Karl Malone was born on July 24, 1963 in Summerfield, Louisiana. He was the son of Shirley and Shedrick and was the youngest of nine siblings. Karl was raised by his mother on a farm since his father was married to another woman and lived with her. He committed suicide when Karl was only 14. Karl went to local Summerfield High School where he led the basketball team to three consecutive Louisiana Class C titles. Growing up in Louisiana, Karl worked on a farm, chopping trees, fishing and hunting.
Karl attended Louisiana Tech University, where he joined the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball team in his second year and played under coach, Andy Rosso. Malone was an All-Southland selection for the three seasons that he played with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. During these seasons, Louisiana Tech advanced to NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. In the season of 1983-1984, Malone averaged 18.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Malone’s NBA career started in 1985, when he was picked 13th overall by Utah Jazz. Although Malone was certain that he will be picked eighth by Dallas Mavericks. He even rented an apartment in Dallas, but instead Utah Jazz picked him 13th. Later it was said that they would have picked him on a much higher number had they known the impact he would have on the NBA. Malone played under coach Frank Layden and in his first season averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds. In the season of 1987-1988, Malone became the offense, and made his first All-Star Game with an average of 27.1 points per game by the end of that season, he made his first ALL-NBA team. Malone signed a ten year contract worth $18 million in 1988. In 1988-1989 season, he averaged 29.1 points and 10.7 rebounds, which was the highest of his career. Malone continued to be selected in the All-NBA First Team from 1989 to 1999. In the summer of 2003, Malone signed a contract to play with the Los Angeles Lakers. Due to his knee injury, he missed 40 games but returned at the end of the season where he re-injured his knee in 2004 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons.
Karl Malone is also known as ‘The Mailman’ for his consistent delivery. He wore number 32 for Utah Jazz and number 11 for Los Angeles Lakers. He was a two-time MVP, who finished his career with a score of 36,928 points. Not only was he a MVP but also won two Olympic Gold Medals. His retirement news conference was held in Salt Lake City.
Jerry Sloan put it rightly by saying “Even though he never won a championship, he had an outstanding career”.