Karl Malone | Utah Jazz
Karl Malone is a retired American professional basketball player who played for the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers during his NBA career. He is regarded as one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history, and is widely regarded as one of the best players to never win an NBA championship. Malone was known for his physicality and toughness on the court, as well as his impressive scoring and rebounding abilities.
Malone was born on July 24, 1963, in Summerfield, Louisiana. He was raised by his mother, who worked as a nurse, and his grandmother. Malone attended Summerfield High School, where he played basketball and football. He was a standout athlete in both sports, and was named to several all-state teams in basketball.
After graduating from high school in 1981, Malone attended Louisiana Tech University, where he played college basketball. He quickly established himself as one of the best players in the country, and was named the Southland Conference Player of the Year in 1983 and 1984. In his three seasons at Louisiana Tech, Malone averaged 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Malone was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 13th overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft. He made an immediate impact in his rookie season, averaging 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. Malone quickly established himself as one of the best players in the league, and was named to his first All-Star team in 1988.
In the 1990-91 season, Malone had one of the best seasons of his career. He led the league in scoring with an average of 29.0 points per game, and also averaged 10.7 rebounds per game. Malone was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career, and led the Jazz to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the Portland Trail Blazers in six games.
Malone continued to dominate throughout the 1990s, earning All-Star honors every season from 1990 to 1998. He won his second MVP award in the 1996-97 season, when he led the Jazz to a franchise-best 64-18 record. Malone averaged 27.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game that season, and led the Jazz to the NBA Finals, where they lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in six games.
Malone played for the Jazz for 18 seasons, becoming the team's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He was named to the All-NBA First Team 11 times, and to the All-Defensive First Team three times. He retired from the NBA after the 2003-04 season, with career averages of 25.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
After retiring from the NBA, Malone remained involved in basketball. He worked as a commentator for the NBA on ABC and ESPN, and also coached a girls' high school basketball team in Louisiana. In 2010, Malone was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Off the court, Malone has been involved in several controversies. In 1998, he was accused of fathering a child with a 13-year-old girl, which he denied. He also had a strained relationship with his son, Demetress Bell, who played in the NFL. Despite these controversies, Malone remains one of the greatest players in NBA history, and is remembered as a dominant force on the court.