An inevitable melancholy feeling has settled over the community.
The Jazz lost to Sacramento in the first round of the NBA playoffs. That was almost a given. But, with defeat comes the realization the dynamic duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone may have played their last game together.
Can it be the Stockton and Malone era is actually over?
One day soon we’ll know for sure. Stockton, after all is 41 years old. Malone is approaching 40. They can’t defy "Father Time" indefinitely. Despite what their many fans may think, they actually are mortal.
If it’s retirement for Stockton and another team for Malone, as the speculation goes, so be it.
Jazz fans – Stockton and Malone fans – will be left with the wonderful memory of an incredibly special time in athletic history. Rarely, if ever, have two such distinctively different men been so much a part of each other, and of their team and community.
Their accomplishments fill volumes - too many, in fact, to mention. The Hall of Fame beckons. Jersey’s will be hung from the rafters. The legend will grow.
"Stockton to Malone."
The familiar phrase, though silenced, will linger.
Yes, there is melancholy. But also intense feelings of gratitude from an entire community, which vicariously shared the amazing exploits of two uniquely, gifted basketball players.