Karl Malone will soon be a whitewater rafter, skydiver, Dutch oven cook and authority on the finer points of a mule.
Not to be confused with Karl Malone the basketball player, at least not at a Wednesday press briefing on Malone's latest adventure as partner and new spokesman for AmazingOutdoors.com.
That point was made clear.
"No basketball. Ask a basketball question, end of interview," he firmly announced.
The briefing was called to announce that Malone had recently become an equity partner in AmazingOutdoors.com, an outdoor multimedia company that includes Utah Outdoors magazine and the AmazingOutdoors.com Club.
"Our focus and mission are to provide the most outstanding outdoor information and opportunities possible to the people of Utah for now and later to expand nationally," said Bryan Brandenburg, president/CEO of AmazingOutdoors.com.
"Our goal is to support a lot of Karl's initiatives by providing resources to the community to where they can afford outdoor experiences and be able to have choices in life to do something productive and make an impact on the community."
Karl Malone will be a voice and a face to such outdoor adventures as rafting, Harley-Davidson motorcycle rides, skydiving, parasailing, rappelling, building fires and outdoor cooking.
"These are things I do," Malone said. "And I don't think Larry (Miller) will mind."
The only thing he can't do, under his current Jazz contract, he said, was shoot a firearm off the back of a horse or mule.
"And that cost me a trophy black bear in Wyoming three weeks ago," he told the group. He then said he was glad he didn't when he learned the mule he was riding would get unsettled at gunfire.
"For me this is a great opportunity when I'm not doing the other job. I'm looking forward to life after basketball. This is an opportunity for me to launch a new company right here in Utah," he explained.
"A lot of (players) do national things. As my career winds down I find I'm doing more and more things outdoors, looking for places without a lot of people and cameras."
Brandenburg said the company has finished its first TV series and expects to have it sold to network TV soon. The series was shot at Lees Ferry in Arizona, Nine-Mile Canyon in Utah and the Trail Creek Ranch in Soda Springs, Idaho. Malone is the show's host.
Plans are in the works to shoot eight more TV series.
"I want you to see these shows. It's kinda like 'Let's see what Karl's doing now.' I can tell you there won't be any basketball, not even a hoop in the background. Nothing about basketball," he emphasized again.
Malone said he already hunts, camps, makes an occasional bungee jump and cooks over the open fire. He then proceeded to give the group a clinic on the advantages of mules over horses on a hunting trip.
"You see, there's a (TV) show right there," he said. "Mules won't put their feet where it's a danger to them. Horses will. So don't go out and buy one of those fancy thoroughbreds and find you're on your back and your wife collecting on the big insurance policy.
"I can tell you that if I bring you a show I have to do what we're showing. I can't step aside. I have to try it. I'll make sure I know what I'm doing before I do it, but I am going to do everything."
He added that there are a number of things in Utah he looks forward to trying, like visiting its national parks.
"Zion Park. Everyone's been to Zion, but not me. And Bryce. I drove by there in my 18-wheeler, but I didn't stop. I'd like to go to places where the regular person can afford to go," he continued.
Malone said he would like to embrace the environmentalists and do shows about the environment and endangered species, "to share their point of view. I believe we can work together, but they'll have to meet me halfway."
As part of the partnership, Malone will tie his 10 retail stores Karl Malone Outfitters, a retail outlet for outdoor equipment, with stores from Oregon to Georgia into the company's Internet system and to its club members.
Jud Eades, director of the AmazingOutdoors.com Club, which started four years ago as Adrenaline Sports, said the club is currently one of the largest in Utah. As part of the membership package, club members will get information on outdoor events, tips from Karl Malone and discounts and incentives on outdoor products from various retail outlets, ski areas and outdoor-adventure companies.Malone also announced that Malone Outfitters will soon have its first store in Utah. He recently signed a contract to occupy one of the new buildings in the Park City Outlet center.
E-mail: [email protected]