In case you’ve missed it, the NBA is holding its All-Star Weekend festivities this weekend. The city of Salt Lake City, Utah is hosting the event in conjunction with its one and only pro sports franchise: the Utah Jazz. Some of the league’s best and brightest, past or present, will attend the event. That includes Jazz legend and Basketball Hall of Famer, Karl Malone.
Malone did many things with Utah. The man known as ‘The Mailman’ won two NBA MVP awards, made 14 NBA All-Star teams, and was selected as an 11-time All-NBA First Teamer. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame twice. Once for his stint in Utah, and the other time for his inclusion in The Dream Team.
But unsavory deeds always tend to resurface when talking about Karl Malone. For one, there is his estranged son Demetress Bell, a former NFL player who Malone abandoned. Then there is the uncomfortable story of when he impregnated a 12-year-old girl.
So, with that all in mind, Bomani spoke on Game Theory with Bomani Jones about the touchiness, the uncomfortableness, and what exactly are his true thoughts on Karl Malone.
"I hated Karl Malone so much before I had a great reason, I only had good ones. Like just being a dirty player, elbowing people all the time." @bomani_jones on Karl Malone's involvement in NBA All-Star Weekend in Utah. #anyquestion pic.twitter.com/l8ZPvST6VI
— Game Theory with Bomani Jones (@GameTheoryHBO) February 18, 2023
Transcription (from me) on the monologue from Jones read:
“What are your thoughts on Karl Malone being a huge part of All-Star weekend? You can basically make this question ‘What are your thoughts about Karl Malone?’ and stop it right there. Like, it doesn’t have to be an occasion because I hated Karl Malone so much before I had a great reason. I only had good ones, like just being a dirty player, elbowing people all the time, you know, that sort of stuff.
And then, you know, we found out the whole thing. If you don’t know this, that, when he was in college, Karl Malone had a baby with a 12-year-old. There’s never been any sort of reckoning for Malone because Malone lays low. Like he’s just out there in the country, riving his semi, doing whatever it is Karl Malone does out there.
But if you’re doing something for Utah basketball, it’s like Karl Malone– so we got Karl Malone and John Stockton. John Stockton is ‘crazy conspiracy guy.’ And I’m just like, ‘I know a lot of people that think crazy things.’ As long as you don’t say it on the microphone there, I guess, right? But Karl Malone… you’re kind of supposed to leave him at home. Except if you’re the league. I heard a lot of ya’ll when I told you all those details you had never heard before. All right?
And so, ‘Why is Karl Malone not there?’ Then you make this more of a story. And so, I would imagine there’s a very cynical outlook on how to play it. So, I never wanna see Karl Malone all time, any other point. But he’s going to be there, and it’s going to be wild uncomfortable for a lot of people. And then tomorrow we’re gonna forget it ever happened.”
Bomani makes a key point about the complications of it. The NBA is forward-facing right now with their All-Star festivities. They don’t want any outside attention on anything.
However, in this case, it’s a gigantic elephant in the room. And it’s obviously not as if it’s one of those rumors that never was followed up on. Publications like Rolling Stone have written about it. And ignoring it in the face of all this feels like a very repetitive and similar feeling.
With All-Star Weekend set to end without even much of a ruffle yet about Karl Malone, Bomani Jones’ last sentence may come to fruition anyway. And when you consider the ridiculousness of Stockton as well, for other nonsense reasons, you have to ask how much the Jazz or the NBA cares about it.