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Malone's return a must for Lakers

Updated: June 18, 2004, 10:49 PM ET
By Mark Kreidler | Special to ESPN.com

If Karl Malone wants to pursue an NBA title, he will find his way back to the Los Angeles Lakers.

If the Lakers have even the slightest interest in making another championship push next season with the essence of the team that reached the NBA Finals this season, they'll be on the phone to Malone as soon as they can possibly pry themselves out of their latest very important meeting.

As things squat today, I wouldn't give you a buck's bet as to whether either one of those will occur.

But ...

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