Most NBA players of today’s generation are seen wearing an accessory, be it an arm warmer, kneecap, headband or whatever they like. For them, these accessories serve to play at a high level on the pitch, but Karl Malone finds this absolutely ridiculous. According to Malone, these accessories do nothing more than show off your style or stand out on the court. Malone thinks players wearing accessories are trying too hard to be like soldiers going to war and actually need them for protection.
Malone thinks accessories are a sign of weakness
The MailMan, who accepted a part-time coaching role for the Utah Jazz in 2013, admitted that one thing that turns him off about this generation of players is the accessories they wear on court. Malone thinks they don’t help a player’s performance at all, and if anything, it serves them as a sign of weakness.
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“I’m not worried about your elbow pads, your knee pads, all your clothing and full body armor. What do you need all this for? Our soldiers need that in Iraq and they are doing a damn good job for us. Take it all off! We do not need that. What I need is for you to show up and be ready to play. That’s it. I had one of my “bigs” today and he had a body armor from his thigh to the back of his neck. I ask him what he’s doing and he said he’s protecting himself. I said, ‘Who’s protecting you? [from]?’ There is no sniper in this building! man up! If you’re injured, go to the coach and play the game.” said Malone, as reported by KSL.com in 2013.
MailMan can have a point
Accessory use is definitely subjective and basketball players have their own reasons as to why they choose to use them. While it can be viewed as a way to protect or even improve one’s performance, Malone actually sees it as a form of weakness as it conveys the idea that a player is injured or needs extra protection on the pitch. Malone sure has an interesting take on it, and if he encourages his team to be inspired in this way, then maybe accessories actually serve a purpose.
“If you came out playing with a sleeve on your elbow, I’m not going to say ‘I’m going to attack it,’ but you’re a wounded animal and I have to stab it. I like where we are but let’s get this all off and play the game, encourage your teammates.” adds Malone.
Malone’s coaching tenure at Jazz didn’t last forever — not because he encouraged his players to avoid wearing accessories, but because he knew the gig wasn’t for him. Though he’ll probably still do whatever it takes for the jazz organization that made him the all-time great that he is. Ultimately, he’s definitely not a bad choice for the big men of this generation when it comes to basketball wisdom and maybe accessories.