Jul 24 2013, 10:14pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
"Instead of being the athlete and walking everywhere, he got himself a mule. I think he's listening to his body more. He's preserving himself more. He wants to be able to do more things with the grandkids."
In terms of riding mules, Malone started out a young age. In an April 2013 SLAM featured article, his grandfather, who was a logger, created a leather harness for him. With this, Malone was able to accompany him riding a mule to witness him at work.
"It all begins with a small, leather harness made for young Karl Malone by his mule-riding, log-hauling country-strong grandfather, so the boy could spend a day out in the logging world to know what hard work is. His grandfather taught Malone: give 'em your best every time and you'll be rewarded."
Luhm points out Malone was a dedicated professional who was passionate about his fitness in his 18 NBA seasons with the Utah Jazz and one with the Los Angeles Lakers. He complements his fitness regimen with hiking, hunting and fishing.
At 50, he still hits the weights hard and rides his bike around the neighborhood - a testament to his drive and intensity as witnessed by Jazz strength coach Mark McKown.
"In 30 years, I've never seen anybody with the same capacity for work, the same drive or the same intensity."
He was hired by the Jazz in May to help develop young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. He will be reunited with long-time head coach Jerry Sloan, who was brought on board by Utah three weeks later to be a consultant to head coach Tyrone Corbin.
Malone played in the NBA from 1985-2004, averaging 25 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was declared NBA MVP in 1997 and 1999, and was also a 14-time NBA All-Star. He was inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
He and his family currently live in Ruston, La.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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