Former Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone was never been one to shy away from contact or dish it out during his playing days in the NBA.
For those old enough to remember, this incident comes to mind with San Antonio Spurs own David Robinson (see video).
During his playing days, Malone was a chiseled specimen who was not afraid to throw his weight and his elbows around. He had a reputation for delivering a punishing experience for opponents night in and night out.
So it comes to no surprise his disdain for padding or "armor" (as he puts it) worn by today’s NBA players under their uniforms is something he frowns upon.
Malone who is coaching the Utah Jazz big men shared some of his thoughts on the matter during an interview with Ron Zundel and KSL.com,
"I'm not concerned with your elbow pads, your knee pads, all of your garb and your full body armor. What do you need all that for? Our soldiers need that in Iraq and they're doing a hell of a job for us. Take all that off! We don't need that. What I need you to do is show up and be ready to play. That's it.”
As well as his reaction to seeing one of his players who put on the protective gear.
"I had one of my ‘bigs' today and he had body armor from his thigh to his neck. I ask him what he was doing and he said he was protecting himself. I said 'Who you protecting yourself [from]?' There's no sniper in this building! Man up! If you're hurt, see the trainer and play the game.”
Most NBA players from the 1980s and 1990s would echo Malone’s comments. From around the 2000 NBA season and going forward, the NBA is missing that competitive edge and has made everything and anything a foul.
Some of the plays that draw a whistle in today’s game would have been considered a non-call in the '80s and '90s. If players got into a fight, no one got tossed, technicals were assessed and the game continued. Someone gave a player a good, hard foul, it was simply that, just a good, hard foul.
One may argue the padding is to secure a player's health and longevity in the NBA and that Malone's style of play was excessive. However, how many times have we've seen refs blow their whistle for ticky-tack things on the court. If a player even glances towards another player and the refs see that, a tech is called. Barely shove a player, get tossed.
Well Spurs’ fans, do you believe that today’s players just need to man up and play the game like back in the day sans "armor"?
"Man up" from a pedo/deadbeat dad. Men don't get 12 year olds pregnant then refuse to support them. Dude is a disgusting excuse for a human being.
here is all you need to know about karl malone: http://www.makingpages.org/hoops/Malone.danger.html
btw, does he know we aren't even in iraq anymore?
I remember that play and to this day I still hate Malone but what he said had me hysterical. Who you protecting yourself [from]?' There's no sniper in this building!
Malone does need to understand that everyone is not him. He liked playing with the contact and the physical side of the game but that is who he was and what made him great. You are either a tough guy or your not. You can't make millionaires into tough guys but tough guys can be millionaires.
@MarkCubanisaDouche Agree. I still can't stand Karl for what he did but this is one epic series of quotes. There is a lot to be said for his points.
I'm trying to envision what Blake Griffin would do after just one of Karl's hard fouls. I'm guessing nomoredunks
@gymbear @MarkCubanisaDouche Griffin would probably turn it into a marketing campaign for bubble wrap. He has shown nothing that would make me believe he wouldn't fold and I think the players in the league know it too.
I don't like Malone because he played with the Jazz and they had our number for years but I always respected his game. I like the physical play and the eye for an eye mentality. I really enjoyed watching the Bulls Heat series last year. Old school basketball. When I grew up playing ball it was no blood no foul. Now when I go to play you got guys calling charges in pick up games. I call it country club ball.
I understand what Malone is trying to do but some guys don't have the fortitude to do it today. Since the Malice in the Palace (which was way too far) and the precedent Stern set I think a lot of players are afraid of it going that far and they know they can get retribution with a flop because the refs will call it. We live in much different times today and the league doesn't want to loose it's advertisers with so much money at stake. It has become more about money than anything else. I guarantee that KIA would immediately step away from Griffin if he was involved in a fight on the court because that style of play eventually only ends up with one outcome if he gets into it with the right guy (Kendrick Perkins, Zach Randolph).