Karl Malone Biography: Life, Career, Stats & Facts
Karl Malone, Lakers
Robert Gauthier-Los Angeles Times

Considered one of the best power forward players in NBA history, Karl Malone made a name for himself in the league. He played for the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers during his time with the NBA, and earned himself a variety of acknowledgements, such as:

  • 2x MVP
  • 2x AS MVP
  • 14x All Star
  • 14 All-NBA
  • 4x All-Defensive

He also played on the 1985-86 Rookie Team and the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. In 2010, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Karl Malone Early Life

Malone was born in Summerfield, Louisiana, in 1963. Malone and his brothers were raised by their mother Shirley, single to their father who lost his life by suicide in 1966.

Malone helped support his family before he extended his interest in basketball, working on the farm, chopping trees and hunting. His basketball career began in his teenage years when he led the Summerfield High School basketball team to three consecutive Louisiana Class C titles until his senior year.

Karl Malone’s college career was expected to begin at University of Arkansas when he was recruited for basketball, but he decided to stay closer to home and attend Louisiana Tech University. His grades during his first two semesters at Louisiana Tech made him ineligible to play basketball his first year, but he played three seasons with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. During this time, he helped advance the team to the NCAA tournament, a first-time milestone for the university.

Karl Malone Career

Karl Malone’s NBA career began with the Utah Jazz when he was named the 13th overall pick in the 1985 draft. This came as a surprise to Malone, considering that he was so confident that he was going to play for the Dallas Mavericks that he found – and rented – an apartment in Dallas, Texas. However, this didn’t have an impact on how quickly Karl Malone would shine in the league

In his first season, Karl Malone averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds. He also made it to the 1986 NBA All-Rookie Team. During his time spent with the Utah Jazz, for a total of 18 seasons, Malone started most of the games, made it to the Western Conference Finals, and earned the name of one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history (that he still holds to this day.)

Before retiring from the game altogether, Karl Malone and the Lakers crossed paths. He played for Los Angeles for one season with one main goal: earn a ring.

Playing side-by-side with teammates Gary Payton, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers were expected to make a big impact during the 2003-2004 season. After a great start to the season, Malone ended up missing nearly 40 games thanks to a knee injury. However, this didn’t keep the Lakers from making it to the playoffs. Once they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves in six games, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals.

Unfortunately, Malone and the team didn’t earn the ring they wanted; Malone sprained his knee in the third game, struggled through the fourth and missed the fifth before the Detroit Pistons won the series in game 5.

Karl Malone Stats

While Karl Malone’s ring count is zero, he still made a name for himself in the NBA.

Karl Malone’s career points amounted to 36,374, third to LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With his experience playing for the Jazz and the Lakers, Karl Malone’s stats are as follows:

  • G: 1476
  • PTS: 25.0
  • TRB: 10.1
  • AST: 3.6
  • FG%: 51.6
  • FG3%: 27.4
  • FT%: 74.2
  • eFG%: 51.8
  • PER: 23.9
  • WS: 234.6

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