Is Karl Malone’s Absence from the Recent Reunion of the Utah Jazz 1997 NBA Finals Team A “Slight”? Basketball is Just Basketball: Life is Life
By Ken K. Gourdin
The Utah Jazz recently had a 20-year reunion of their 1997 NBA Finals team, but, notably, their most notable player from that era, Karl Malone, was absent. Doug Robinson, sportswriter for Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, was much in arms at the supposed “slight.” Didn’t Mr. Malone owe it to his former teammates, to former team executives and coaches, and, most importantly, to fans, to see to it that his schedule permitted his attendance?
If [another poster] is correct that Mr. Malone made a prior commitment to someone else well in advance of the festivities planned by the Jazz (however worthy those festivities might be) [purportedly, the festivities that preempted his attendance were related to a low-income housing project with which he is involved in his home state of Louisiana], I’m glad he honored his commitment. Basketball is a great game. It (especially Jazz basketball) has provided me (and others, I’m sure) with indelible memories. But, silly T-shirt slogans to the contrary notwithstanding, it ain’t life. Basketball is just basketball. Why wasn’t Mr. Malone more up-front about his conflicting commitment? If he had described it in detail, surely, the “Karl-has-always been-all-about-Karl” crowd would simply have used it as more evidence of his alleged tendency toward self-promotion and self-centeredness. “Do not your alms before men …”