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Karl Malone - Balanced Basketball And Family

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An eligible bachelor until 1991, in that year Malone married Kay Kinsey, a former Miss Idaho USA. The couple formed a strong family that Malone relished. "Everybody is a kid to some degree. My father passed away when I was young, and I could never be the kid I wanted to be. Now I have kids [Kadee and Kylee] and I want to be a kid with them. My wife is like the husband and the father. I'm the son my wife and I don't have right now" he commented in Sport. That son, Karl Jr., came along in 1996.

Karl shared many child-like passions in common with his wife Kay. Both are nuts about pro wrestling, tractor pulls and trucking. While better known for delivering big buckets and handling beefy opponents, Malone is also a beefmaster cattle breeder on 52-acre ranch in El Dorado, Arkansas, where a prized purebred animal can be sold for as much as $200,000. "Eight years from now when they say, 'Where is he now?' this is where I'll be," Malone once told Ebony.

When Malone was a little boy, he never mentioned the possibility of playing pro basketball, but always dreamed of owning a big truck. In March of 1993, Karl turned his dream into a business: his own trucking company—a six-rig fleet called Malone Enterprises! However two years later, he shut down his trucking business due to industry competition and Malone's limited involvement with the business. "Basketball is my job," Malone said in Sports Illustrated, "but this is my love.... I'd be lying if I said I didn't like the feeling of being the most powerful thing on the road, yet under control, too." Malone still drives his favorite 18-wheel tractor-trailer, an $190,000 rig that is painted with a rambling, breath-taking panorama of the Old West, with a familiar-looking cowboy riding the range.

Malone announced his retirement from professional basketball in 2005. Still physically fit, Malone admitted that he just wasn't mentally up for more of the game. "I look at basketball as 100 percent physically and 100 percent mentally. And if I can't bring you 200 percent, from me, I can't bring you anything," Malone said during his retirement press conference, according to Jet. Although he retired with the most respected playing statistics, some point out that Malone will not be considered truly "great" because he did not win the big one—an NBA championship for his team. "I wanted a championship. I'm not going to lie to you. That was my ultimate goal, but that was a team goal. That wasn't an individual goal," Malone admitted to Jet. Even without an NBA championship sports analysts predicted Malone, whose work ethic helped redefine how the game is played and how all-time greatness is measured, would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Sources

Periodicals

America's Intelligence Wire, February 14, 2005.

Buffalo News, February 20, 2005, p C8.

Ebony, Feb 1991, p.67; Nov 1991, p. 96.

Jet, April 13, 1992, p. 50; Jan 19, 1998, p. 46; March 7, 2005.

Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, July 8, 1996, p. 7080233.

Playboy, April 1989, p. 80.

Sport, May 1992, p. 48; Dec 1994, p. 86; March 1996, p. 20; Feb 1998, p. 76.

The Sporting News, Nov 8, 1993, p. 10; Feb 21, 1994, p. 38; April 21, 1997, p. 38; February 25, 2005, p. 67.

Sports Illustrated, Jan 14, 1985, p. 88; Nov 7, 1988, p. 72; March 25, 1991, p. 68; April 27, 1992, p. 62; March 17, 1997, p. 101; February 21, 2005, p. 17.

Sports Illustrated for Kids, July 1994, p. 14; Dec 1995, p. 25; Nov, 1997, p. 40.

Wisconsin State Journal, April 11, 1998, sec D, p. 2, col 1.

On-line

Detroit News Online, www.detnews.com (April 11, 1998).

—Dietrich Gruen and Sara Pendergast

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