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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Karl "The Mailman" Malone to announce retirement this Sunday

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posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 05:17 PM
SALT LAKE CITY -- There will be no NBA career scoring record for Karl Malone. No championship ring, either.

The Mailman is retiring, having come up short in his quest for both during his 19-year career.

Malone, 41, will announce his retirement Sunday, the Jazz said Friday. He will hold a news conference at the Delta Center -- the arena where his 1997 and 1999 league MVP awards are celebrated with signs below the upper deck.

Soon, a giant No. 32 Malone jersey will assuredly hang above the court.

"Even though he never won a championship, he had an outstanding career," said Jerry Sloan, Malone's coach for 15 of his seasons in Utah. "He played a lot of times when he shouldn't have. He did whatever he could to try to win, and I think that kind of thing is overlooked a lot these days in the game of basketball."

Malone's agent, Dwight Manley, said Malone was "very serious" about returning to action with the San Antonio Spurs before he decided to retire.

"I can tell you he's given a tremendous amount of thought to this decision, but the specific details are best left to him to make on Sunday," Manley said.

Malone retires with 36,928 points, just 1,459 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record 38,387.

He spent all but one of his 19 seasons with the Jazz, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent before last season. He made the move so he could make one more run at the ring that eluded him in trips to the NBA finals in 1997 and '98.

Malone made it to the finals again with the Lakers, but came up empty. Detroit beat Los Angeles in five games.

Malone teamed with guard John Stockton for 18 seasons with Utah to form one of the NBA's greatest duos, leading the Jazz to the finals twice but losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls each time.

"He had a great career here and did a terrific job for the Jazz," Sloan said.

Stockton, the NBA's all-time leader in assists and steals, retired in 2003 after 19 seasons, all with the Jazz.

Malone gave it one more year, joining the Lakers at a greatly reduced salary before last season in an attempt to win a title by playing with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. He missed 39 games during the regular season after injuring his right knee, and was hurt again during the playoffs. He was limited in Games 3 and 4 against the Pistons and missed Game 5.

"We've had one year with him and everyone in the organization, from the front office staff, fellow players, coaches, everyone really enjoyed having Karl around for that year," Lakers spokesman John Black said. "He was a real addition to our team last year in helping us get to the NBA playoffs."

Malone opted out of his $1.65 million contract after last season, making him a free agent. He and his family live in Newport Beach, Calif. They also have a home in Salt Lake City.

Manley said in October that his client wasn't ready to play but that if he returned, it would only be with the Lakers.

That changed late last year after Malone was accused by Bryant of making a pass at Bryant's wife. Malone, through Manley, denied the accusation and apologized to Bryant and his wife for any remarks she might have considered inappropriate.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 06:24 PM
i just saw on Sportscenter that the price of a US postage stamp has gone up 15 cents during "The Mailman's" career.

posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 06:28 PM
At least he picked Sunday to do it, everyone knows that the mailman doesn't come on Sundays.

posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 06:38 PM

Originally posted by ProudAmerican
At least he picked Sunday to do it, everyone knows that the mailman doesn't come on Sundays.

posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 10:50 AM
A Hall of Famer, ring or no ring

Delivery of a certified retirement confirmation came late. Way late. Weeks later than the teams awaiting this notification probably deserved.

Nevertheless ...

In the end, Karl Malone proved to be the reliable Mailman of yesteryear.

He eventually got it here, and he got it right.

It might have taken more than half a season for him to consent to a retirement news conference, but it finally registered with Mailman this week. He ultimately realized that a comeback with the San Antonio Spurs just didn't make sense for him, no matter how much it might have helped the Spurs or other interested suitors like Miami, Minnesota and Detroit.

Think about it.

As part of a title team in San Antonio, given Malone's famed ability to inflame passions, chances are he wouldn't have been widely embraced as a cuddly, fortysomething, future Hall of Famer filling the only void on his resume. It's far more likely he'd have been branded as an opportunistic rider of sleeveless shirttails who had to ship himself from Salt Lake City to Hollywood to the Alamo because he couldn't bear leaving the game without a ring.

And if he joined the Spurs, and then they failed to win it all this June, guess who would have taken the bulk of the blame?


Either way, with or without a ring, Malone wasn't going to score 1,459 points this season, even if he played for the entire season. Which means he'd have to come back in 2005-06 for a shot at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time scoring record, no matter how '04-05 turned out.

So what did he really have to gain, then?


The only mystery, which might be cleared up Sunday when he steps to the podium at the Delta Center, is why he didn't make the announcement last month instead of stringing this out so long. The original plan, remember, was for Malone to spend the holidays with his family and then make a decision in early January, as agent Dwight Manley laid out to back in November.

When we didn't hear anything all month, even the hopeful Spurs started exploring other options to strengthen their frontcourt rotation, sensing that Mailman wasn't coming.

San Antonio realized it, too: The Mailman didn't need a new route.

That's because Malone's legacy is secure, no matter how many Mail-haters try to denigrate his place in history. All he did is revolutionize his position, run the most celebrated pick-and-roll ever seen with John Stockton and help turn a small-market franchise in a city mocked by countless contemporaries into a powerhouse.

He couldn't make free throws and jumpers when he got to the NBA, but he worked until he nailed both disciplines. His body-fat percentage actually got lower as he got older, because no athlete in the world had a harder workout regimen. He also never missed games until his final season with the Lakers, when knee troubles cost him half the regular season and, sadly, the last game he was ever a part of: Game 5 of last June's NBA Finals at Detroit.

But let's be clear here. After 18 seasons of service with the Jazz, you couldn't protest when he defected to the Lakers ... via a pay cut of nearly $18 million, don't forget. It wasn't even his idea exclusively; Malone defected in tandem with Gary Payton. Those two joining Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant for a season gave us one of the most colorful collections of talent in NBA annals, gripping us all with their spectacular successes and implosions.

I really didn't want to see Malone in black and silver, chasing the championship...but purple and gold?

Stamp him as a great Laker. Maybe last's season best Laker.

So now it'll be easier to remember him that way.

Or, somewhat ironically for such a noted deliverer, as the receiving half of Stockton-to-Malone.

Friday's retirement bulletin was undeniably overdue, but now? We're OK with the delay.



[Edited on 2/12/2005 by Gibbs Baby!!!]

posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 10:52 AM
NBA All-Time Scorers
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
Karl Malone 36,928
Michael Jordan 32,292
Wilt Chamberlain 31,419

Malone: Durable Deliveryman
Minutes 54,852 2nd all-time
Games 1,476 3rd
Rebounds 14,968 6th

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