28th August 17:17
Some Jazz fans might appreciate Malone only after he's a Laker
Should Malone don the purple and gold, the legions of Jazz fans who
always seem to be criticizing the Mailman might finally realize just
what they've lost.
Oh, I know, Karl can be a royal pain. Yes, every summer he whines
about his salary and says he wants to go somewhere else. But if the
Mailman never loved Utah best, it was because Utah never loved him
best. Malone knew he was always second in the hearts of Jazz fans
behind John Stockton. Remember the year Stockton got voted as a
starter on the All-star team while a mediocre A.C. Green got more
ballots than Malone? Don't think that didn't run through the Mailman's
mind every summer when he started lobbing verbal volleys at Larry
Miller in the press.
At Stockton's retirement party last month, Malone said Stockton helped
him more than he helped Stockton. But as we all know, Karl sometimes
says stupid things that he doesn't really mean. Stockton recorded a
lot of assists when he merely made a routine pass and Malone made an
Take, for example, the pass that made Stockton the NBA's all-time
career assists leader. I've seen it replayed several times and
basically what happened was, Stockton was on the wing and threw the
ball to Malone posted up on the low block. After receiving a pass that
my mom could have thrown, Malone made a great fake to his left toward
the middle of the lane, got the defender off balance and then hit his
patented unblockable turnaround fadeaway jumper.
As Karl himself might have said, "Karl Malone does not need much help
on that one."
There have also been complaints that Malone isn't always a nice guy.
Apparently he didn't want to be bothered by fans while watching his
kids compete at the Utah Summer Games in Cedar City last month.
Several years ago, when someone chided Jose Canseco for not being a
nice guy, he responded, "Why don't you get the Pope to play right
field and we'll see how many home runs he hits."
I doubt that the Pope, for all his wonderful qualities, is a very good
Before Jazz fans tell Malone not to let the door hit him on the
backside on the way out of Utah, they should stop and consider the
following: What are the odds that an NBA player would have a birthday
on Pioneer Day, would prefer driving trucks and riding horses to
making rap records and getting tattoos, would learn to fit in with
Utah's Mormon culture where many predecessors have failed, and, on top
of all of that, would be one of the two greatest scorers of all time?
What are the odds? Jazz fans may soon realize too late that Karl
Malone was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for an NBA franchise.