After years of an awkward and borderline uncomfortable relationship between a Hall of Famer and the team that he spent the majority of his career with, Karl Malone is finally coming home to the Utah Jazz in an official capacity.
Karl Malone just announced on Jazz radio that he will be helping to coach Utah's big men in a part-time capacity.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 29, 2013
Jazz CEO Greg Miller to Karl Malone: "I think your involvement with our bigs is going to help us win more ball games."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 29, 2013
The decision is kind of interesting on multiple levels. Malone has clashed with ownership over the past several seasons, most notably when the decision to part ways with Jerry Sloan was reached in 2011. Karl has been critical in subsequent interviews while always expressing a desire to return to the fold. Now he'll have his chance.
This also comes at a time when the Jazz are looking at a total transformation of their frontcourt. Both center Al Jeferson and forward Paul Millsap are going to be free agents, and there has been a strong push within the organization to move towards developing Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.
Malone can help with that, on both ends. If the Jazz can find a consistent answer at point guard, he can help them in the pick and roll as well. Favors, in particular, stands to benefit by leaps and bounds with Karl's help.
We'll see if this relationship can remain stable or if it's a temporary time of consultation. But Malone is back with the Jazz, teaching basketball to big men.
Karl spent 18 seasons with the Jazz, including two MVP seasons in 1997 and 1999. In 1997, he averaged 27 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists on 55 percent shooting. He was inducted to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010.