Time to say goodbye -dlh

Tariq Engineer

The Mailman finally made his last delivery; saying goodbye to an NBA career spanning 19 years. During that time Karl Malone redefined what it was to be a power forward, and he retires as arguably the best of them all.
Malone came into the league without much fanfare, having played college ball at Louisiana Tech. He wasn’t a good free throws shooter or a good jump shooter, but he worked and worked until he could. In a way, working was what Malone did best. As he got older, his body fat percentage actually got lower. He did not miss games until the knee injury with the Lakers, which may have ultimately cost them, and Malone, an NBA Championship. It would have been a championship well deserved.
The lack of a championship ring, however, does not diminish Malone’s career in any way. Malone is second all-time in points scored and games played, fourth all-time in minutes played. He was the league MVP in ’97 and ’99. He won two Olympic gold medals, and was a 14-time All Star. He also led the Utah Jazz to consecutive NBA finals appearance in ’97 and ’98, losing to a certain Mr. Jordan and the Chicago Bulls both times.
But Malone’s greatest achievement may have been taking a small market team like the Utah Jazz, and *******– with a little help from John Stockton and Jerry Sloan ********– turning it into a big time performer. There was no question the Jazz came ready to play every night. There was no question Malone would deliver every night. And no team wanted to play the Jazz as a result. Teams knew the pick and roll was coming, but they could not stop it. Stockton to Malone would go on to become an NBA catchphrase. It is practically impossible to think of one without thinking of the other.
Not that Malone was perfect. He could be aloof at times, and often criticized Jazz ownership for slights both real and imaginary. None of that interfered with what happened on the basketball court though. Karl Malone was a true warrior, and that is how he will be remembered.