Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, JapanThe Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY -r
way Karl Malone of me Utah
Jazz sees his NBA ^W award,
it's strictly a lend-lease affair
from four-time winner Michael
"I thank Michael for letting
me borrow it for one year," Ma-
lone joked Sunday after win-
ning the second-closest MVP
vote since the media balloting
began in 1981.
Malone's victory margin was
29 points. He received 986points and 63 first-place votes
while the Chicago Bulls star got
957 points arid 52 first-place
ballots from a panel of sports
writers and broadcasters
throughout the United States
and Canada. The only closer
vote came in 1990. when Magic
Johnson beat Charles Barkley
by 22 points. -
He may be borrowing the
MVP award but Malone also
earned it, carrying the Jazz into
the Western Conference finals
against Houston that begin
He averaged 27.4 points, 9.9
rebounds and 4.5 assists, lead-
ing Utah to the best record in
the conference at 64-18. He was
secondt hi scoring, sixth in field
goal percentage (.550) and llth
"To have this trophy after 12
years, really and truly I never
thought I'd have the opportuni-
ty," Malone said- "We won 64
games and I think they looked a
lot at that, tool"
"He's never stopped doing
the things we asked him to do,"
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of
Malone. "As great as he's be-
come, it's due to hard work.
Work has never been something
he's shied away from."
a A 12-year veteran, Malonewent over 2$00 points for an
NBA record 10th consecutive
season and moved ahead of Jer-
ry West into* 10th place on the
career scoring list. He is one of
just five players who have
25,000 points ^and 10,000 re-
bounds. The others are Wilt
Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-
Jabbar, Moses Malone and El-
"He's played great all year
and he came into this year with
the attitude that we're going to
take that next step,'* Jazz guard
Jeff Hornacek said. "Karl was
definitely the leader, the one
who's carried us."
Malone, 33, is the oldest play-
er to capture the MVP since the
NBA first awarded the honor in
1956. He said he thought about
the award and his personal sta-
tistics early in his career, but
later took the advice of his
mother, Shirley Turner, that
"•'When you stop thinking abbut
it, it will happen.' And the one
year I've had the most fun I've
ever had ... all of a sudden I
win the award," he said.
Jwenty players had at least
one vote from the 115 panel
Karl Malone says he "borrowed" th®-MVP title from Hlchae! Jordan.
The Associated Press
Alonzo Heurning celebrates after Ms
late three-pointer in Game 6 helped
force Game 7 in Niami.
Continued from Page 32
pointers, and his point total was a fran-
chise playoff record. He had 18 points in
the third quarter, when Miami's lead
reached 71-50 even with Alonzo Mourn-
ing on the bench because of foul trouble.
"When I'm in that zone, you're at my
mercy," Hardaway said.
"We said all along that he's the head
of this basketball team," Williams said.
"We tried to sever the head and hope the
body would die. But tbday Hardaway
shot the ball like he wa"s on the
When New York closed to 92-85 with
1:13 left, Miami hit nine »of 12 free
throws the rest of the way.
Patrick Ewing led New York with 37
points and 17 rebounds. But Ewing, who
had promised a championship this year,
instead remains without a ring after 12
"In a way I feel robbed, but that!*
life," said Ewing, who was suspended
for Game 6 because he left the bench
during the Game 5 melee that saw Mi-
ami's P.J. Brown suspended for two
games. "I don't feel like I,did anything
to deserve to be suspended, but that's
the way the NBA is/' '
With New York shorthanded, the Heat
became just the second team in 16 years
to overeorne a 3-1 series deficit. Houston
did it against Phoenix in 1995.
"All I know," Riley said, "is the last
team that came