The affable 6’9” 255lbs Power Forward, Karl Malone, is one of the fittest men ever to grace the basketball court. This is amazing: given the fact that he was build more like an NFL Tight End than a basketball player. Note that Karl missed only four games in astonishing twelve years. He played for eighteen seasons for the Utah Jazz (1985 to 2003) before retiring with the L.A. Lakers in the following season. Nicknamed “The Mailman”, this Power Forward never failed to ‘deliver’, no matter how remotely located the opposing team’s ‘address’ is. In the process he became only the sixth player to tally 25,000 points and 10,000 rebounds in the history of NBA. Thanks to his trademark feathery jumper!
Born on July 24, 1963 in Summerfield, Louisiana, Karl Anthony Malone spent much of his childhood in this small village of only about two hundred residents, (i.e. then). He attended the Summerfield High School, where a combination of wholesome values and the good-old-fashioned hard work saw him frequenting the gym at his spare time. By the twilight of the late 1970s the youngster was ready for college.
He relocated to a denser Ruston (northern Louisiana)—in order to attend the Louisiana Tech. Karl’s scoring consistency encouraged schoolmates to nickname him “The Mailman” right there at the college. Further gym efforts and dedication brought him the much-needed limelight. He was drafted by the Jazz in 1985: to revitalize the then aging Forward, Adrian Dantley. Karl’s first season was good, and he achieved some respectable benchmarks. The next season—and with Dantley traded to Detroit Pistons, the new boy’s production capacity soared. He averaged 21.7 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game. But above all, he was a delight to watch. His ball skills and fitness were almost impeccable. And he was fluid each night—despite his thickset frame.
In 1988 a progressive Karl led a comparatively lesser Jazz against the then almighty Lakers. He took this star-studded Lakers (that included legends like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy), all the way to seven game playoff. And, he almost snatched victory from them! He averaged above 29 points per game in that postseason. When the 1989 All-Star game arrived, an excited crowd saw him upping the score sheets to 28ppg, 9rpg, and 3apg—en route winning the All-Star MVP award.
With his unstoppable pick-and-roll offense style, Karl succeeded in amassing a fantastic 36,928 career points. This figure gives an average of more than 25 points per game for the nineteen years he spent in the league.
His professional dossier includes some of these memorable achievements:
1. All-Rookie Team (1985)
2. Member of the original Dream Team (1992)
3. 2-time Olympic Champion (1992 and ‘96)
4. 2-time NBA MVP (1997 and ‘99)
5. 2-time All-Star MVP (1989 and ‘93)
6. All-Defensive First Team (1997-‘99)
7. 11-time All NBA First Team (1988-1999)
8. 14-time NBA All-Star Selections (1988-’98 and 2000-‘02)
9. Record 9 consecutive seasons with 2,000 points or more
10. Missed only 4 games in an astonishing 12 seasons
11. Averaged more than 25 Points and 10 Rebounds for 12 consecutive years
12. His 36,928 career points is the second all-time highest, (behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Karl Malone moved over to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003/2004 season; but promptly retired in 2005 after noticing that there was nothing more left to add to his already impressive stats. Still, many teams (including his own L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves) tried to talk him into signing a fresh contract. But ‘The Mailman’ valued his rest more. And it is well-deserved too!
The Utah Jazz retired his number 32 jersey in 2006—as a mark of respect. They also erected his life-size bronze statue—as a sign of honor and gratitude.
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Born in Summerfield, Louisiana, he was nicknamed The Mailman in college for his consistency ("the mailman always delivers") and his work in the post. Malone twice won the National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player award. He is generally considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history, and has scored the second most points (36,928) in NBA history, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
On May 30, 2007, Malone was named director of basketball promotions and assistant strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech University.
Malone spent his first 18 seasons (1985–2003) as the star player for the Utah Jazz, forming a formidable duo with his teammate John Stockton. He played one season (2003–04) for the Los Angeles Lakers 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 EnergySolutions Arena next to teammate John Stockton, and the renaming of a portion of 100 South in Salt Lake City in his honor. The location where the statues stand is now the intersection of Stockton and Malone