Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Report: Mailman to call it quits

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting
that Los Angeles Lakers forward Karl Malone has decided to retire after 19 NBA
seasons.

Malone, who will turn 41 on July 24, recently underwent surgery to repair a
torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee that limited the future
Hall-of-Famer to just 42 games during his one turbulent season with Los
Angeles. He declined a 1.65 million contract option shortly after the Lakers
lost in five games by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA finals.

Malone signed with the Lakers last summer for far below market value in an
attempt to win the NBA title that has eluded him during his Hall of Fame
career.

That dream ended in a nightmare for Malone, whose injury forced him to the
sidelines for the majority of Detroit’s stunning series win. He played
sparingly in Games 3 and 4 and sat out the deciding final contest.

Malone will end his career as the NBA’s second career-leading scorer with
36,928 points, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387. A 14-time All-Star
and the league’s MVP in 1996-97 and 1998-99, Malone averaged 25 points and
10.1 rebounds per season but posted career-lows of 13.2 points and 8.7
rebounds in 2003-04.

Malone was also selected as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996.

After spending 18 years with Utah and earning $19 million in his final season
with the Jazz, Malone signed with Los Angeles for $1.5 million.

LAL