Tuesday , Jan , 25 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Report: Mailman closer to calling it quits

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Future Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone
is leaning towards retirement, according to a report in Tuesday’s Los Angeles
Times. The report also stated that he will decide on his future in the next
week or two.

“Probably toward retirement, just because that’s what he is right now,
theoretically,” Malone’s agent Dwight Manley told the paper. “Things usually
go the direction of where you’re at.”

If Malone does in fact retire, he will end his career second on the NBA’s
all-time scoring list 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 last season with the Los Angeles
Lakers.

Malone underwent surgery to repair a torn medial collateral ligament in his
right knee over the summer that limited him to just 42 games during his one
turbulent season in Los Angeles. He declined a 1.65 million contract
option shortly after the Lakers lost in five games to the Detroit Pistons in
the NBA finals.

The 41-year-old 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, who was being courted by the San Antonio Spurs, 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.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss has offered Malone a front-office job if he retires.

LAL