Pippen and Malone as PBA imports? Don't make me laugh

Just last week I stumbled upon a news item in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Manila Bulletin indicating the Red Bull Barakos’ earnest desire to get NBA legend Karl Malone as its reinforcement in the coming 2008 PBA Fiesta Cup. Karl Malone? You really mean “The Mailman“? This isn’t a namesake, right? One of the greatest power forwards of all-time? The other half of the Jazz’s vaunted 1-2 punch beside the equally great John Stockton? You can’t be serious right?

Even though he’s already 44 years old (turning 45 this July), Malone can still hack it. Heck, even ex-Alaska import Dickey Simpkins who was once upon a time a meager reserve for the multi-titled Chicago Bulls team in the 90s, had a dominant performance during his stint here about several years ago, what more than the 6’9” Karl Malone. Malone’s age and injuries have kept him from playing but he’s still one of the smartest and strongest players around.

Yao Ming

Can you imagine Houston Rocket center Yao Ming playing for Alaska? I have taken this photoshopped image of Yao from one of the hoop fanatics in the pba forum. Couldn’t find who made this to personally thank, but props to you, you made this article a lot entertaining.

The contention is that Malone may want to visit the Philippines since her wife Faye is half-Filipino, and after years of being inactive, may want to consider a petty $20,000 per month deal with a PBA club. Bull! In your dreams, buddy! Malone may be missing basketball after retiring from active competition two years ago but he ain’t going anywhere, certainly not here.

It would be a lot of fun, I admit, to see Karl Malone in a Red Bull jersey. Conceive him running a pick-and-roll with Cyrus Baguio, whipping a pass to the streaking Kiko Adriano in transition, sinking jumpshot after jumpshot against the highly-athletic Kelly Williams and dunking with full force (in your face!) against the man mountain Asi Taulava. Players would probably be aghast seeing his apparition on the playing floor. Their mouth agape, and in awe at the sight of an NBA great. That certainly is exciting but that wouldn’t happen, I tell you. Next time, stay away from your crack dealer! GMA probably has a greater chance of getting overthrown than seeing Karl Malone suited up for PBA wars.

Just yesterday, the Salt Lake Tribune confirmed that Karl Malone is not coming to Manila (well, we are not surprised). Malone himself was baffled about the news. No one has been talking to him and if anyone did, he will probably not listen. Malone is already entrenched in the NBA annals as one of the greatest players of all-time. Why would he risk playing in a foreign soil for mere pittance. It just won’t cut it. Even if the salary is increased to $1 million, I doubt if he would budge. That rumor is a great disrespect to Malone’s name and legacy.

Now, even before the Karl Malone to Red Bull rumor could be thrown into the dustbin, Purefoods, not to be outdone, is attempting to cook one of its own. They are rumored to be pursuing ex-Chicago Bull, ex-Blazer, and ex-Rocket Scottie Pippen. I don’t know if this particular news has any juice at all but it borders on the ridiculous.

PBA teams are having a hard time convincing topflight talents because PBA teams offer only a max import salary of $20,000 while other countries offer more than $30,000 per month, some even $50,000 a month. Could it be the problem getting qualified imports for the coming conference that is making the coaches lunatic or is it the rigors of coaching in the recently-concluded PBA Philippine Cup catching up on them? Well, could be both.

Welcoat and Coca-Cola, by virtue of their ‘superior’ W-L record the last conference gets to pick two imports. One should be 6’1” and below and the other, like the rest of the teams, of unlimited height. Well, how about a suggestion for Welcoat? Get John Stockton and pry away the Mailman from Red Bull, and rename the team as Welcoat Jazz. Let Leo Austria advocate defense, remove his moustache and do a Jerry Sloan impersonation. That would certainly be a big hit, if only this was a serious discussion. Yawn. I’m sleepy. Wake me up when James Penny arrives ok?

Manila Bulletin
Pilipino Star Ngayon
Salt Lake Tribune

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