Bits from Karl Malone’s “Through My Eyes” – 5/30
Karl on “The Shot”: I would say it was the greatest moment in Jazz history. I really would. I can’t even tell you, I was like Coach [Jim] Valvano, when he was running around one time* with nobody to hug, I was kinda like that for a brief second. I think I would’ve grabbed the ballboy if he would’ve ran by…That’s the first time that I actually seen John Stockton show the emotion that he showed…
I just remember that play. Coach Sloan looked at me and said [Karl breaks into his Jerry voice], “You think you can set the damn pick really good?” I said, “Coach, I will set the pick and get him open.” And Stock pretty much said, “Imma have a good look at it.** If the pick is set, I will get a good look.”…look at the look on Charles Barkley face when that ball left his hand.
* “One time” = when Valvano coached North Carolina State to the NCAA championship in 1983. Thurl Bailey and Sidney Lowe were on that team.
** Ha. Imagine John Stockton saying “Imma.”
NBA players he can pick up his phone and randomly call: John Stockton, B(ryon) Russ(ell), and Grant Hill.***
*** Karl and Hill played on the 1996 Olympics team together.
Who’s the one guy you played against that you would’ve loved to have had as a teammate?
Karl: Tim Duncan.
Bill Riley: How would you two have co-existed? You’d have to move him to–
Karl: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Let’s get this right…Tim Duncan is a center. Tim Duncan is not a power forward. So how would we have co-exist? Well, I would’ve played power forward.
In the final segment, Senator Orrin Hatch joined the show.
Hatch on the Jazz and Spurs: It’s comforting to me to know that when the Jazz were swept, we lost to a really, really good team…Utah needs to work to the point that we can beat a team as good as the Spurs. The Spurs should be the model for what Utah can be. …
I have said to many, many people that Karl Malone was the greatest power forward who ever lived. And that’s saying a lot, because there are some very, very important power forwards. But nobody was better than Karl Malone. I still love the Jazz, I always will. Karl Malone and John Stockton were the best two players that I’ve seen in their respective positions, so that’s saying something, because I have a lot of respect for some of the others as well.
Hatch on Jerry Sloan: I also love Coach Sloan. He’s the toughest, meanest coach I’ve ever seen in my life (laughs). But I’ll tell you one thing, he’s one of the greatest coaches in the game. I hope he does get back into coaching a team. Any one of these teams would be very, very lucky if they could get Coach Sloan to get back in there. Jerry Sloan is without peer, in my opinion. Plus, he’s a real man’s man too. I know you had your occasional time when you and he used to get into it, but you always showed great respect for the coach. And he’s got great respect for you too.
Karl: Yes, sir. And you know what, Senator? He wasn’t “Jerry Sloan.” He might’ve been “Jerry Sloan” when I was pissed, but it was always “Coach Sloan.”…when you in the heat of the moment, things are said and done. But not one time that I ever not respected Coach. When you see kids now calling their coach by their first name, to me that’s kind of disrespectful.