As expected, the Jazz announced Monday that Karl Malone's No. 32 will be retired and a bronze statue of him outside the Delta Center will be unveiled when Utah plays host to Washington on March 23.
The unexpected: It will cost non-season-ticket-holding fans who want to see Malone's number retired twice as much as it would to get into a normal game.
Or, as Jazz owner Larry H. Miller put it, three games for the price of two.
According to a news release from the Jazz, "tickets for the event are limited and may only be purchased through a special ticket package . . . fans who purchase a ticket for the Jazz vs. the Denver Nuggets game on Feb. 1 and the Jazz vs. Chicago on Feb. 6 will receive a free ticket to the Jazz vs. Wizards game on March 23."
Said Miller on Monday: "It's a promotional effort we feel we have to take advantage of."
The statue unveiling is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on March 23, and is free and open to the public.
Miller said Malone's retired jersey will feature the old Jazz note he wore early in his career, but the head on the statue of the NBA's No. 2 all-time leader scorer will be bald as Malone looked later in his career.
Miller and Malone met last week.
"We talked about a five-year contract," the Jazz owner joked. "He still looks pretty good, by the way."
Speaking seriously, Miller suggested Malone flatly rejected any overtures regarding the possibility of coming out of retirement.
"He said, 'I'm having a good time down here logging,' " Miller said of Malone, who has been living in Louisiana and spending time on his Arkansas ranch.
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