Are modern-day NBA players wimps? NBA legend Karl Malone thinks so.
The 50-year-old sat with Utah news station KSL to discuss his debut as the Jazz’s big man coach… and expressed his disliking for all the protective gear present-day players wear.
Malone, who sits at #2 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, bashed his way to nearly 42,000 career points… and did so without padding. Somehow, he never suffered a major injury in the process, so to him, padding is for wimps.
“I’m not concerned with your elbow pads, your knee pads, all of your garb and your full body armor. What do you need all that for?” Malone asked. “Our soldiers need that in Iraq and they’re doing a hell of a job for us. Take all that off! We don’t need that. What I need you to do is show up and be ready to play. That’s it.
“I had one of my ‘bigs’ today and he had body armor from his thigh to his neck. I ask him what he was doing and he said he was protecting himself. I said ‘Who you protecting yourself [from]?’ There’s no sniper in this building! Man up! If you’re hurt, see the trainer and play the game.
“When I played, if you came out there with a sleeve on your elbow, I won’t say ‘I’m going to attack it,’ but you’re a wounded animal and I’ve got to take a stab at it. I like where we’re at, but let’s get rid of all that and play the game, encourage your teammates,” he concluded.