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On Saturday, July 24th, Karl Malone celebrated his 47th birthday. On August 13th, Malone will celebrate again when he is inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall Of Fame. I spoke with Karl on Friday about his induction in the Hall of Fame and he said it really hasn't "hit" him yet.
There will be some bittersweet moments when Karl is inducted. It will be very difficult for him to look into the crowd and not see his mother. He knows that she will surely be looking down on him on that special day. His goal is to keep his speech short so he won't cry.
I asked him if he thought he was the best power forward in NBA history. Karl said "I don't know, but I can tell you that physically, I never felt I played against someone that was in better shape and better prepared than me."
Karl loved hearing the news that the Jazz signed Al Jefferson. "Al wants to be here and he will work hard. It's a great pick up."
I also asked Malone about late Jazz owner Larry Miller. Karl explained how he spent a lot of time by the ‘bedside' of Larry Miller and the final conversations he had with the late Jazz owner. "I never saw Larry as a man that is failing in health" Karl said. "I saw a man with quick wit as in the late hours of the night Larry would wake up and ask me, 'Don't you have somewhere to go?'
"He also looked up at me and said you know what I am inclined to do Karl? What are you inclined to do Larry? I am inclined to get out of bed and whoop your ... I said , OK!"
The final question I asked Karl Malone was if he had one major regret during his career in Utah and he said, "Yes! I wish I would have done more in the community."