Former Utah Jazz star Karl Malone, who turns 50 on Wednesday, has made one concession to age.
He bought a mule.
During 18 seasons with the Jazz and one with the Los Angeles Lakers, Malone was known as a fitness fanatic who willed himself into the Hall of Fame.
“In 30 years,” says Jazz strength coach Mark McKown,” I’ve never seen anybody with the same capacity for work, the same drive or the same intensity.”
Malone’s passion for fitness is matched by his love of hunting and fishing. Hiking through the thick forests and rolling hills of Louisiana and Arkansas in pursuit of game has been a favorite hobby since his mother, Shirley, first allowed him to do so.
Malone has always done the strenuous physical work his pastime requires by himself — at least until recently.
“Instead of being the athlete and walking everywhere, he got himself a mule,” said Kay Malone, his wife. “… I think he’s listening to his body more. He’s preserving himself more. He wants to be able to do things with the grandkids.”
Malone is still a workaholic when it comes to hitting the weights or taking grueling bike rides near the family’s home in Ruston, La. Three days before his 50th birthday, in fact, Malone asked a reporter to call him back “in three hours,” when he’d be finished working out.
“To be honest with you, it helps make me a better person,” he said. “It takes the edge off. When I sweat, it gets me going.”
There’s another reason Malone still weighs 256 pounds — his playing weight.
One of his new projects is mentoring the Jazz’s young players — specifically power forward Derrick Favors and center Enes Kanter.Next Page »