The LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh Trio, otherwise known as the Miami Heat, have been the main topic of conversation for retired NBA greats all summer long. We’ve already heard Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley publicly express their apprehensive attitude about the team this coming season. Now Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone can be added to the category of "Those Who Have Doubts" about how successful the team can be.
While attending the 2010 NBA Hall of Fame ceremony, Pippen was asked about Jeff Van Gundy’s prediction that the Heat could surpass the 72-10 record set by his Chicago Bulls in 1995-96.
“I think those guys’ biggest goal is to try and win a championship and not trying to win 72 games,’’ Pippen said. “But if Jeff Van Gundy wants to make a bet, I will bet him that they won’t break it. You can put a lot of great players together, but it’s about building chemistry.
“I think, me personally, Boston is still probably the best team in the East. Miami hasn’t proven themselves,’’ Pippen added.
Malone played for 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz but never won an NBA championship. During his final year before retirement, he chased a ring on a stacked Los Angeles Lakers team during the 2003-04 season -- but ultimately failed. While speaking with reporters, Malone said he could identify with James’ controversial decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in pursuit of a title with the Heat.
“When you have ties to cities or communities, it is bittersweet for people,’’ Malone said. “Sometimes, they take it personal.
“Anybody you talk to would want to win a championship,’’ Malone said. “But I’ll say this to you: It’s a lot of people that were on a championship team, that’s got a ring, that’s not in the Hall of Fame. So that doesn’t validate you. I know guys that got three or four [rings] that was on the bench. That’s the way it is.’’
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