Malone in Utah to evaluate draft prospects
SALT LAKE CITY -- Karl Malone was in Utah on Memorial Day, helping the Jazz evaluate four prospects and mentioning that he would not mind being more involved in basketball.
Malone, who spent 18 years with the Utah Jazz, was asked by the club to attend the workout Monday and offer opinions on Duke power forward Shelden Williams and centers Hilton Armstrong of UConn, Mouhamed Saer Sene of Senegal and Patrick O'Bryant of Bradley.
"I'm here because I was invited to come," he said. "I'm not here looking for anyone's job. ... I paid my own way."
However, he also said, "Am I looking one day to be more involved and more active in [basketball]? Absolutely."
Malone, who lives in Ruston, La., said that since his 2004 retirement, following one season away from Utah playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, "a couple of teams" have contacted him about working for them as an assistant coach, scout or consultant.
Regarding the invitation, Kevin O'Connor, Jazz senior vice president of basketball operations, said, "We asked if he'd have an opportunity to do that, and he was gracious enough to come out. We're happy to have his input, to be honest with you."
"We like to keep those guys involved as much as they can," O'Connor said. "But, you know, they have full-time lives."
Malone said he did not go on the court during the workout, but told the Jazz officials what he thought when they asked him.
"He sees things as a player," O'Connor said.
The Jazz won the 14th pick in the draft, which will be held June 28.
Malone said the Jazz could use a power-type player "who is a little nasty, a little feisty -- someone who doesn't mind not helping [an opponent] up."
Regarding Sene, Malone said, "The kid wants to play, and he's going to get bigger. It looks like he can carry another 25 or 30 pounds. ... I like to see young kids who want to play, guys that are hungry. That's what I'm looking for."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press