By Angie Wiatrowski
Karl Malone was among 10 inductees into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend. The tearful 14-time All-Star humbly thanked his wife and family for helping him, as well as honoring his mother who had passed seven years ago, recalling the influence she had on him.
“I’m here because of her,” Malone admitted during his induction speech.
While Malone will go home with a spot in the Hall of Fame he’ll go without his Hall of Fame jacket. When presented with the jacket it didn’t exactly fit the 6′9″ former Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers power forward. The sleeves were short on his arms and so tight that Malone joked, “My 12-year-old daughter couldn’t get into it.”
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Malone wasn’t sure what to do with the jacket until he found a young boy in a wheelchair watching as Malone and other new members of the Hall of Fame class took questions Friday.
The jacket with the Hall of Fame logo now belongs to that boy.
“I told him when he graduates from high school he will have a jacket to wear,” Malone said. “This little boy will do something with it. I loved that I did it.”
Regardless, Malone didn’t know what else he would have done with the jacket and admitted he might have, “put it in some closet and years from now blow dust off of it, light up a cigar, and look at it.”
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Malone may have left without his jacket, but said all he wanted was the Hall of Fame patch, which he never thought growing up he would get.
“You can’t get traded, you can’t get put on waivers, you can’t get cut on this team,” he said. “Think about it. To go in as a player and as a team (the Dream Team with Scottie Pippen)… it’s just awesome.”
Every since his days at Louisiana Tech, fans and members of the media claimed Malone would always deliver, and, it appears even five years into retirement, the mailman continues to deliver in a big way