Karl Malone (the Mailman) always delivered for 19 seasons. 18 in the Utah Jazz and 1 in the Lakers. Damn, with Stockton they were so good it was ridiculous.
The only player who has scored more points than him, is Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Karl stands second with 36,928 points and he has twice won the NBA Most Valuable Player award (1996-97 and 1998-99).
He’s also a proud owner of two Olympic gold medals together with the TRUE, original Dream Team in Barcelona in 1992 and in 1996 in Atlanta. It’s so sad to understand that he’s never won an NBA title.
Together with players like Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor, Peter Maravich and Reggie Miller, he’s one of the best basketball player to ever play the game who’s never won a championship. But he was very close though. Losing to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in 1997 and 1998.
Malone will always remain as the player with “flying” elbows.
It’s not for nothing that he got his nickname Dr. Elbow. In 2001, Karl was voted as the NBA’s dirtiest player because he’s hospitalized more opponents than any other player. 2 of the most famous are to Isiah Thomas who got 40 stitches under his left eye and to David Robinson who was on the ground unconscious for 2 minutes.
Believe it or not Karl Malone was a tall scrawny kid who had to spend countless hours in the gym, building his 6 foot 9 frame. And he didn’t just use that to show how powerful he was (which he was) but also he played smart. Together with Stockton who was the master of the “pick and roll”.
Here are some nice quotes from him…
“When we play the game like we’re supposed to play it, it is pretty easy. Making the extra pass, making the simple play, it’s not about between your legs, behind your back, and all of that, it’s just about scoring the bucket.”
“When you wonder what made my decision now. When I got on the plane, I knew that I was done. I knew it was time. Because I look at basketball as 100% physically and 100% mentally. And if I can’t bring you 200% from me, I can’t bring you anything. And to be totally honest with you when I lostmy mom, I lost a piece of me that can never be replaced. So, that’s why I know the time is now.”