Karl Anthony Malone (July 24, 1963-) is widely regarded as the best power forward in NBA history, making the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons while standing second behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar in career points with 36,298. The Utah Jazz took Karl as the 13th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft out of Louisiana Tech University. In his first season in the NBA, Karl averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds earning a spot on the 1986 NBA All-Rookie Team. With John Stockton running the backcourt and dishing to the hard-driving Malone, he was now a part of one of the most successful 1-2 punches in NBA history. Utah’s dynamic duo scored 56, 009 points adding 21,044 assists and pulling down 19,019 total rebounds in 18 seasons together. The Mailman, named for his speed, scoring ability and consistent delivery each season, came into his own in 1988 becoming one of the Jazz leaders and gaining more and more recognition around the league. In 1988, Malone began a string of 14 NBA All-Star Game selections (named NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1989, 1993), was named to eleven All-NBA First Teams and two All-NBA Second Teams, was voted to the NBA All-Defensive Seconds Team and made three selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Teams. He and Stockton were members of the 1992 United States Olympic Basketball gold medal winning “Dream Team” in the Barcelona Summer Games and the 1996 “Dream Team II” that won the gold medal in Atlanta.
Karl was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996. Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton, with the help of All-Stars Jeff Hornacek, Antoine Carr and Greg Ostertag, led the Jazz to repeated Western Conference championships and two NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls in 1997 and 1998. Though the Jazz played brilliantly during both Finals appearances, they were no match for the stifling defense of Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, nor the effortless and dominating shooting of Michael Jordan. Despite coming up short in the Finals, Karl was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1997 and again in 1999. In the years that followed, Utah continued to make the playoffs, but injuries and aging kept the team from making another Finals run. After his contract was up in 2003, rather than retire, Malone joined the Los Angeles Lakers, three-peat winners from 2000-2002, to try to capture that elusive championship, but the attempt was thwarted by the Detroit Pistons losing 4-1. Recovering from knee surgery in the off-season and into the 2004-05 season, Malone was sought after by numerous teams, but opted to retire in February of 2005. Karl finished his career after 19 seasons with 36,928 points, 14,968 total rebounds, 5,238 assists, 9,787 free throws, 13,528 field goals, 2,085 steals and 1,145 blocks. Karl Malone was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Karl joined Louisiana Tech University after retirement as the Director of Basketball promotion and Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.