Karl Malone really started playing basketball at the age of 20, which is surprising to most since he is now one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game of basketball. Karl grew up in a small town of a little more than 200 people, Summerfield, Louisiana. Karl Malone played college ball at Louisiana Tech where he was just developing his true potential. He was nicknamed "The Mailman" while he played at Louisiana Tech because he always delivered. After leaving Louisiana Tech, Karl took his chances with the NBA and entered the 1985 NBA Draft.
Karl was misjudged by most NBA scouts, who passed him up to the Utah Jazz as the 13th overall pick. With the Utah Jazz for 15 years, he went from being a small-town farm boy who knew nothing about Utah to being the star and leader of the team. Karl Malone has been the MVP twice in 1996-97 and 1998-99 and 14 out of his 15 years in the NBA he has been an All-Star selection. Karl, being the great power forward that he is, was named one of the "50 Greatest Players in NBA History” and he is an 11-time All-NBA First Team selection.
Karl Malone’s real superstardom happened in the 1988-89 season when former teammate John Stockton joined the team. In the fourth year of Stockton’s NBA career, he led the NBA in assists with an average of 13.0 assists per game--many of those assists went to "the Mailman," Karl Malone, for the hammer dunk. The ultimate duo was born. Malone and point guard John Stockton formed the most consistent guard-forward combination of the modern era and made the Utah Jazz one of the league's most successful franchises for more than a decade. John and Karl were named All-NBA second team and made their first appearance in the All-Star game.
Malone was also a member of the original "Dream Team" that won the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and he reprised that role on the Dream Team that struck gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The Sporting News selected Karl in 1999 as one of the "99 Good Guys in Sports," because he donated $200,000 worth of supplies to the Navajo Indians. He won the 1998 Henry B. Iba award for athletes who go out of their way to help others and was active in the Utah Special Olympics and founded the Karl Malone Foundation for Kids.
Karl Malone finished his distinguished NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, losing in the championship finals in 2004 to the San Antonio Spurs. After retiring from the NBA, Malone joined the staff of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball team in 2007 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 (twice – for his individual career, and as a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team). In 2013, Malone returned to the Utah Jazz to work as a big man coach for a stint.
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