Sunday, October 28, 2012

Karl Malone

One of my favorite players of all time is Karl Malone. There are several reasons for this. I'll admit the first reason was because I grew up watching Jazz games. Aside from my home town bias, I have always been impressed with the Mailman for the following reasons.

His work ethic. Few players exerted more effort on the court than Malone. He is known for fighting for rebounds, sprinting down the lane and finishing strong with power dunks. As a result of his physical play, no other NBA player has shot or made more free throws.

His work ethic also carried this over into his off season training. Some athletes occasionally show up at the beginning of the season unprepared and out of shape, but Malone always showed up ready. He kept himself in great shape which is one reason he lasted 19 seasons in the NBA. I was a little sad when he decided to retire because I knew if any player had a chance at breaking Kareem's all time scoring record, it could have been Karl since he kept himself in such great condition. He is the second all time leading career scorer in the NBA. He also earned two MVP trophies during his career.

Karl wasn't afraid to speak his mind, however; this was also one thing that occasionally made me uncomfortable. Sometimes I would cringe when he'd make certain statements, but I still have to respect the guy for speaking up and saying what he believed.

Some have criticized him for never winning a championship ring despite two years to the finals with losses to Michael Jordan and the Bulls, but he still solidified himself as one of the greatest power forwards to play the game. Karl Malone will always be one of my favorite players.

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