they'll bring him back quickly. I would be surprised if they didn't have terms in place already and signing will just be a formality.
He also states in that article that not seeing his family after he assumed the assistant role was the hardest thing about taking it. We all know the sign he used to give at the free-throw line to his kids. They're old enough now that they probably don't need that anymore. He could still carry on the tradition though from the bench.
Any ideas what his sign could be? He's not going to know when the camera is on him like he did when he shot free-throws. Does he assume bench-containing responsibilities with Scott Layden now the first assistant? A bench-clearing dunk/block/hard foul normally gets camera time. Maybe he waves his arms three times to herd the players back to the bench? Maybe he holds out his arms with a thumbs-up on each hand? Maybe he draws a heart on his whiteboard and flashes it?
The possibilities are endless.
Karl Malone is going to be watching tonight's game as Real Salt Lake takes on Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League finale as soon as he can find Fox Soccer on his cable box; are you?
"When I was there you [could] see soccer starting to grow," Malone said of his near 20-year tenure with the Jazz. "When they got Real Salt Lake, you could see the floodgates open."
Another chief reason he's tuning in to the CCL finale: His good friend and former Jazz executive Dave Checketts (at right) is the founder and co-owner of RSL.
"Dave Checketts is an awesome owner," Malone said of the person he credits for bringing him to the Jazz. "I think the world of him. ... When you've got an owner that's willing to do what it takes for a team to be successful, what else do you want from an owner?
Real has become one of the flagship teams in MLS. It's been a quick turnaround. They slid backwards into the playoffs a couple of seasons ago when every tiebreaker broke their way. They then went on to surprise the league and win the cup that season.
Hopefully the Jazz can return to being one of the marquee franchises for the NBA.
I'll probably watch tonight if I can find the channel as well. Hopefully I don't jinx things.
Good video season recap from KSL. Thanks to Kurt Adison for the tip.