2. KARL MALONE to L.A.
It can be said for many late-career changes for superstars, but this just didn’t fit. The Mailman going to Melrose Place? Nothing about this seemed right in 2003-04.
While you knew Malone was committed to doing anything to win, going to L.A. seemed to step out of line with that. And yet, he delivered still. He did get a triple double at age 40 with 10, 11 and 10 and averaged 13.2 points and 7.3 rebounds that year.
Los Angeles was achingly close to the NBA title that season for both Payton and Malone, but they lost 4-1 to the Pistons in the Finals.
1. OSCAR ROBERTSON to Milwaukee
After 10 years in Cincinnati the Big O went to the Bucks, where his first season of not-averaging 20 points per game started. That’s not how his legacy outside of a Royals uniform should be measured, though.
The four years in Milwaukee helped the Bucks win an NBA title in 1970-71 and get to the NBA Finals another time. That second time was a narrow loss for a second title in 1973-74, where they lost to Boston in seven games. Gauge Robertson most by what he did in those Finals years: He averaged 18.3 points and 8.9 assists, and 14.0 and 9.3 assists in ’71 and ’74, respectively.
He was aided by teammate Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, who like Robertson leaving for Milwaukee, would bolt in his own prime a few years later to L.A.
Which player faired the best on this list after he switched teams? Where should Manning go?
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