The Utah Jazz just saw one long-time member of the family leave, but they’re welcoming an even bigger one back to the fold.
Karl Malone has accepted a job to help coach the Jazz big men, the Hall of Fame power forward announced on the team’s radio station during an interview with CEO Greg Miller.
“I think your involvement with our bigs is going to help us win more ball games,” Miller said.
It is unknown how much time Malone will spend as a coach on Tyrone Corbin’s staff, but he expressed excitement about working with the Jazz young bigs, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, beginning this offseason.
“We haven’t discussed nothing other than that I’ll be coaching the bigs,” Malone said, adding that he’s still working out a scheduled with Corbin on how to approach his new gig.
Miller said the Jazz and Malone are in somewhat of an experimental mode for now. They aren’t quite sure if this could lead to a more permanent position on the bench.
“Right now, our agreement is he’s going to come in on a periodic basis and help our guys,” Miller said. “If it develops into more than that, it could be a good thing.”
The Mailman has already had a one-on-one workout with Favors, and he’s met with Kanter. Malone said he has and will keep in close contact with Corbin to shape the sessions he has with the young Jazz bigs.
“It is great to have Karl as a resource for the team,” Corbin said in a statement released by the Jazz PR staff. “He is one of the most talented big men to have ever played this game.”
Malone, an original Dream Teamer, is the NBA’s second-leading scorer of all-time and was a 14-time All-Star and two-time MVP during his Jazz career. He was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010, joining teammate John Stockton and coach Jerry Sloan.
Miller was impressed when he recently saw Malone work with the 21-year-old Favors. He could tell Malone had put in a lot of prep work, asked a lot of valid questions and ran the show well.
“My expectations were high, but he exceeded them,” Miller said. “It was just exciting for me to know that Karl was that committed to doing it. I was absolutely excited.”
Malone, who still hasan auto dealership in South Jordan, said his love for Utah has grown since the days he played for the Jazz from 1985-2003. Every time he returns and looks at the Wasatch Front mountains, Malone said he tells himself, “I miss this.”
Malone added that the Jazz are “such a classy, storied organization,” and admitted he took that for granted during his playing days. That’s something he’d like to make sure his new pupils are well aware of while they’re young.