Karl Malone

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Karl Malone
Position Power forward
Nickname The Mailman
Height ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Weight 256 lb (116 kg)
Nationality Flag of United States United States
Born July 24, 1963 (age 43)
Bernice, Louisiana
High school Summerfield
Summerfield, Louisiana
College Louisiana Tech
Draft 13th overall, 1985
Utah Jazz
Pro career 1985–2004
Former teams Utah Jazz 1985 – 2003
Los Angeles Lakers 2003 – 2004
  • NBA MVP (1997, '99);
  • 11-time All-NBA First Team (1988-1999);
  • All-NBA Second Team (1988, 2000);
  • All-Defensive First Team (1997-99);
  • All-Defensive Second Team (1988);
  • 14-time All-Star (1988-98, 2000-02);
  • NBA All-Rookie Team (1985);
  • One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996);
  • Two-time Olympic gold medalist (1992, '96)

    Karl "The Mailman" Malone (born July 24, 1963, in Bernice, Louisiana) is an American former professional basketball player. He was nicknamed in college as the Mailman for his consistency ("the mailman always delivers") and his work in the post. Malone won the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice. Malone is generally considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Karl now lives in Choudrant, Louisiana with his wife Kay and four youngest children who attend the prestigious school Cedar Creek School, in Ruston LA

    Malone spent his first 18 seasons (19852003) as the star player for the Utah Jazz. He then played one season (2003-04) for the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring.

    Malone was famous for his extremely well-defined physique, which resembled that of a bodybuilder. Along with Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, Sidney Moncrief, Elgin Baylor, and his longtime Jazz teammate John Stockton, he is considered to be one of the best players never to have won a championship ring before retiring.

    Malone's jersey was retired on March 23, 2006, when the Jazz hosted the Washington Wizards. He was also honored with the unveiling of a bronze statue outside the Delta Center next to teammate John Stockton, and the renaming of a portion of 100 South St. in Salt Lake City in his honor. The intersection where the Stockton and Malone statues stand is now the intersection of Stockton and Malone.


    [edit] College career

    Karl played for three years at Louisiana Tech University. He was a hard worker at school. This became the hallmark of Karl's career. He was seldom the most talented player, but always went back to his strong work ethic to make up the difference. Karl was very popular in Ruston, Louisiana, and remains so today. He is well known for both his athletic abilities, and his dedication to developing commerce and job opportunities in the parish[citation needed].

    [edit] NBA career

    Karl Malone was chosen by the Jazz in 1985 out of Louisiana Tech with the 13th overall pick in the draft. After his rookie season, the Jazz saw in him the potential to be the cornerstone of their offense. So, they traded star forward, Adrian Dantley, to the Detroit Pistons and decided to build around Malone.

    At the same time, reserve point guard John Stockton, was winning the trust of the coaching staff, and the love of the fans. By 1987 Karl was the foundation of the offense and Stockton was the floor general and both had All-Star seasons. That season was also the first for head coach Jerry Sloan, who remarked that Malone and Stockton were "two of a kind, like a boy and his pet gorilla.". The three would be inseparable for 16 seasons. It was also at the end of that season that the Jazz as a team rose to national prominence after an amazing playoffs series against the Magic Johnson-led Los Angeles Lakers. For many years, he and Stockton played together on the Jazz, forming one of the most productive guard-forward combinations in NBA history. "He be the best me ever had" Malone once remarked of Stockton. The two played a record 1,412 regular-season games together as teammates. Playing Jerry Sloan's scrappy and tough style and perfecting the pick and roll to a maximum degree of efficiency, the Jazz became a staple to make it to the playoffs and to have a winning record in the regular season. He would lead the Jazz to multiple 50-win seasons with the exception of 1992-93 (47-35) where the Jazz stumbled after the All-Star Game (when he and Stockton won co-MVP honors) and 2001-02's 44-38 finish.

    By the early 1990s the Utah Jazz had risen to power as one of the top teams in the league and had started to knock on the doors of the NBA Finals. They finally got there in 1997 and 1998 but were defeated both times by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls.

    He went on to a couple of more good, consistent seasons with the Jazz before moving on to the Lakers.

    Karl stayed on active duty for one more season, joining the Los Angeles Lakers to try and win a championship, the only major achievement that had eluded him in his career. His bid failed as the Lakers were defeated in five games in the NBA Finals by the Detroit Pistons in 2004 NBA Finals. Although several NBA teams sought his services for the 2004-05 season, Malone decided to retire as a player on February 13, 2005. The Jazz retired his number 32 jersey in his honor.

    [edit] Player profile

    Malone is regarded as one of the best forwards ever. He collected two regular-season MVP Awards, 11 NBA First Team nominations and was also selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team three times.

    He scored 36,928 points (25.0 per game), second best all-time, on remarkable .516 shooting. His high field goal percentage benefited from two factors, namely the superior passing of John Stockton, and secondly his extreme physical power, enabling him to safely slam dunk on most forwards. Malone grabbed an average 10.1 rebounds (thus averaging a double-double in his career) and also stole an average 1.41 balls per game.

    Malone was a very physical player. He liked to draw contact from defenders, dunk over them and put other players in foul trouble. As a result, he would lead the NBA in free throws made seven separate seasons (an NBA record). He was also a physical defender and rebounder, and one of the most durable players ever in the NBA, missing a total of five regular season games in his first 13 years in the league and still playing well at age 40, becoming the oldest player to log a triple-double and being a starter on the NBA Finalists, the Los Angeles Lakers. Malone's work ethic features prominently in his formative years in the NBA where he raised his free throw shooting percentage from below 50% to 75% in a few years. He also added a long range jump shot which made him nearly impossible to guard.

    Malone wore number 32 for the Utah Jazz. He wore number 11 for the Los Angeles Lakers (number 32 was retired honoring Magic Johnson, though Johnson himself offered to have it unretired for Malone to wear, an offer Malone politely refused) and also for the Dream Team (the players wore 4 to 15 to adhere to FIBA rules).

    Olympic medal record
    Men's Basketball
    Gold 1992 Barcelona United States
    Gold 1996 Atlanta United States

    [edit] Reputation

    Malone was considered by some to be a "dirty" player. There were numerous instances during his career where other players were injured as a result of Malone's physical playing style. Below is a summary of several of the more prominent examples of Malone's perceived dirty play:

    • At Louisiana Tech, Malone's elbow struck Rice center Dave Ramer in the face, shattering his cheekbone and collapsing his sinus. Ramer never played again.
    • On December 14, 1991, Malone's elbow hit the Detroit Pistons' Isiah Thomas in the head as he drove to the basket. Thomas needed 5 stitches above his eye to close the wound. Malone was suspended and fined by the NBA. Allegedly, Michael Jordan refused to be on the "Dream Team" if Isiah Thomas was on it, so John Stockton made the team instead of Thomas. Thomas responded by drilling Stockton for 44 points in a subsequent game. Pistons coach Chuck Daly furiously accused Malone of intentionally harming Thomas in retribution for this.
    • The next night, Malone's elbow knocked David Robinson unconscious, earning a suspension.
    • Malone was famous for his "kick jumpshot," where he would use a leg kick to power his jumpshot. He was fined for kicking Shawn Bradley on January 6, 2000.

    Malone is also one of the most politically outspoken NBA players. He makes no bones about his conservative, Republican beliefs and is a staunch member of the National Rifle Association. His was one of the strongest voices against Magic Johnson's attempted return to the NBA for the 1992-93 season, one year after Johnson retired due to testing HIV-positive. Also, during the 1998-99 players' strike, Malone would make many guest appearances on a Salt Lake City sports talk radio station to express his views on the NBA's labor situation.

    [edit] Achievements and awards

    • Stockton and Malone shattered many NBA records while playing together. Stockton holds the NBA record for most career assists and steals, while Malone holds the records for most free throws attempted and made, he is first all-time in defensive rebounds, as well as being second all-time on the NBA career scoring list, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
    • Both he and Stockton were selected to be a part of the Dream Team, the legendary 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team that was the first to feature professional NBA players. They are two-time Olympic Gold medalists, having won one in 1992 and another 1996 in Atlanta.
      Bronze statue of Malone
      Bronze statue of Malone
    • Both hold many records of longevity, having faced very few long term injuries in their careers and having played for 19 seasons each.
    • Between them, they hold almost every major statistical record for the Utah Jazz franchise.
    • Malone received the NBA Most Valuable Player Award twice while playing for the Jazz, in 1997 and 1999 seasons.
    • Voted in 1996 to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list.
    • Voted to 11 All-NBA first teams, two second teams and one third team.
    • Voted an All-Star 14 times. MVP of the All-Star game in 1989 and co-MVP in 1993 with Stockton.
    • Voted to three NBA All-Defensive teams and one second team.
    • Malone was ranked #13 on Slam Magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of all time in 2003.
    • Played in 1476 games, averaging 37.2 minutes, 51% shooting from the floor, 74% from the free throw line, 25.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.41 steals per game.
    • His jersey number was retired by the Utah Jazz (#32) in Salt Lake City on March 23, 2006.
    • A bronze statue depicting Malone was dedicated on March 23, 2006 on the SE corner of the Delta Center block, next to the one depicting John Stockton.

    [edit] Notable games

    • Malone was named Most Valuable Player of the 1989 NBA All-Star Game, finishing the contest with 28 points and 9 rebounds.
    • On January 27, 1990, Malone scored a career-high 61 points in a 144-96 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. He made 21 of 26 field goals and 19 of 19 free throws. It was the most points scored by a Jazz player since the team moved to Utah from New Orleans. By playing only 33 minutes, Malone became the 3rd player in NBA history to score at least 60 points while playing less than 40 minutes in a game. The others to have accomplished this feat are Jerry West (63 points in 39 minutes on January 17, 1962) and George Gervin (63 points in 33 minutes on April 9, 1978). Kobe Bryant is the latest and 4th player to have achieved this feat (62 points in 33 minutes on December 20, 2005).
    • Malone scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 1993 NBA All-Star Game, sharing the game's MVP honors with teammate John Stockton.
    • Against the Golden State Warriors (on March 29, 1994), Malone set a career high with 23 rebounds (11 offensive, 12 defensive).
    • Malone posted his first career triple-double with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 2, 1996.
    • On May 11, 1997, in a playoff game against the Lakers, Malone made 18 of 18 free throws, breaking the NBA record for most free throw attempts without a miss in a single playoff game. He finished with 42 points.
    • Malone scored 50 points and added 12 rebounds in a playoff game against the Seattle SuperSonics on April 22, 2000. The 50 points set a Jazz franchise playoff record.
    • On November 30, 2003, while playing with the Lakers, Malone became the oldest NBA player ever to post a triple-double (at age 40). He totaled 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in just 26 minutes against the San Antonio Spurs.
    • With his 30-point, 13-rebound performance April 25, 2004 at Houston, Karl Malone became the oldest player in playoff history to score 30-plus points in a game and only the second player over 40 to tally 30-plus points in a postseason contest, the other being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

    [edit] Trivia

    • Malone's 1985 draft day suit as well as that of Charles Barkley are continuously mocked on sports TV shows to this day for their colors and designs.
    • Malone's daughter, Cheryl Ford, plays for the Detroit Shock in the WNBA, and was a key component of their WNBA Championship team in 2003.
    • Malone arrived in Salt Lake City to join the Jazz on July 24th, 1985. July 24th is Pioneer Day in Utah, but it also happens to be Malone's birthday. The Jazz placed Malone in one of the vehicles in the Parade and the people cheered him as he passed by. Malone later admitted that he thought all those people were out to celebrate his birthday.[citation needed]
    • During a 1995 game featuring Derrick Coleman's New Jersey Nets, Coleman went so far as to call Malone an 'Uncle Tom'.[1]


    [edit] Other interests

    [edit] See also

    [edit] External links

    Preceded by
    Michael Jordan
    NBA Most Valuable Player Award
    Succeeded by
    Shaquille O'Neal
    1992 Olympic Champions Men's Basketball – "Dream Team"
    Charles Barkley | Larry Bird | Clyde Drexler | Patrick Ewing | Magic Johnson | Michael Jordan
    Christian Laettner | Karl Malone | Chris Mullin | Scottie Pippen | David Robinson | John Stockton
    Coach: Chuck Daly
    1996 Olympic Champions Men's BasketballUnited States
    Charles Barkley | Penny Hardaway | Grant Hill | Karl Malone | Reggie Miller | Hakeem Olajuwon
    Shaquille O'Neal | Gary Payton | Scottie Pippen | Mitch Richmond | David Robinson | John Stockton
    Coach: Lenny Wilkins
    National Basketball Association | NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Nate Archibald | Paul Arizin | Charles Barkley | Rick Barry | Elgin Baylor | Dave Bing | Larry Bird | Wilt Chamberlain | Bob Cousy | Dave Cowens | Billy Cunningham | Dave DeBusschere | Clyde Drexler | Julius Erving | Patrick Ewing | Walt Frazier | George Gervin | Hal Greer | John Havlicek | Elvin Hayes | Magic Johnson | Sam Jones | Michael Jordan | Jerry Lucas | Karl Malone | Moses Malone | Pete Maravich | Kevin McHale | George Mikan | Earl Monroe | Hakeem Olajuwon | Shaquille O'Neal | Robert Parish | Bob Pettit | Scottie Pippen | Willis Reed | Oscar Robertson | David Robinson | Bill Russell | Dolph Schayes | Bill Sharman | John Stockton | Isiah Thomas | Nate Thurmond | Wes Unseld | Bill Walton | Jerry West | Lenny Wilkens | James Worthy

    Karl now lives in Choudrant, Louisiana just outside Ruston, where he went to college at LA Tech. His 4 youngest children attend the perstigous private school Cedar Creek School, Located in Ruston