Even in retirement, the Mailman still delivers. Karl Malone was in Salt Lake City Friday and appeared on 97.5's The Gordon Monson Show with the Deseret News' own Brad Rock. And for four hours, Karl held forth on every topic he could think of: the way former head coach Jerry Sloan resigned, the future of the current Jazz team, why he doesn't snow ski, and more. Here are a few of his most memorable lines from Friday's show. You can find audio archives at the 97.5 The Zone website. Read Brad Rock's thoughts on the interview here. (Transcriptions reprinted with permission via Moni of Living and Dying by the Jazz.)
"I didn't want to leave anything to chance that I wasn't conditioned and trained enough. I didn't train for 48 minutes. I trained my body and my mind and myself for a game and a half just in case it went into overtime."
"The issue is keeping [star players]. Think about it. Every time they turn the TV on, they’re broadcasting South Beach and LA. They doing all that, and all their friends are telling them that. No, [Utah] won’t get a [free agent] superstar..."
"You don’t have the luxury to draft projects at the third, fourth, fifth, first, second pick...But you don’t have the time, or who do you have? No disrespect to staff currently in place. Who do you have that can work with that big guy? No disrespect to the coaching staff, ’cause I love Scott Layden. Love ‘em all. But when you draft a kid like that, in essence your franchise is hinging on this.
"And I’m just being honest, don’t let it surprise you if they jump ship, really and truly. Because every guy that come here...yeah, he’s glad to be in the NBA, and they’re gonna say all the right thing. They glad the Jazz draft him...but they got a agent back there telling you how great you are and you getting screwed in Utah and nobody know who you are in Utah and all of that. You buyin' into it, buyin' into it, now you become a free agent. That’s what I’m sayin'. You don’t have the time to develop [projects]."
"Jimmer Fredette, are you kidding me? I'm a fan. But anyway, a kid like that? I know he probably went early, but how do you not try to get a kid like that?...
"What I think they said was, 'He don't play defense.' I know you want to play defense...but [expletive], if I shoot like that, you play defense.
"I’m saying I like him, but absolutely no. No, I’m not clapping for him."
"I was in Arkansas [in 2003], and I said, whatever team wins [between the Lakers and Spurs], I'm going to the opposite. And I wanted the Spurs to lose, so I could go to them. But the [Spurs] won, but I had made up my mind 'cause I didn’t want people sittin' there sayin', 'Oh he went there [because] they won it last year.' I wanted to go help 'em."
"I know for a fact, knowing Coach Sloan, if we're getting our butts kicked, we're practicing. I know for a fact that he was overridden on practices sometime on the road. Because Deron [Williams] was calling our GM.
"Coach pissed off, go in the locker room, words were said, Deron said words, Coach Sloan definitely said something, and the powers that be was there.
"In that defining moment, when [Jazz team management] shoulda stood up for Jerry Sloan...they chose Deron Williams. And Coach Sloan, being the coach I know and love, said, you know what? We should part the ways...And once Coach Sloan says something, it's history."
"We're playing in Spokane, Washington against the Seattle SuperSonics [during the '98-'99 preseason]. Stockton and myself as captains, Gary Payton as a captain. Dick Bavetta was in the center talking to Stock and I.
"[Bavetta] said, 'Karl, stop. Come here a second.' He said, 'Guys, I have had the worst summer I've had in my life that I [waved off Howard Eisley's 3-pointer in Game 6 of the '98 NBA Finals] in that game." He said, 'My summer have been [expletive].' I tell you, that happened, and it came from Dick Bavetta. Now, if somebody say it didn't happen, they lyin'."
"Well, first of all, he's lyin' about being blinded. Probably what he drank or smoked the night before."
(See video of the incident here.)
"Oh no, no. We done been there. You can't beat the fart out of a dead mule. Let's pass on that. They ain't gonna call.
"I think Coach Sloan will coach again in the NBA. Absolutely...I would love to [be an assistant coach], with Coach Sloan."
"Nothing you could say or do to me in life, no one or nothing, can keep me from being in Utah and coming to Utah and eventually one day moving back to Utah to some capacity. No doubt...I come to Utah a couple of times a month...We vacation here. Matter of fact, we be back in a week and a half to...black people don't snow ski, so I won't be snow skiing. We'll be snowmobiling and all that."