Today the Mailman, Karl Malone, turns 50. To celebrate, we thought it only fitting to provide you 10 of his best quotes over an NBA career that stretched from 1985 to 2004. Malone has scored more points than anyone in NBA history not named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but his scoring accomplishments and unchallenged Hall of Fame pedigree wouldn’t have happened without a lot of hard work.
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10. “I like to think I have some finesse to my game, but inside the paint is where men are made. If you can’t play there, you should be home with your mama.” – New York Times.
Malone was, and is, the archetypal power forward. In a league that’s increasingly becoming more geared towards the stretch 4, Malone knew how to do the gritty work inside, like Zach Randolph and the Grit & Grind crew in Memphis. But he also developed a nice touch from the mid-range in order to draw defenders to the perimeter so he could attack the basket. Despite his improved outside shot, the block was where he was most comfortable.
In the above clip, Malone does battle against Kareem, Magic Johnson and the leaders of the Western Conference in 1988, the Las Angeles Lakers. But the good ol’ boy from the Bayou did not back down.
9. “Just hit the guy next to you. Forget the technique. Hit the guy across from you. Don’t let somebody come in your space.” – advice to Karl Malone Jr. via ESPN.
Karl’s son, Karl Malone Jr. was a football player competing in the New Orleans Under Armour combine in 2011. This is the advice he gave his son, and it’s the type of play that Malone relished while banging bodies in the paint during his NBA career.
Malone Jr. announced he’d attend LSU in March last year where he’ll play football, rather than hoops. But the same dedication and toughness his father exhibited during his nearly two decade run in the NBA has been instilled in his son, and he’s not afraid to mix it up, as evidenced by Karl Senior’s advice.