Karl Malone Exclusive Interview " Last Second of Daylight"

Adam Fisher@@adamfisher32Contributor IIJuly 16, 2010

Before I start this article, I would like to thank my Uncle Karl for giving me some of his time for this interview, and this great opportunity.

AF- "Thank you Uncle Karl for giving me some time to ask you some questions, you ready?"

KM- "No problem son, and I'm ready."

AF- "People have been wondering what you have been up to. What have you been doing the last 5 years or so?"

KM-"Well mostly spending time with the family, they've  made a tremendous sacrifice while the years I was playing, so now it's time for me to chase them around with their activities, and spending more time with my wife, who sadly I have to say is a Boise St. Alumni. Doing that stuff been also doing business, dealerships and development, but my passion hunting, fishing, and friends keeps me busy also."

AF- "What was it like to be away from your hometown for those 19 or 20 years?"

KM-"Well being momma's boy, being around my mom all the time. Then all of a sudden being drafted by Utah, It was, at the beginning kind of scary because it was really the first time me being away from home for a long time. On the flip-side of it. It made me grow up as a man. It let me start to pave my own way, but I had to learn on the fly and to have people telling me, well you should have done this or this. It's just I had to try by fire and become a man and do something about it."

AF- "Describe growing up in the south and your love for fishing and hunting growing up?"

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KM-"Growing up in the south you know is the south, you have a mix culture you have people on different views on race and religion, but for the most part, I tell people all the time. You just get into your elements and your zone and don't get caught up with all the things. We people are so quick now to get caught up in the negative of life instead of positive things."

Growing up in the south gave me a great deal of respect when I left here on learning how to deal with people. Not material things, not skin color, but who we are as people."

"My passion for hunting and fishing that's where it started, we couldn't afford certain things, so we would get our cane poles did some baits, got the 22's and went squirrel hunting, but we ate everything we got, but that passion has only grown since I've been able to play basketball and visit a lot of other places."

The main thing about people now is, everybody wants to say. Why do you hunt? Why do you fish? I say I grew up doing it. Just because I became somebody in their eyes I still have that passion for what I love to do. And I try to do them as much as I can." 

AF-"What was you favorite hunt of your life so far?"

KM- "I would probably say my favorite hunt of my life, it's ironic it happened in Utah, you know you gotta be a hunter to understand this but if you take the grand slam of sheep, which is the stone, rocky, desert and dall sheep. That would be the equivalent to an NBA Title, a World Series ring, or a Super Bowl ring. That's the equivalent in the hunting world."

"So saying that to say this. My favorite hunt is right above the Y down by Provo right above BYU football stadium, that's where I completed my slam. Low in behold about 10 to 12 years earlier they were supposed to release the bighorn sheep right there, and that's when KJ was either 5 or 6 and he was with me when they released them, and that would be my absolute favorite because it's like all the cold days on the mountain, all the not getting anything that makes it a challenge."

"You know some people look at hunters sometimes Adam and think that these blood thirsty people want to kill every animal, but you will be amazed how many times I have went to get an animal and never got it. I went to Canada 3 times for my stone sheep. They are not just tied up out there and say okay here I am come get me, but to complete the slam in Utah it was pretty awesome."

AF- "I know and the family knows you will be going to Africa this summer. What animals are you hunting? How many? How long you going to be there?"

KM- "Well probably going to be there 14-16 days. I'm going to be hunting 40 different species, but the animal I'm most excited to hunt from a personal standpoint is a cape buffalo. There's a guy I use to really hunt up with in Canada, and he was a guide up there and he got killed by a cape buffalo by freak accident, and that's the animal I'm most excited about hunting from a personal standpoint."

"My dream has always been a big cat a lion or a leopard. I also want to get a warthog cause they are the ugliest creature walking on the face of the earth."

AF-"What is the toughest animal you have ever hunted?"

KM- A Goat hunt and that happend to be in Utah. Goat hunting is my toughest. You know you're sitting there and you see a white speck about 3 to 4 miles on the side of a cliff a human cannot walk on and that's where they are at, and you have to start from the bottom and go to the top and then you get to the top and then the goat goes down and then goes onto another cliff, so the goat would be my toughest, sheep would be my second."

AF-"What is your Favorite animal to hunt?"

KM-"My favorite animal to hunt is elk, and I hunt them down by Fish Lake in Utah. If I could hunt any animal for the rest of my life, I would love to hunt elk."

AF-"Ever got chased by an animal? And how was it?"

Karl-" I'm not going to call it chased, but kinda got charged by a mountain grizzly in Canada. It was freaky ,scary but see Adam here's the thing about it. I'm not trying to show anybody how brave I am."

"I realize when I'm out there hunting animals on their terms and on their turf. I just happen to have a weapon, but if truth be known and we were just out there and they had weapons like their claws and teeth, I would be at the bottom of the food chain. When it was coming you can't flinch Adam you got to just remain calm and pull the trigger."

AF- "What guns you bringing?"

KM- "A 416 and a 300 win magnum."

AF-"We look around the house— where you going to put all these animals?"

KM- "Don't worry about it son, I know what I'm going to do, and after this hunt in Africa Adam I'm going to stop hunting. I will be done. I will not hunt another animal for the rest of my life....I'm just lying to you."

AF-"How does basketball compare to hunting?"

KM- "Well basketball your making something happen and your forcing the issue to make stuff happen. Hunting is patience; your waiting for something to happen. If you go out hunting and you are on 100,000 acres you got to have some luck, but the skill would be taking the shot. Everybody says you have to have skill, it's actually just a lot of luck and patience but it's effort, you have to put effort into it."

AF- "How much patience did you have when you first started hunting?"

KM-"None!, I went and thought they would all come my way or in the direction towards me. They didn't! So I would just get in the truck and go home."

AF- "Lets get into the basketball side of the interview. What does it feel like to be a hall of famer? And do you consider yourself the best PF ever?"

Karl- "Well I have never considered myself the greatest power forward. I've always said no one would out work me. I never thought I was the best. But I didn't think anyone out worked me in the offseason or during the season or when the game started.

"Being a hall of famer is like being chosen by the coaches in the All-Star game, it's nice for the fans, because you can vote for any player, but when you get to the hall of fame, all your peers. I'm talking about guys that played the game before me and a whole lot longer then me, think your worthy it's an honor. My thing with the hall of fame is I'm going to try not to shed a tear because it is one of those things, I didn't choose being a hall of famer."

"I just went out and tried to do my job on and off the floor. To get there that's like the top of the top. No matter what anybody says if they liked you or didn't like you, they cannot take away you being a hall of famer."

Being able to play a lot of years, being able to be blessed with some talent, but a mindset to work hard and hard determination and then get there it feels great. I want to say theres only 30-50 players in the hall of fame, now lets add that up if you take 2 guys for every year it's just going to be 80. So to be one of those guys it's an honor."

" The crazy thing is to have two hall of famers 5 miles apart from each other is amazing. Willis Reed, was born in Bernice, LA 5 miles away from where I was born in Summerfield. He played 20 years before I played. And Willis Reed will be inducting me into the hall of fame."

AF- "Who was your favorite player to play against? And who was the best player you ever saw besides MJ?"

KM- "Well you say MJ is the best player you have ever seen. I didn't say that. I don't consider him the best player I've ever seen.Tt's debatable that it could be Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell. The best teammate/player I ever played with was John Stockton."

"The players I looked forward to playing against the most was Buck Williams and Maurice Lucas. They were the PF of that era and I was just coming into that era. To be able to play against those guys, learning some stuff from those guys as a rookie  meant a lot."

AF- "What's your opinion on the NBA today? The Contracts? And the new Collective Bargaining Agreement?"

KM- "I've kinda stayed out of the loop on that, but I have a group of players I don't mind watching but it's a different era it's just like anything else, cars change, clothes change, gadgets change, and the NBA has as well."

"Is that good or bad for the NBA? I don't know. But we talking about the players that are supposively going crazy. These days to me it's the commentators that I can't stand, because they don't know anything they are talking about so I just mute them."

AF- "Do you think college basketball and the NCAA has it right with letting kids leave after their freshmen year?"


AF- "Is it smart for kids to just go overseas for one year then join the league?"

KM- "Well we always want to look at the success Adam of the players that made it. The Garnetts', Kobes', LeBrons' and so on. The thing is— lets look at all the one's that if they would have stayed 2 years or 3 years in college how much better prepared they would have been."

"The 100's that failed—you never hear about them anymore, and the NBA and NCAA said you can now leave after your freshmen year. When it should be your sophomore year. I look at one thing, if I would have came out my freshmen year, I would have not been ready mentally and I wouldn't have been a hall of famer."

AF- "What is one life lesson you love teaching the younger kids?"

KM- "Well what I always try to tell them is "leave life better then you found it." You know it's like, your an athlete and your playing on the football team— try to leave better then you were as a freshmen, And for life I have this little quote ,"What good is success if you don't share it". "Meaning we are all blessed and fortunate to have opportunities to do stuff with people, but we choose not too. But why? Expectations."

"If we created our foundation for kids being my wife and family and friends, we did it because we wanted other people to experience positive things in life. It came with a commitment, good bad or ugly but we did it. Some people won't do some things because the expectations are so high."

AF- "How important is family too you?"

KM-"Family is everything. Family is one of those unconditional things no matter how good or how bad it is you can always depend on it. If you didnt't have a family and went home every night to a empty house it would get stale very quick. One of these days though our children are going to have children, and that just makes the family that much bigger and that much more love to go around."

AF- "Thank you Uncle Karl for your time and have fun in Africa."

KM-"No, thank you son for this great interview and keep it up."

AF-"Yes Sir."

Thank you for reading my article, I feel honored to been able to have this interview. 

Adam Fisher

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