Karl Malone: I played the Chicago Bulls, not Michael Jordan
Karl Malone, left, and John Stockton are icons in Utah. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Karl Malone: I played the Chicago Bulls, not Michael Jordan

Earlier this week, Andrew Perloff of "The Dan Patrick Show" reported that former Utah Jazz players Karl Malone and Bryon Russell were the only "notable" former on-the-court foes of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan to decline interview requests for the ESPN docuseries "The Last Dance."

Malone, a Hall of Famer who is second on the all-time career scoring list, spoke with ESPN's "E60" about Jordan in February 2019: 

"I accept the responsibility for not winning one (championship)," Malone commented about losing to Jordan and the Bulls in the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals. 

"I have the utmost respect for Michael," Malone added, "but I never thought I was playing Michael Jordan. I was playing the Chicago Bulls. 

"Everybody says 'this person was a bad man,' and all of that. Well yes, I give them respect ... but I was a bad son of a bitch, too."

Malone famously had the ball stolen by Jordan with under 25 seconds remaining in Game 6 of the '98 Finals before Jordan buried what became a title-winning shot over Russell at the other end of the court. 

That was Jordan's final bucket of his Bulls career. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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