In a lengthy, successful 19-season NBA career, Karl Malone did not speak with finesse — that didn't stop him from saying whatever he pleased.

His philosophy always seemed to be speak now and deal with the consequences. He said he doesn't regret anything he did or said to date because it all formed him into the man he is today.

The ever-quotable Malone never left anyone wondering about how he felt. Here is a list of 25 quotes from the Hall of Famer ranging from hysterical to sincere, but never apologetic.

1. Jerry Sloan

"In that defining moment, when [Jazz team management] shoulda stood up for Jerry Sloan...they chose Deron Williams. And Coach Sloan, being the coach I know and love, said, you know what? We should part the ways...And once Coach Sloan says something, it's history."

Karl Malone said this during an extensive interview with Utah radio station 97.5's The Gordon Monson Show in January of 2012. Deseret News columnist Brad Rock, in addition to Monson, interviewed Malone for a lengthy four hours. Malone talked about the manner in which former coach Jerry Sloan resigned among several other topics.

2. Play in the Paint

"I like to think I have some finesse to my game, but inside the paint is where men are made. If you can't play there, you should be home with your mama.''

Three years after the 1985 NBA draft, the league was recognizing Malone as a force for the Utah Jazz. In this New York Times article, several people comment on the Mailman's improvement during his first three NBA seasons. At the time he was 25 years old and averaged 27.7 points and 12 rebounds per game.

3. Malone Sr. Advice

"Just hit the guy next to you. Forget the technique. Hit the guy across from you. Don't let somebody come in your space."

This is the advice Karl Malone Sr. gave his son in 2011. Karl Malone Jr. played football at City Creek High School in Ruston, La. And Malone Sr. served as his biggest supporter. The ESPN article was written when Malone Jr. competed in an Under Armour combine at the New Orleans Saints practice facility.

4. Play Old School

"They changed the floor back to old school. They changed the uniform back to old school. Somebody tell the (expletive) players to start playing like old school."

After Sloan resigned from coaching the Utah Jazz, Malone defended his former coach. Malone became agitated when people judged Sloan for leaving the Jazz so abruptly. Malone said the changes Jazz management made should have been focused on finding the right players for the organization.

5. Escape-Goat

"I ain't gonna be no escape-goat!"

There isn't a whole lot to say about this one, just Malone being Malone. Oh, and he'll be using a goat to escape apparently.

6. Birthday Parade

"Karl Malone thought it was the Karl Malone birthday parade."

Only about a month after the Utah Jazz drafted Malone, he rode in the Days of ’47 Parade in downtown Salt Lake City alongside Jazz coach Frank Layden. The Pioneer Day parade also happened to fall on Malone's birthday.

7. Move On

"The pebble has been snatched from my hand, and it's time for me to leave, like Kung Fu. I must move on … continue to live in Utah, unless I get hit by a beer truck or something."

Malone said this on the radio show he hosted in Los Angeles in 1998 during the NBA lockout. At this time, Malone publicly announced that he no longer had a desire to play for the Jazz. Malone became a free agent in 2003 and left the Jazz for one final NBA season with the Lakers.

8. Share Your Success

“Try to live life the way you want to be remembered. Try to leave life better than you found it. And, what good is success if you're not willing to share it?”

As Karl Malone gave his NBA Hall of Fame enshrinement speech, he offered a few jokes, sincere thanks and a little advice. After a successful 19-year playing career in the NBA, Malone knows a little about success.



9. No Michael on Top 5

"Dan Patrick and I always joke around with each other. He had a man-crush on Michael Jordan, so I told him I had one on Lebron James and I'm happily married. Sayin this to say this guys, anytime you start a starting five, you gonna leave somebody off. If the powers to be out there think I left Michael Jordan off my starting five they got to be smoking some stuff and it's not legal yet."

Malone defended his starting five picks back in 2013 when he picked Scottie Pippen as his final pick instead of Michael Jordan. Malone said he was not bitter and that all the "haters" out there need to relax. He said he did not mean to leave Jordan off his five-player list and that it was unfair to not be able to pick a whole team.

10. Hurricane Katrina

"When we told them we were doing this for free, they looked at us like we were crazy or something," Malone said. "How is a landowner who just lost everything going to pay $15,000 or $20,000 to have a lot cleared? I mean, there were two or three houses on top of one another in some places.

"There was a lot of red tape, and I ain't got time for that. … FEMA didn't approve, but we did it for the people."


After Hurricane Katrina caused extreme upheaval to many residents in the South, Malone took a crew to Pascagoula, Miss., to clear debris from 114 lots. Malone ran into a little bit of trouble with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but he disregarded its regulations to help out people in need.

11. Enshrinement Speech

"Couple things I said I wasn't gonna do — I wasn't gonna talk long and I wasn't gonna cry. Charles I lost a bet."

Malone walked up to the microphone during his enshrinement into the NBA Hall of Fame already crying. And then he informed Charles Barkley in the audience that he had lost the bet. Malone went on to give a heartfelt enshrinement speech with, of course, a few signature jokes.

12. Rings

"People talk about rings? I have six rings. They're my wife and kids."

When Malone retired, he thanked everyone from his wife to his ex-teammates to Sloan. He spent quite a bit of time talking about his family and how they helped him through his career.

13. Elbow to the Face

"Well, first of all, he's lyin' about being blinded. Probably what he drank or smoked the night before."

During a game between the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons in December 1991, Malone delivered one of the most vicious elbows of all time. Despite Isiah Thomas needing 40 stitches near his eye, Malone was only suspended for one game.



14. Young Punks

“Migraines, hangnails, stomach aches. You've got guys missing games because, 'I woke up and was feeling a little lightheaded.’”

In 1999, Malone expressed concern for the NBA's future. He said the league is full of “knuckleheads” who come up with all kinds of excuses to sit out games. Popularity of the NBA was growing rapidly, and with that came all sorts of changes. The Mailman was nearing the end of his career and firsthand witnessed the new types of players that made it into the league.

15. Corny Jerry Sloan

“I think Coach Sloan is corny sometimes, 'You can get better and better no matter how long you play this game.' And sometimes we think it's corny, but it's a true statement. If you're willing to make that commitment in the summer time — when the camera's off, when you're in that gym by yourself with no one around — that's when you get better.”

Malone talks about using his entire career to improve his free-throw shooting percentage and eventually ending up becoming the NBA's all-time free-throw leader in 2001. Inside Hoops originally published the interview.

16. Jordan and the Starting 5

“Michael Jordan is in my starting five. Relax my little grasshoppers.”

In 2013, Malone went on ESPN to defend his starting five picks after several people read too far into him excluding Jordan. Malone said he was not bitter and that all the "haters" out there need to relax. He said he did not mean to leave Jordan off his five-player list that he picked in good fun on the "Dan Patrick Show."

17. Iverson Didn't Impress Malone

"It's a mockery of the game. Oh-and-five and you score 40? So what?"

Malone responded to a time when Allen Iverson scored 40 or more points in five straight games, which earned him NBA player of the week honors. This didn't impress Malone because Iverson didn't help his team win any of the games. Malone never had trouble expressing his opinion about the young “knuckleheads” in the league.

18. Charles Barkley's Navel

“(Charles Barkley) kept his vaseline right inside his navel and he would use it in a game.”

Malone appeared on TNT's "Inside the NBA" recently and outed Barkley on keeping vaseline in his navel. Barkley's response was simply, “Ain't nothing worse than a black man with big, crusty lips.”

19. Malone Dunks

“What excites me the most is when a coach calls a timeout and chews out his forward because I just dunked on his head.”

Malone was a classic dunker. John Stockton would feed him passes that found him in the right place at the right time, and this led to many dunks in his career. This is one of his most memorable quotes on dunking.

20. Knuckleheads

“I know I couldn't see me paying for my family to go to a game to watch some of these knuckleheads play.”

In 1999, Malone expressed concern for the NBA's future. He said the league is full of “knuckleheads” who come up with all kinds of excuses to sit out games. Popularity of the NBA was growing rapidly, and with that came all sorts of changes. The Mailman was nearing the end of his career and firsthand witnessed the new types of players that made it into the league.

21. Thanks to the People

“I cried at 'Free Willy' when he got free. I'm very emotional. Today is not that day. Today is a day for me to say thanks to a lot of people."

When Malone retired, he thanked everyone from his wife to his ex-teammates to his former coach Jerry Sloan. But when as he gave a lengthy speech at the press conference, he didn't cry once.

22. No Comeback

"When I said I retired from basketball playing, I have retired. You will not see me play again. That is a promise. … There will be no unbelievable comebacks. Seen that, didn't like that, won't do that."

When Malone retired from basketball he promised his fans that he meant it. He expressed inability to keep focused on playing since his mother's death, and that largely contributed to his decision to retire. Malone did not ever attempt a comeback.

23. Third Person References

"Karl Malone do what Karl Malone gotta do."

Malone often referred to himself as a separate being, in third person. This made way for some interesting quotes from the Mailman.

24. Congressmen Need a Slap

“First of all, the congressman and the senator need to be slapped around for saying that. These are our kids. Turn the cameras off, and I'll slap ’em.”

Malone appeared on Fox News a few years ago to talk politics. He got riled up about the war in Iraq and told the panel he would slap around the congressmen to wake them up. When told he was being facetious, Malone gave the panel director a mean stare down.

25. Honored to Coach

“At some point in time I will be honored if I would be mentioned as a coach.”

Being coached by the legendary Sloan inspired Malone to want to rise to similar ranks.