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Karl Malone joins John Stockton on NBA’s 75th anniversary team

Karl Malone. wearing a white jersey, pumps his fist
Karl Malone pumps his fist as the Jazz seal the victory against the Chicago Bulls at Wednesday night’s game in the Delta Center, Feb 4, 1998.
Chuck Wing, Deseret News

In honor of the NBA’s 75th anniversary this year, the league is unveiling the 75 greatest players in NBA history.

Karl Malone joins John Stockton, who was selected to the team on Tuesday, in being named as one of the 75 greatest players to ever play the game.

Malone, along with Stockton, led the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances and 18 playoff appearances — never missing the playoffs during his career with the Jazz. Malone played in 1,434 of 1,444 regular-season games for the Jazz.

Malone is one of the greatest power forwards of all time, scoring 36,928 career points — good for second on the all-time scoring list — and grabbing 14,968 rebounds, which puts him seventh on the all-time rebounding list. “The Mailman” delivered when the Jazz needed a bucket.

Malone’s 6-foot-9, 250-pound frame and strength, along with his jump shot, made him tough to defend, and he was often on the receiving end of a Stockton-to-Malone pick and roll, good for two points.

He was a two-time NBA MVP, in 1997 and 1999, a 14-time All-Star, a 14-time All-NBA selection and a four-time All-Defensive selection. He was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2010.

The 75th anniversary team is selected by a panel of media and current and former players, coaches, general managers and team executives. The final 25 players on the list will be revealed on TNT’s pregame show on Thursday at 4 p.m. MDT.

The NBA did a similar list for its 50th anniversary in 1996, putting together the 50 greatest players in NBA history. Like the 75th anniversary team, a panel of media, players and executives selected the 50 members, which included three Jazz players — Stockton, Malone and Pete Maravich.