Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/1/12

SALT LAKE CITY - FEBRUARY 13: Karl Malone announces his retirement from playing NBA basketball on February 13, 2005 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Malone played 19 years in the NBA, 18 with the Utah Jazz and his last year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Malone is currently second on the all time scoring list. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Ask San Antonio Spurs fans which current or former players they hate the most, and there's no doubt Karl Malone is very high on that list.

Aside from being a Western Conference rival and playoffs roadblock, it took little more than one swift elbow to David Robinson's head to keep him on their "hated" list.

With that in mind, Spurs fans would be interested to know that Malone almost joined the Spurs. There were several rumors years ago about Malone visiting San Antonio and even a rumor that someone spotted Malone and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich at a local fast food seafood restaurant.

Malone confirmed mutual interest between both teams and even though he chose to join the Lakers, his first choice would have been the Spurs, according to an interview he had with 97.5 The Zone in Salt Lake City.

"I was in Arkansas [in 2003], and I said, whatever team wins [between the Lakers and Spurs], I'm going to the opposite. And I wanted the Spurs to lose, so I could go to them. But the [Spurs] won, but I had made up my mind 'cause I didn’t want people sittin' there sayin', 'Oh he went there [because] they won it last year.' I wanted to go help 'em."

While there's no doubt it would have been a hard sell to Spurs fans, Malone joining the Spurs in 2003-04 would have been a nice transition into the post-Robinson era.

The 2003-04 team had Rasho Nesterovic, Robert Horry, Malik Rose and Kevin Willis in the frontcourt, but none of the four listed matched Malone's marks that season with the Lakers.

Malone went on to average 13.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game as the third and sometimes fourth option for the Lakers that season and the Spurs went on to lose against Malone's Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

Had Malone decided on the Spurs instead of playing with the team that lost, the Spurs could have had their first back-to-back championship.

But there's no way I'd wish against the Spurs beating the Lakers in the 2003 playoffs when that lead to their second championship and David Robinson retiring as a champion.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Andrew Luck: Colts were 'gutsy' to keep Pagano, Grigson

White Sox suspend Chris Sale for 'destroying team equipment'

Report: Cubs pushing hard to land Aroldis Chapman

Report: Lesnar, Jones tested positive for same substance

Todd Bowles: Geno Smith 'can be a good starter' for Jets


Former 49ers OL: Gabbert will likely start over Kaepernick

Report: Le'Veon Bell recently completed DUI probation

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Olympic village in Rio deemed 'uninhabitable' for time being

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker