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Remember Them Days - Washington Bullets Guard Jeff Malone

Bullets guard Jeff Malone being defended by Chicago Bulls shooting guard Michael Jordan

When you take a look back at the history of the Washington Wizards (formerly Bullets) franchise, you'll see a number of guards who excelled in the NBA. In the late 60's you had Earl "The Pearl" Monroe who came in the league on fire, averaging 24.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists during his rookie season, obviously, taking home NBA Rookie of the Year honors. Next up in the 70's was a future teammate of Monroe's, Phil Chenier, who posted five straight seasons of at least 19.7 points per game. Rod Strickland became the standard for guard play during the 90's for the franchise, becoming one of the leagues top floor leaders and assist men. Gilbert Arenas took the nations capital by storm during the mid 2000's emerging as one of the most lethal scorers in the NBA (25 ppg as a Wizard), helping bring playoff contention back to DC. No doubt, John Wall and Brad Beal, when healthy, are one of the top back-court's in basketball and perennial all stars in their own right.

Yet, there's one name that isn't mentioned as much as it should be when discussions emerge about the top guards to put on a Bullets/Wizards jersey. That name is Jeff Malone. Drafted 10th overall out of Mississippi State by Washington in 1983, the 6'4 Malone became one of the most efficient slashers AND mid-range shooters in the NBA. From the 1985-86 season to the 1989-1990 season, Malone averaged 20 or more points per game which includes, averaging a career high 24.3 points during the 1989-1990 season. Malone was also a light's out free throw shooter, knocking down 86 percent from the charity stripe in his seven seasons in Washington.

Malone was great at moving without the ball, utilizing screens to get daylight to unleash one of the quickest shooting releases the league has seen, yet, was also quick and strong when he drove to the basket and posted up. Malone could score from anywhere at anytime outside 3-point range, which really wasn't an emphasis during his time with Washington.

The two time all star (85-86,86-87) averaged 20.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists on 47 percent shooting from the field and 86 percent shooting from the line during his time in Washington. Malone would move on to become a key piece for the Utah Jazz after the 89-90 season and finish his career in Philadelphia and Miami, retiring in 1996.

Check out Malone putting on a show in Baltimore, scoring 38 points against the Milwaukee Bucks during the 88-89 season.

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