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Utah Jazz legend Karl Malone going strong at 50 years old

Still working out three hours a day, ex-Jazz star and Hall of Famer Karl Malone is a chiseled 256 pounds — his playing weight.

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"If I was gauging a kid on a scale of one to 10 — their strength, toughness, being light on their feet — I’d give this young man a nine."

He paused, then added, "I don’t give 10s."

At a glance

Karl Malone file

Hometown » Summerfield, La.

Born » July 24, 1963

Residence » Ruston, La.

Position » Power forward

Height » 6-9. Weight » 256 pounds

Career highlights » No. 2 scorer in NBA history (36,928 points). … Missed 10 games in 18 seasons with Jazz (1986-2003). … Played one season with the L.A. Lakers (2003-04). … Averaged 25.4 points and 10.2 rebounds during his career. … Two-time Most Valuable Player (1997, 1999). … Played on two gold medal-winning Olympic teams (1992, 1996). … Named to the All-NBA first team 11 times. … Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Malone’s upcoming schedule with the Jazz involves working with Favors, perhaps Kanter and other young players in August. He might attend the first week of training camp in October.

"Just another page in the book," he said, "and it’s been awesome."

Malone joined the Jazz in 1985. He was the 13th pick in the draft. His first visit to Utah coincided with the state’s Pioneer Day celebration and he accepted then-coach Frank Layden’s invitation to ride on the team’s float in the Days of ’47 parade.

Initially, Layden told Malone the parade was being held because of his 22nd birthday.

"That’s no urban legend," Malone said. "That’s the truth. … I was waving like a [beauty] pageant queen. If there were cellphones back then, I would have called my mom and said, ‘You won’t believe it. All of Utah is here for me.’ "

When the parade ended, Malone told Layden it was "amazing" so many people helped him celebrate his birthday. His new coach laughed and said, "I can’t believe you fell for that one."

This year, Malone will hold a public celebration of his 50th birthday on Wednesday at noon at his automobile dealership in Draper.

"Lord knows I made some mistakes in my life," he said. "I know some people don’t like me. But I wouldn’t want to be any other place in the world for this birthday. …

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"I became a man in Utah. People here accepted me — a Baptist kid from Louisiana in a place that was mostly white and mostly Mormon. Awesome, man. Just awesome."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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