Los Angeles Lakers
The Mailman was a mainstay in Utah for 18 seasons, leading the Jazz to the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals, only to be thwarted by Michael Jordan and the Bulls each time. Desiring that elusive championship as the crown on his illustrious career, the 14-time All-Star and two-time NBA MVP signed with the Lakers, who boasted a powerhouse lineup of Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the newly-acquired Gary Payton. Alas, LA fell in five games to Detroit in the 2004 Finals as Malone, 40, was hindered by a knee injury. Even though several teams were interested in him for 2004-05, Malone retired on February 13, 2005.