In answer to Nelson L. Holcomb of Phoenix, Ariz., who asks: "To whom is he (Karl Malone) valuable?" Holcomb says that Karl is unsportsmanlike, with childish actions and lack of character. He sees this as a non gratis for the citizens of Salt Lake City. Basing my comments under the qualification of a nonexisting degree in psychology, I offer this answer to him.
1. When you get "hammered" every time you try to make a basket, you just may get paranoid.2. Logical reaction is to extend the forearms to ward off blows, similar to that of a boxer also trying to ward off blows from an opponent.
3. When forearms are extended, elbows are automatically "cocked," something like those old-fashioned, single-shot firearms.
4. Trying to guard Karl up close without creating any body contact (which is a foul, referees, when 99 percent of the time contact is made by overzealous defenders) is a risk-taking but voluntary thing to do. We all have to learn to take risks and not go crying about it to the referees that Karl is a "bad man."
5. Referees who listen to those crybabies may become highly prejudiced and never give Karl the benefit of the doubt.
6. The game of basketball was created by James Naismith, who by now is turning over in his grave because of the vast changes in the style of play from what he envisioned. If Naismith is doing a slow turn on a rotisserie in the afterlife, give Karl credit for bringing to our attention Naismith's plight.
Karl Malone is a valuable player for the Jazz but a most valuable person off court to everyone who knows him. One who is a good representative of his profession, to which Salt Lake City benefits from the recognition Karl brings to the city.
Raymond D. Mills
Salt Lake City