I hope all of you were awake last night for the spectacular shared experience of listening to the latest Karl Malone dispatch from the field. To recap, ESPN700‘s Bill and Spence show were able to track down Malone via phone while he dodged a tornado on a lake in Louisiana. Listen here (that’s a direct link to the mp3 file). If you haven’t already, seriously, do it now.
There’s praise for Paul Millsap, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love. But most of all, Malone does what Malone does best, delivering a passionate 32-minute rambling rant that bends every convention of grammar, diction, logic, and history, while also providing a counter-intuitive voice of reason amid the company lines coming from the Jazz front office. His parentheticals combine with his malapropisms in an elixir of awesome that made no sense and yet still left me more excited about Jazz basketball than I have been in a long time.
Nothing new was revealed, other than some bizarre home-spun aphorisms that would make Jerry Sloan jealous. At the 8:32 mark, in a wandering escape from a blistering critique of Deron Williams which turned into praise for Sloan, we learn that if he (Sloan) told Malone “fleas could fly, I’d hitch ’em up.” We would too, Karl. We would too.
After a question about whether Jazz fans and the Salt Lake community deserve more from their star players than they may have been getting from Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, Malone gave us his finest moment. “Back in the day I wore something with Jazz on it every time I left the house unless it was some unbelievable function.” Hopefully we haven’t seen the last “Unbelievable function” featuring Malone on a regular basis in SLC.
It was everything we ever loved about Karl Malone. All heart. It’s also the blueprint for future success for the Jazz. The fans will forgive all shortcomings when the heart is there.