Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby JSM on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:12 am

Jack McCallum of Jack McCallum.com wrote:Like Barkley, the Mailman understands that part of his legacy is tied to his never having won a championship. But I didn’t come to Louisiana to talk about that because what is there to say on the subject? Lots of great players didn’t win one, starting, of course, with Malone’s teammate Stockton. George Gervin didn’t. Patrick Ewing didn’t. Dominique Wilkins didn’t. Hell, Elgin Baylor didn’t, and you could begin the discussion of NBA forwards with him. There are a host of reasons it didn’t happen but there are also two simple ones: For much of his career he went up against the Magic Johnson-led Lakers in the West, and when he and Stockton finally made it to the Finals in 1997 and 1998, there were Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

Did the Mailman chase a championship when he signed on with the Lakers in 2003? Sure he did. So did lots of other guys, Barkley for one. But what interests me most about Malone was that he didn’t hang around to try to eclipse Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He needed 1,459 points when he walked away after a disappointing ’03-’04 season during which he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Malone had slowed down by that time but, given his facility for work and rehab, he could’ve probably gotten back to, say, 80%, and covered the point total in one season. He hadn’t lost his strength game, he had an accurate outside touch and no one had his facility for getting to the line. (The Mailman is the all-time leader both in free throws made and attempted.) I’m not saying that he should’ve hung around; I’m just saying I was surprised he didn’t.

“I’m gonna tell you why, Jack,” Malone said. And he turned serious.

“When I lost my mother nothing mattered for a long period of time,” Malone said. (Shirley Malone, to whom Karl was extremely close, died, at age 64, on Aug. 13, 2003, about six weeks before Malone would join the Lakers.)

“Nope, nothing mattered,” he continued. “Not basketball, not business, not my friends. My world, which was basketball, didn’t matter. Records didn’t matter.”

Malone is tearing up by now. He tells me that he kept a journal during that time. He called it “Through My Eyes.” In the journal he pledged not to retire and come back.

“That is one of the most disrespectful things you can do to the game,” Malone continues. “I think when my mother died it just made me think about certain things more seriously. That was one of them.”

He may also have been drawing a distinction between himself and Magic, who did retire and come back. Twice. Malone was respectful to Magic’ leadership in Barcelona but broke away with his comments about HIV when they got back to the States. I detail it all in Dream Team.

Predictably, Malone’s reflective mood after Shirley’s death wasn’t the only factor in his leaving. The 2003-04 season was a turbulent one in L.A., defined by Kobe Bryant’s occasional absences to deal with his legal issues tied to an assault charge in Colorado. (Bryant missed 17 games.) And it eventually came to light that there were problems between Malone and Bryant involving Kobe’s wife, Vanessa. (She is now his ex-wife.) It is an impossibly complicated story and I have to be honest: I have no idea who to believe. (I direct you to this link. es.pn/Medb9x if you want to read more.) But it was part and parcel to the drama of the season.

“When nobody cared what was written or said, that season with the Lakers was the most fun I ever had playing in the NBA,” said Malone. “It even came close to the Dream Team experience. When we were good, we were great. Watching the way Shaq and Kobe played together was something else. (Note: The Lakers won 10 in a row early and 11 in a row late.]

“And then it was like somebody threw in a little string. ‘Okay, let’s tell something that Shaq said about Kobe.’ ‘Okay, today, let’s go get Kobe. What did he say about Shaq?’ You could always use one against the other. And I always said that when it became a job instead of a passion, it was time to go.”

Malone also brought up another anecdote that factored in his decision to retire. I found it surprising.

“We’re playing San Antonio in the playoffs. [The Lakers eliminated the Spurs in six games in the Western semis.] They’re fouling the hell out of me and I’m talking to the referee, Bernie Fryar, about it. Now, here I am, 40 years old. Done what I did in the league. And you know what he says to me? ‘Just shut up and play.’

“Man, that bothered me a lot. To say that to another person? A veteran? That stuck in my mind. I knew it was time to go, and I loved how I did it. I just retired and went on with life.”

The incident with Fryar says much about Karl, and, to a degree, the mentality of the superstar athlete: He seems so strong, invulnerable even, but slights, real and imagined, sting him.

There's a couple of other interesting tidbits in the article, such as why he and Barkley have never gone hunting together.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby LTLakerFan on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:00 am

Thanks! I have always wondered about his decision to not, but figured the Kobe thing factored in and had read before how his mom passing made other important things in his life almost irrelevant. Those are great tidbits just from what you posted. Loved the most fun ever in basketball revelation and yeah can see how one of those A-hole referees could get to him with a comment like that. What does a superstar need to do for a little respect for crissakes...... Karl and Kobe both want to know.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:53 am

That was a good read on Malone..... who is in my mind the best ever to play that position.....
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby kenzo on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:14 am

Still an a-hole.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby Doc Brown on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:18 am

lakerswiz wrote:
“We’re playing San Antonio in the playoffs. [The Lakers eliminated the Spurs in six games in the Western semis.] They’re fouling the hell out of me and I’m talking to the referee, Bernie Fryar, about it. Now, here I am, 40 years old. Done what I did in the league. And you know what he says to me? ‘Just shut up and play.’

“Man, that bothered me a lot. To say that to another person? A veteran? That stuck in my mind. I knew it was time to go, and I loved how I did it. I just retired and went on with life.”


It was time to retire at that point because he was no longer a man.

Just shut up and play.

Like he never yelled at a referee.


That part had me a little bit confused as well. Something as simple as a ref telling you to shut up and play, made you retire from the game? :man3:
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby gcclaker on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:38 am

Malone was always a sensitive individual for a man his size going back to his tiffs with Sloan and the late Jazz owner Miller. I read somewhere that he admitted being a mama's boy. That was a memorable season him being a Laker albeit it ended in disappointment. Malone challenged O'Neal to keep up with him up and down the court. He also cleared his own Laker teammates away for rebounds too. He had quite an impact. Then of course, there was the Nash incident that netted him a suspension.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby TIME on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:39 am

lakerswiz wrote:
It was time to retire at that point because he was no longer a man.



You're in an interesting mood today. :man3:
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby khmrP on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:30 am

its ashame he got hurt, he deserved ring that year for how hard he played....GP on the other hand meh :man5:
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby lakersStan24 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:52 am

khmrP wrote:its ashame he got hurt, he deserved ring that year for how hard he played....GP on the other hand meh :man5:


GP PLayed the full 82 and had a great year! but Yeah Malone deserved the ring that year as did the Lakers for battling thru Kobe's legal issue and the Kobe and Shaq feud at least most of the time.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby khmrP on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:07 pm

lakersStan24 wrote:
khmrP wrote:its ashame he got hurt, he deserved ring that year for how hard he played....GP on the other hand meh :man5:


GP PLayed the full 82 and had a great year! but Yeah Malone deserved the ring that year as did the Lakers for battling thru Kobe's legal issue and the Kobe and Shaq feud at least most of the time.


I didn't think he played well and was quite avg. in the playoffs, especially in the finals, whoever he was guarding would always get off whether rip or billups.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:45 pm

He didn't play in the finals. He was injured.

He was incredible against San Antonio. If he would have been healthy, we would have won the finals.

As for the ref incident, it's hard for a star player to join a team where he isn't the star. You have to recognize that you're not going to get star treatment anymore. If all four stars got star treatment, Lakers would have had 60 FT a game.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby noobiew on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:45 pm

I freakingly hate Malone when he was with the Jazz and turned out like and support him when he joined the Lakers, rooting and wanted to see him to finally get a championship ring with us.

And also, on 28 Nov 2003, in a game between the LA Lakers vs San Antonio Spurs, Karl Malone became the oldest player to ever recorded a triple double for the Lakers at age of 40 years old. He had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby BDG on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:04 pm

LOL I doubt that exchange with Bernie Fryar was a serious factor in his retirement.

I think Scott Williams falling on Malone's knee had just a little bit more to do with it.
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Re: Scott Williams

Postby JUST-MING on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:57 am

BDG wrote:I think Scott Williams falling on Malone’s knee had just a little bit more to do with it.

All the more reason to hate Phoenix.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby gradymac on Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:52 am

it was such a treat to watch malone play for the lakers. i guess spending all of these years hating him made me blind to the fact that he was an incredible player probably the best to ever play that spot. seeing the lakers lose that season was extra painful for me. i was really hoping he we could've won one for malone but thats not gonna happen though when you have slava medvedenko starting in the nba finals.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby John3:16 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:36 am

Malone was too sensitive, IMO. But man, could he bulldoze his way to the rim.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby Lakerman JSJ on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:53 am

I'll always have an especially strong distaste for those mid-to-late 90's Jazz teams, and thus Malone, but he surprisingly was a positive steadying force on that chaotic 2004 season. I'm still convinced we win that title if he hadn't injured his knee in the playoffs.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby DMK on Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:55 pm

Kobe called him up and threatened to end him. Hung up, and called back again and went off some more.

Needless to say, karl knew he burned his last bridge.

18-3. Thats what we were before a suns player fell on his knee and ruined our championship. That and Detoilet shot a bazillion ft's to our 2. :bang: :bang: :bang:
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby lakersStan24 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:07 pm

DMK wrote:Kobe called him up and threatened to end him. Hung up, and called back again and went off some more.

Needless to say, karl knew he burned his last bridge.

18-3. Thats what we were before a suns player fell on his knee and ruined our championship. That and Detoilet shot a bazillion ft's to our 2. :bang: :bang: :bang:


Yeah but Kobe also said that Karl Kept the Team Together and had a close relationship with Malone and forced Him to wear a knee brace for game 3 for the nba finals and Kobe had to wear one too otherwise Malone wouldn't do it.. Lol
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby Juronimo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:48 pm

Karl Malone going hunting ended his career.
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Re: 2004 Western Conference Semifinals

Postby JUST-MING on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:11 pm

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Re: 2004 Western Conference Semifinals

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:37 pm

JUST-MING wrote:


These LD2k videos bring back memories. They were the first Laker videos I started downloading back in 03, I was like 13. It still feels so recent but god damn that was a LONG time ago.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby Jigglin Jello on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:06 pm

There were few players in the league I disliked more than Malone... until he became a Laker. On a team full of players I'd admired for years, Malone became my number one. Amidst all the Kobe and Shaq drama, he was the one who kept the focus on basketball. Consummate professional. He also surprised me with his passing, something he either hadn't used much before the Lakers or I just hadn't noticed. If he hadn't gone down we would have won another championship and who knows how Laker history might have turned out.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby LTLakerFan on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:07 pm

Jigglin Jello wrote:There were few players in the league I disliked more than Malone... until he became a Laker. On a team full of players I'd admired for years, Malone became my number one. Amidst all the Kobe and Shaq drama, he was the one who kept the focus on basketball. Consummate professional. He also surprised me with his passing, something he either hadn't used much before the Lakers or I just hadn't noticed. If he hadn't gone down we would have won another championship and who knows how Laker history might have turned out.


My thoughts exactly about Malone for that year. Maybe not my number one on the team but loved having him here and the skills, toughness and professionalism he brought. After hating him on Utah. Completely convinced had he not re-injured the knee in the playoffs we would have 4 peated. He felt the trainers let him down with misdiagnosing how the rehab should have gone. Needed rest for awhile rather than the exact opposite he gave it. I also used to marvel at how in shape and just damn healthy he looked at (38?) on the team.
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Re: Malone briefly talks about his time with LA

Postby 432J on Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:22 pm

lakersStan24 wrote:
khmrP wrote:its ashame he got hurt, he deserved ring that year for how hard he played....GP on the other hand meh :man5:


GP PLayed the full 82 and had a great year! but Yeah Malone deserved the ring that year as did the Lakers for battling thru Kobe's legal issue and the Kobe and Shaq feud at least most of the time.

payton had anything but a great year that season. he was a terrible fit in the triangle and never seemed to find his rythym whereas malone played his heart out and had a great season. if it weren't for scott williams, the lakers would have easily won it all that year

it was sad seeing malone in the finals not able to play at 100% and then having to sit out while the pistons won. i will always hate that season, still havent gotten over it
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