Mailman rips analytics, soft players; challenges Lesnar & Kobe to fights
Apparently, Karl Malone hasn’t lost that competitive fire in retirement. Sure, he’s been off the mainstream grid for a while, but apparently, he’s upset. And just like in his playing days, when The Mailman’s upset, The Mailman delivers the heat.
Well, on Wednesday, seemingly no one was immune from Malone’s wrath . . . from statisticians and soft players, to Kobe Bryant and Brock Lesnar, and plenty of others in between, Malone wanted a piece of everyone. And in the process, he turned in a day so full of fun, it could wear out the fittest of 19-year-old rookies.
And lucky for all of us, he did quite a bit of it on FOX TV and radio.
First came Malone’s rant on analytics. On the heels of Charles Barkley ripping the Rockets, namely calling GM Daryl Morey an “idiot,” saying his team built on a foundation of analytics is not a good defensive team, and calling analytics “crap,” Malone was asked his own opinion on the topic of numbers over eyeballs.
His eye-opening response can be seen in the video above.
Barkley’s rant can be seen below.
After those fightin’ words came some real fightin’ words.
First, UFC star Brock Lesnar. Now, we know this was the least intense part of Malone’s day, but Malone once teamed with Diamond Dallas Page to fight Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan at WCW’s “Bash at the Beach” . . . you think he’s kidding around when he says this?
Next up, a more serious combatant. Malone ended his career with a one-season stint in Los Angeles, hoping to hook up with Gary Payton, Horace Grant, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant to get that elusive NBA championship. After a 56-26 regular season and NBA Finals run, the season ended with a five-game flameout vs. Detroit. The finish was so devastating, all but Bryant left the aforementioned group, along with head coach Phil Jackson, and the Lakers finished 34-48 the following season.
One of the more dramatic storylines following that season was Bryant accusing Malone of hitting on his wife Vanessa. Well, that may have been 11 years ago, but no one ever accused Malone of being a bygones-be-bygones type of guy.
So Malone went on HuffPost Live and issued "a standing offer" to Bryant to fight:
"We had a little issue. I don't hold grudges ... I love Westerns. I'm old-school Western. Back in the day, when you had a beef, you didn't go get guns and knives ... we just go in the back with no cameras, no nothing and let's just knuckle up. Get it over with.
"It's a standing offer. Look, I don't want no trouble. I don't have a problem. People say whatever they want to say and that's great. I'm 6-9, 272 [pounds] to be exact. I'm not hard to find. I don't want no trouble. But if something got to go down, I'm not playing fair."
Well then. You can read more here.
But The Mailman is an equal-opportunity entertainer, and he saved some of his jabs for those with an ear for radio.
Speaking with Jason Smith on “Jay Mohr Sports” on FOX Radio on Wednesday, Malone was asked about Magic Johnson’s comments a day earlier, when the Hall of Fame point guard ripped owner Jim Buss for his handling of the Lakers since taking over for his late father Jerry nearly two years ago.
"I was there for one year and I loved it . . . I wouldn’t change a thing. In a situation like that, you’ve got a guy like Magic who has won championships . . . when in doubt, I am always going with a Hall of Famer like Magic . . . I’ve got to respect what Magic says and at the end of the day it’s a business. They (Buss family) has to do whatever they have to do. But you’ve got to understand, there are some very intelligent fans, and you’ve got to listen to what the fans want as well. But, what Magic is saying has got to have some merit to it . . . so, I absolutely respect Magic and everything he does.”
Oh yeah, he weighed in on analytics again . . . while acknowledging he still uses a flip phone. As to why he doesn’t need to update to a more modern cell?
“I have enough family members and kids with smartphones; I was riding in the car one day and I am terrible with directions. I was riding in the car and all four of my kids had their smartphones. I’m up there [driving], trying to worry about where we’re going. Finally I just slammed on the brakes, pulled off to the side of the road and said, ‘Somebody get some directions to where the hell we’re going.’ And within two seconds, all four of them had us going in the right direction.”
Two points for The Mailman!
Here is the full interview.