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Former Utah Jazz All-Star Karl Malone got a dose of his own medicine after drawing flak for his comment on Zion Williamson’s physique. The Hall of Famer is now the target of the angry NBA fans who bombarded him for his “dark” past. (Photo : Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Former Utah Jazz All-Star Karl Malone got a dose of his own medicine after drawing flak for his comment on Zion Williamson’s physique. The Hall of Famer is now the target of the angry NBA fans who bombarded him for his “dark” past.
What Karl Malone Said About Zion
In the Knuckleheads podcast of The Players’ Tribune on Tuesday, Karl Malone talked with retired NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Mile about New Orleans Pelicans’ rising player Zion Williamson.
The 57-year-old Malone checked Williamson’s body and came up with a conclusion that 2019 No. 1 overall pick should get in shape in order to reach his maximum potential. Regardless, he admired what Zion can do in the court.
In November 2019, the 6-foot-9 power forward compared Zion to former NBA player Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who at that time is weighing 289 pounds with a stature same as him. Williamson, on the other hand, is shorter at 6-foot-7 and 284 pounds.
A month ago after Malone made a comment about Zion, the rookie power forward underwent surgery after tearing his right lateral meniscus. Williamson was already playing at a high level while averaging 23.3 points on 71.4% shooting from the field in just four games.
Malone wanted Zion to shed a portion of his heavyweight and to work on that, he gladly offered a free one-on-one session with the Duke basketball star.
“I’m still waiting on him to play the whole damn season y’all … and he needs to be averaging 40 minutes a game. Look here, you’re a 21, 22-year-old kid. Your ass shouldn’t get tired. I’m less than five hours away. If he ain’t bullshitting me … and having all these people talking for him, I’ll work with him for free,” Malone said.
To play for long minutes in the court, Malone insisted that Zion should take LeBron James’ track considered by the veteran’s fitness staff and nutritionists. He added that the youngster should be playing for at least 40 minutes per game.
In a report by 247 Sports‘ Kevin Flaherty, Williamson averaged 32.4 minutes this year, a little shorter compared to Malone’s 34.8 minutes per game during his sophomore. For two seasons, Malone reached the 40-minute playing time during his career.
The playing time might be an issue for the retired players like Malone, but the new meta of today’s game featured just “enough” minutes per game. Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis is now the minutes-leader at 37.5 per game while some NBA stars like Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard only averaged 34 to 35 minutes per game.
Malone’s “Dark” Past Exposed by NBA Fans
The Bro Bible reported that the NBA fans were angered by Malone’s criticism over Williamson. Some vented their disappointment over the veteran on Twitter, while some dug his “dark” past.
His controversial connection to Gloria Bell was brought up in the issue. During the time when Malone, 20 is studying at Louisiana Tech, he impregnated Bell who is only 13 years old.
Malone was taken to court in 1986, only to escape charges from statutory rape and sustainment of his child’s expenses. The agreement, however, was settled outside the court but Malone did not like the idea of meeting his child until Bell turned 17. His child later became NFL player Demetress Bell, who retired after five seasons.
FUN FACT: Karl Malone impregnated a girl that was EIGHT years younger than Zion is today!! https://t.co/Sp0Ngv8PTe
— #LAKERS2020CHAMPS (@CindtriIIella) January 20, 2021
Karl Malone won the MVP award in 1997 and 1999 with Utah Jazz, but never got a single championship despite his perfect attendance in the playoffs every year in his career. In 1,476 regular NBA games, Malone carved an average of 25 markets, 10.1 boards, and 3.6 dimes. He played his third finals game with the Los Angeles Lakers during his last season in 2004, where they lose over Detroit Pistons, 4-1.
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