Karl Malone has long been one of my most hated NBA players. When he was in Utah I didn’t like him. He was known for taking cheap shots. Most notably an elbow to Isiah Thomas’ face. It was a brutal shot that took Zeke down.
If you are unfamiliar with the incident here you go:
In 2004 when Malone was trying to ring chase with the Lakers my hate for him grew stronger. Malone was a part of the first “Super Team” joining Gary Payton to ride off into the sunset in LA. Fortunately for Detroit Pistons fans Old Man Malone and Payton couldn’t get it done even with Shaq and Kobe.
During NBA All Star weekend a story about Malone and a 13 year old was re-released. I don’t know enough to write about it, but just throw it on the pile of dis-likable things about Karl Malone.
With all that being said Karl Malone sat down with Isiah Thomas after many years and the two had an exchange about the famous elbow to the head.
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“I can say I’m sorry and mean it with all my heart.” Malone said while talking to Isiah.
The conversation goes on with Isiah sharing how when he asked Malone “Why did you hit me so hard?” that Malone told him “I meant to hit you, but I didn’t mean to do that.”
You could see Isiah’s competitive side understand how sometimes you can get carried away. It seems as Isiah took the apology as sincere and meaningful.
It was a nice moment. Hopefully Karl Malone has grown as a man, like we all should over time.
I still don’t like the play, I still hate the 2004 Lakers and I still will hold my breath on if Malone has turned into a “good guy”. But as far as Malone and Isiah, it looks like they are doing just fine.
Fun Fact: Kenyon Martin took that elbow so personal he waited until he got into the NBA to take his shot at Karl Malone.
Photo: © Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports