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Malone defends 'old-school' ways
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former star Karl Malone spoke of old-school basketball and the Jazz's need to start playing it Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Even before coach Jerry Sloan announced his resignation, Malone planned to attend the Utah-Phoenix game.

He used visit to Utah to meet with the media and challenge today's Jazz players to make Sloan's system work under new coach Ty Corbin.

"Hell, they changed the floor back to old school [and] they changed the uniforms for old school," Malone said. "Somebody tell the damn players to start playing like that old school."

Though not mentioning him by name, Malone seemed to criticize All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who has talked this season about the Jazz's lack of film work and practice time.

"If you're professional, you don't need for me to break a film down for you," Malone said. "If you want to stop the guy you're playing … you get your TV and you break down the player yourself."

With the volume of his voice raising, Malone said, "For people to say Coach Sloan didn't practice as much … guess what? You've got to have guys that want to practice.

"John Stockton and Karl Malone practiced for 15, 16 years. … How many practices did we miss?"

Malone continued: "You've got to have guys who want to practice and have guys buy into your system.

"You've got to have guys take ownership and professionalism in their job. It is not [a coach's] job to hand-feed these guys, and that's part of the problem."

Malone must have seen some television analysts criticize Sloan and his system, because he criticized them, too.

"I heard guys talking about Coach Sloan and his will — he don't have the fire," Malone said.

"[But] half of them guys don't know what they're talking about. Very few of them do. Some of them I played with. I mute it when they start talking."

Asked about Jazz players' possible unhappiness with Sloan, Malone winced.

"Look, did I get upset with Coach Sloan? You bet I did," he said. "Did he get upset with me in the huddle? If you only knew. [But] I'll tell you one thing. When we were on that court, we did it like he said. And we did it over and over and over."

luhm@sltrib.com

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