UTAH JAZZ

Karl Malone’s Statue Enters 14th Year On Vivint Arena Plaza

Mar 23, 2020, 2:37 PM | Updated: 5:59 pm
Scott Winterton, Deseret News...
Scott Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Though Karl Malone officially played his last game in a Utah Jazz uniform on April 30, 2003, the ‘Mailman’s’ presence in the state is still felt to this day. Perhaps there’s no greater representation of Malone than than the bronze statue that bears his likeness that stands outside of Vivint Smart Home Arena. Today marks the 14th year anniversary that the statue was unveiled.

Malone’s bronzed build sits next to fellow Hall of Famer, and long time teammate John Stockton’s statue, much like duo’s retired jerseys. Malone’s statue was unveiled to the public on the same day his number 32 was forever enshrined in the rafters of the arena. Stockton’s retirement ceremony and statue unveiling were held a season earlier.

The statues sit at the corner of John Stockton Drive and Karl Malone Drive on the Southeast corner of the arena.

Malone, draped in his patented cowboy stylings, was joined at the ceremony by team owners Larry H. and Gail Miller, former teammates including Thurl Bailey and Mark Eaton, and of course the other half of the pick-and-roll duo Stockton.

“This isn’t about John or Karl,” Stockton said about the statues, “it’s a representation of a time in this franchises history and the NBA’s history.”

“All I really want to say about that is how proud I am of him as a friend, as a man. We’ve been through a lot together, and yet my respect grows more and more every day. It’s an honor to call you a friend and a brother.”

Late NBA commissioner David Stern said of Malone, “The thank yous go to Karl for his passion for our game, which was demonstrated in his work ethic and his records and statistics and a determination and dedication that I haven’t seen in any other professional athlete.”

Malone won two MVP awards in a Jazz uniform, where he spent 18 of his 19 NBA seasons. Malone retired as the league’s second-leading all-time scorer.

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