Jazz’s Karl Malone admits Chris Webber, Charles Barkley had ‘more talent’ than him
Utah Jazz Hall of Fame power forward Karl Malone was a 14-time All-Star, two-time MVP, and perennial top contender for opposing big men, but a championship always alluded him. Similarly, all-time great power forwards Charles Barkley and Chris Webber had similar issues competing for a title.
“I’m going to tell you three guys that had more talent than Karl Malone — Chris Webber, Derrick Coleman and Charles Barkley,” Malone said. “More talent. More talent. But, they didn’t outwork me.”
Malone began lifting weights during his time at Louisiana Tech. He was an NBA (Jazz) strongman and the use of weight training helped him stay healthy and on the court during his 19-season Hall of Fame career.
“I would never use the term, ‘he was better than me,'” Malone explained. “More talented is different.”
Malone’s obvious caveat, though, is the work ethic needed to compete with the world’s best basketball players in the Association, which he and pick-and-roll Jazz partner John Stockton displayed for the better part of two decades.
The 13th overall selection of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Jazz, Malone was less heralded coming out of college than Barkley, the No. 5 out of Auburn in the prior year’s draft, and Webber, a blue-chip prospect out of Michigan and first overall pick in 1993. Malone, though, worked as hard or harder than anyone else, and made up for his own perceived lack of talent with weight training and staying injury-free on the hardwood.