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SALT LAKE CITY — You can't have one without the other.
After being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a year apart from one another, Utah basketball legends John Stockton and Karl Malone were inducted together into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
The annual event featured Stockton and Malone alongside former BYU athletes Chad Lewis, Richard George and Doug Padilla. Naturally, the terrific tandem stole the show. Stockton's acceptance speech was notably succinct and humble, and both accepted their awards as if it were their career highlight — which would be a notable accomplishment in a duo of careers filled with achievements, highlights, fame and glory.
"I never say never, but I don't think it'll happen again, for two guys to stay together that long in the same place and build something pretty special," said Malone.
I never say never, but I don't think it'll happen again, for two guys to stay together that long in the same place and build something pretty special,
John Stockton and Karl Malone played together on the Utah Jazz for 18 years, from 1985-2003. While they never won an NBA championship — mainly due to competing with Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls — their achievements together were unparalleled by any other NBA duo in history.
"We had a great situation," Stockton said. "Absolutely great city, great organization, and we had wonderful teammates."
While many players tend to tone down on their fitness regimen upon retirement, Stockton and Malone both looked ready and able to play the game again on a moment's notice. Both credit one another for keeping the motivation to stay in shape, and admit to a near-competitive nature to their workout routines.
"I (still) think about (Karl) when I'm in the weight room," Stockton noted.
Perhaps Coach Corbin is thinking about making a couple of calls.