Karl Malone and Charles Barkley are two of the greatest power forwards of all time. Only one of them was lucky enough to play with John Stockton though. This player was Karl Malone. Karl Malone was the luckier of the two. He played with John Stockton and Jerry Sloan; two of the smartest basketball players to ever play. Charles Barkley might have played with better players, but Malone found his perfect match: John Stockton. Charles Barkley played with great scorers and playmakers, but not great passers. Karl Malone got so many easy feeds that Barkley never got because he played with one of the greatest passers of all time. What I wonder is what if Karl Malone had played with the 76ers (Erving, Moses, Andrew Toney, Hersey Hawkins), the Suns (KJ, Majerle, Chambers, Ceballos, A.C. Green), and the Rockets (Hakeem, Drexler, Pippen), while Barkley played with the Jazz (Stockton and Sloan). I will predict what I think would happen at the end. Please feel free to comment and follow me on twitter @CJ_H_12.
- How did they turn out without switching roles?
Charles Barkley - 22.1 PPG, 3.9 APG, 11.7 RPG, 1 MVP, never a Champion.
Karl Malone - 25.0 PPG, 3.6 APG, 10.0 RPG, 1 MVP, never a champion.
Obviously Malone has a higher PPG average since he was always the main scorer, and he got many easy scores thanks to Stockton. Barkley played with more great players than Malone did and Barkley wasn't always the main scorer. The APG makes since because they are both big men. Their RPG doesn't really matter with who they played with. If Charles had played with Stockton then maybe Barkley wins the MVP in 1990, 1991, or 1992 also. Barkley would get more opportunities for points because Stockton is such a great passer and Barkley would be the main scorer. Malone might have trouble adapting to KJ and not being able to thrive in the pick and roll. Overall they both played great in the positions they were in.
- What Would Have Happened if they switched roles?
Charles Barkley would have been happy as anybody. He gets to play with a great transition point guard and someone who makes his life 10x easier. Barkley's PPG average rises to 27.6 about PPG. I found this by taking Barkley's FG% and Malone's FGA and multiplying them. I got about 10 which means Barkley would make around 10 field goals a game. Barkley averaged 1 three pointer a game for most of his career so 1/10 of his FGM would be 3 points. 9/10 would 2 points. If you add them together you get about 21 points. Now you have to add free throws. Malone averaged 9 free throws a games and Barkley averaged 73.5% from the free throw line. If you multiply these, you get around 6.6. That means Barkley would make 6-7 free throws a game. 6.6 added to 21 equals 27.6. Malone would score about 21 points a game (I did the same thing I did with Barkley but with Malone). John Stockton also averages and receives more assists. Although Barkley would not be nearly as go as Malone on the pick and roll, he would be better at running the floor (One of the best running big men of all time).
- Could Barkley have fit into the Jazz offense?
That's tough to say. Barkley wasn't great at the pick and roll, like Malone, but he would be great on the fast break. I believe Barkley get's traded or the Jazz turn into a fast break team.
Q: What happens if Stockton played with Barkley instead of Malone?
A: Barkley is considered a better player than Malone, Barkley rises on all time scoring list while Malone drops far down the line, Jordan becomes 2nd in all time leading scoring, Jordan wins 1997 MVP, Stockton gains more assists in a faster game with Barkley, Barkley wins MVP in 1990 and 1993, neither wins championship, and we can never hear the delightful Stockton-to-Malone (Say it really fast like Hot Run Hundley). Stockton-to-Barkley doesn't sound right.