Bits from Karl Malone Interview (Hallelujah!), 2/6
On Karl Jr. signing with LSU
I’m absolutely ecstatic that he’s playing football and not basketball, because he get to make his own name for himself. He worked his butt off. He realize, if you axe him right now, he realize that the work is just ready to start. But hey, this is something he earned on his own. He didn’t earn it from his dad…
I think that it’s gonna be pressure on him no matter what because his last name. But the most important thing he need to do is just continue to play, continue to improve, and whatever he do, stay humble.
Me and him had a conversation today. And I’m a realist. And I said, “Look. It’s people don’t like your dad. It’s people not gonna like you because of your dad.” I said, “Don’t ever fight any of your dad’s battles. You just tell ‘em, ‘OK. That’s your opinion. But when you see him, tell him.’” Because I want him to enjoy to the best of his ability and not worry about what his dad did, but it’s what he did.
On being a proud parent
How me and his mom, you know, me and Kay, proud of him, I don’t think words can describe it. I will tell you this right here. I cried today, which, you know, I’m a man, but I cried. And I was so wept up that I signed in the wrong spot on the scholarship. And he shook his head and I said, “You know what, Lord? Please don’t let it end like this.” But we got through it.
But far as proud, I’m not just proud for him. I’m really proud more as a young man he is, as well as we proud of all of our kids. I’m proud of all of my kids. And fact of the matter is, he worked his butt off, and now it’s up to him what he wanna do. He got a great start, but we are definitely proud of him, and I just want to, we want to share this with Salt Lake as well, because that’s where he was born at.
Sounding like a total creeper, but I remember when KJ was this big:
Thoughts on the Jazz’s injuries
Injuries is a part of the game, but that don’t stop you from going to the weight room and working. That don’t stop you from listening to the coaches. That don’t stop you from pulling for each other. That don’t stop you from rebounding. That don’t stop you from playing defense. This is what we got.
But Imma tell you like this. We* still have one of the most talented teams. Now losing our point guard, losing them, have been a blow, but guess what? … You don’t ever want a teammate injured, but boy when they get injured, I hate they injured, but coach, next man up! Next man up. Ain’t nobody gonna feel sorry for you that you injured…
Injuries are a part of sports. And I want people to realize one thing now, ok? Hurt and injuries, they are different…You gotta sometime play through some injuries, you know? But when you hurt and you need surgery–you need surgery, you hurt. Injuries is a way of life.
* Love Karl referring to the Jazz as “we.” Love love love.
On the Jazz’s big men
It is going to be very, very interesting with Paul [Millsap] and Al [Jefferson]… If you don’t have to get rid of a big guy, don’t get rid of a big guy. They’re not, you don’t see a lot of them coming down the pipe. But the fact of the matter is, we have talent on this team. Now, do I think our big guys need to get a little stronger? Do I think they need to run the floor a little harder? Well, yes, but they probably said that about me as well.*
* Me: No.
On the Big Al to San Antonio rumors
Do not trade Al Jefferson to the team that gon come back and kick your ass.
Who would you pick, Al or Paul, if you could only keep one?
Why you gon do that to me? … OK, you gon put me on the spot. I love Paul Millsap, and he gonna play somewhere all he want to. If I had to, if you making me choose between one or the other, and I’m Tech Nation/Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson, to me, you know, is a bigger guy that would do more damage at that position if you can’t bring but one of ‘em back. Try to bring both back.
Whatever you do, do not get rid of these two young kids [Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter].
Would you agree that the Jazz’s primary goal is to get to the Playoff$, and anything more than that is gravy?
Well, Imma agree with you, but Imma say this too. It’s not right. You know’m sayin? Now, I know what you see, and at times I see the same thing. I do feel that they are trying, but we gotta get rid of that old adage…
I do some stuff now for NBATV, ok? And it blows my mind how somebody always say, “Uh, yeah. The Jazz be a top five, but they gon get out [in the first round]. You know, they number six, they number seven.” You know what, guys? That’s not good enough. You know why? The Jazz payroll is gon be the same if they gon keep some of these people.
So if that’s the case, shame on whoever think that or doing that, [because fans] wanna win. Guys, I want, I watch games. I want our fans to get back. But you gotta give ‘em something to get back to.
On working with the Jazz’s big men
Look, if Coach [Jerry] Sloan ever got another coaching, job, Imma be with him sometime. End of story. …
I would love to help the Jazz organization with their big guys. Let’s start off, and I do it because I love the Jazz. If it work, we talk about where we go from here. If it don’t work, I’ll be the first one to [say], “It’s not working for anybody.” I’m Karl Malone, and I approve this message.* (KALL)
[Karl also said that he's only talking about working with the big men and not about an assistant coaching job.]
* I’m Moni, and I also approve this message.