"The Mailman" delivered that message to ESPN during a call to "SportsCenter" after he had spoken to "The Dan Patrick Show" earlier in the day and had unveiled a list that didn't have Jordan on it.
"Michael Jordan is in my starting five. Relax my little grasshoppers," Malone said to ESPN.
Asked who would man the small forward position, Malone said: "I'm gonna shock the world. I have to put Scottie Pippen at the 3. Scottie Pippen led the [Bulls] in every statistical category when he was there without Jordan."
After the Bulls won three titles from 1991 to '93, Jordan walked away from the NBA for more than a season to pursue a baseball career. Pippen did star on some good Bulls teams, but Chicago went on to win three more crowns when Jordan returned.
Patrick responded that Malone must have a man crush on Pippen to take him over his more celebrated Chicago Bulls teammate.
"I have a man crush on LeBron James," Malone responded.
Malone is second all-time in career scoring behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who also didn't make his list. But Jordan's Bulls beat Malone's Jazz in back-to-back Finals in 1997 and '98.
When asked in the past about his all-time starting five, Malone has left Jordan off, as well, but before calling in to "SportsCenter," he tweeted that this time he was just messing with Patrick.
"Dan Patrick had a man crush on MJ from the time we started the interview. I was just messing with him," he tweeted.