Karl Malone publicly threatened to start "packing heat" after being the target of a death threat in New Jersey a few weeks back. He was probably just trying to throw a scare into his potential madman stalker/lunatic, and not too serious about it all, though who knows?
Well, if that person wasn't scared bfore, chances are they're a bit thankful they never tried to follow through on that threat. If so, it could've been lights out.David Robinson knows not to mess with the Utah strongman, and all he did was grab the Utah forward for a foul. Robinson spent Wednesday night at LDS Hospital before being released on Thursday morning with a concussion suffered courtesy of the Mailman's left elbow.
Malone, consequently, spent Friday night probably icing down that club of an elbow, while the rest of his team toyed with the lowly Clippers, winning 126-109. The NBA suspended Malone for one game after he sent Robinson on a nose dive into the hardwood.
No Malone? Big deal. Hey, these are the Clippers we're talking about. Despite the ease, the Jazz players were still a bit in the dark when it came to the NBA's decision regarding Malone.
Jeff Hornacek takes more blows to the chin than a prize fighter, and he's still never seen the deliverers of those forearms and elbows even slapped on the wrist - let alone suspended.
So when NBA Senior Vice President Rod Thorn announced he had suspended Malone, the guard was a bit "confused, to tell you the truth," Hornacek said.
"Stockton and I get hit with more elbows than anybody in the league and those guys have never been suspended," Hornacek continued. "Karl shouldn't have been suspended because he didn't purposely throw his elbow. I think (the NBA) overreacted.
"Maybe they've watched all the concussions in hockey and figured they better do something about it," said Hornacek. "But are they going to start suspending everybody that swings their elbows? I doubt it. It all came down to Robinson being knocked out. If he had just rolled around for a minute, but still got up, nobody would have been suspended."
The entire Jazz team, of course, sides with Hornacek on this one.
"It's stupid," said Greg Foster. "Everybody flails there arms when they get fouled. Karl didn't mean to hit anybody."
Considering the size of Malone, you would have to think that if Malone had really wanted to wallop Robinson, he could have done better than a mere one-night stay in the hospital.
Regardless, Malone will be back in uniform (elbows sharpened mind you) when the Jazz face Minnesota today. And once the playoffs start, those elbows will start flying again.