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THE UTAH JAZZ
1997 Western Conference Champions
By Dr. Greg Shepard, Coach Jerry Sloan, Greg Ostertag, Karl Malone
Published: Fall 1997

KARL MALONE
1997 NBA MVP

BFS ON KARL MALONE:On one of the Jazz' road trips, I had breakfast with Karl.  I commented on his even more than "monster workouts" and it looked like he was carrying about five to ten pounds more muscle than in the past.  Karl looked at me and said, Rick, I'm on a mission."  Statements like these led Karl to more clearly focus on winning every play, every minute, every set and every rep.  This man really kept his eye single to the glory of winning a championship.

GREG OSTERTAG ON KARL MALONE: Karl is a crazy man in the weight room.  If you workout with him and try to match him set for set, he will kill you.

DR. GREG SHEPARD ON KARL MALONE: People always ask me how much can Karl Bench Press.  I give them this dead pan look and say, "About 350 pounds ... are you impressed?"  They sort of wrinkle their forehead and answer, "Yeah, I guess."  But, you just know they wanted to hear something like 500 pounds.  Then I say, "Karl can Bench 350 and then sprint down to the other basket and Bench 350 again.  Then, sprint all the way back to the other end of the court and do it again.  And, I'd bet my last wad of bubble gum that Karl Malone could stay above 300 pounds with 100 trips up and down the court.  Now are you impressed?"  Every time, I get this big wide grin as they answer in the affirmative.  Perhaps Karl Malone's biggest physical asset is his stamina.  I have never seen anything like it.  Watch him play!  It's amazing to witness a 6-9 260-pound man beating everyone on the transition and score so many easy baskets with a lot of them coming in the 4th quarter. 

COACH JERRY SLOAN ON KARL MALONE: Karl has never stopped doing what we've asked him to do.  Nobody can appreciate that more than me or our coaching staff.  Work is something Karl Malone has never shied away from and he has reaped some reward for that with his MVP Trophy.

KARL MALONE ON KARL MALONE: On missing only four games: "My mother worked from 9-to-5.  I only work two or three hours a day.  I have never felt mentally that I didn't want to play a game.  Sometimes I wish a game was on another day.  Some days I can be down but once the game starts, I get energy from somewhere and I go out and compete.  In this league, you have to do that because guys come at you every night."

On getting his 25,000th point: "I never look over my shoulder because I'm still not satisfied.  When we were in Atlanta, some guy asked me, 'Now that you've gotten 25,000 points and 10,000 rebounds, do you feel like you want to coast for the rest of your career.'  I looked at him and said, 'I don't even coast on my Harley.'  I don't know what that word means.  I believe in giving it everything I've got while I'm playing the game.  When I'm done, I don't want to look back and say, 'I did coast that one year.'  I'm not like that."

On progress: "I want to improve every year, add a little more to my game.  I don't want to be known as a player who just scored... I want to be remembered as a well-rounded player who played the forward spot."

On year-round lifting: "Sometimes people think you can just show up when training camp starts and start working out and conditioning in the weight room.  I've always said my workouts in the summer are harder than any practice I've ever had and I try to prepare myself for that.  I'm afraid not to do what I do now because it's been working for so many years.

"In the summer time, I do take time to do things I like to do... I have a wife and three kids, I ride Harleys.  I like to go fishing and hunting but I also work out on my own because I think it allows me to be a step ahead of those other guys who don't work out as much."

On, if he were a high school basketball coach would he have his players weight train: "Do fish swim.  Of course I would.  And, I tell you this... If they wouldn't lift, they wouldn't play for Karl Malone."

On his teammates: "The guys on this Jazz team mean everything to me.  They've made it a pleasure to go to work every day."

MALONE BY THE NUMBERS

33: Age, oldest NBA player to win MVP honors.

26.1: Career scoring average.

7: Average scoring rank among players with 10,000 points or 400 games.

25,592: Career points scored.

10: All-time scoring rank in the NBA.

10,542: Career rebounds.

5: Players, including Malone, who have scored 25,000 points and grabbed 10,000 rebounds.

12: Players taken before Malone in the NBA draft.

980: NBA games played.

4: Games he has missed.

467: Consecutive games played.

48.1: Free-throw % as a rookie.

77.8: Career free-throw %.

71: Times he led the team in scoring last season.

2: Olympic Gold Medals won.

3: Children: Kadee Lynn, Kylee Ann, and Karl Jr.

$4,500,000: Malone's salary.

3: Class C Louisiana State Championships won while Karl played for Summerfield High School 1979-80-81.

9: Second youngest of nine children, Karl first started shooting baskets when his mother fashioned a hoop by cutting the metal rim off a water barrel.

1: First year at Louisiana Tech spent pulling his grades up to get eligible.

1,000: Times he repented for his grades before he became a good student at college.

15: Hours worked per day loading hay as a boy.

10: Cents a bale he got for loading hay.

$20: What he earned per day loading it.

365: Days per year Karl would like to hunt, fish, play with his family, ride his Harley, drive a Semi, lift weights and oh, yes, play some basketball.

THE UTAH JAZZ DIFFERENCE

A. Over the last five years the Jazz have led the NBA in least amount of injuries.

B. The Jazz have led the NBA in least amount of injuires 10 out of the last 12 years.

C. You are fined $35,000 if you miss a strength and conditioning workout under certain conditions.

D. Every player is rated on their intensity and effort on every workout.

E. If you are not under 12% bodyfat, you could pay a daily fine until you are.

F. If you don't play at least 20-minutes in a game, you run off the floor and workout hard aerobically for 20-mintues.

G. A BFS Coach travels with the team on longer road trips.  The Jazz will workout twice a week in-season.

HISTORY OF BFS AS THE
JAZZ STRENGTH COACHES

Dr. Greg Shepard started with the Jazz in 1981.  He was watching a sports show and head basketball coach, Tom Nissalke, was complaining about how few rebounds his big people were getting for the Jazz.  He threw a pillow at the TV and yelled, "You dummy.  Why don't you have your big guys lift so they can jump higher, get bigger and fill up the paint with some aggressive muscle."  Then, he thought maybe he was the dummy and that he should tell him in person.  So he did.  He was immediately hired and has been with the Jazz ever since.  At that time in 1981, he was the only strength coach in the NBA.  His BFS partner, Bob Rowbotham, is used as a source for flexibility training and has done most of the strength training with the Jazz players in the 1990's and travels with the team. 

"If I had known how to lift in high school, I would have jumped at the chance.  I learned how to Power Clean and do other kinds of athletic lifts while I was at Kansas.  Here, with the Jazz, strength training makes a big difference, especially for the bigger guys."  Greg Ostertag.  (Greg averaged 1.97 blocked shots per game which was 13th in the league.)

JERRY SLOAN AND GREG SHEPARD

One practice Coach Sloan was explaining his ideas on strength training to three younger big guys with Coach Shepard, "I don't care if it's the day before the game or the day of the game.  If Dr. Shepard wants you to lift, you will lift.  And you will work hard, very hard as hard as Dr. Shepard wants.  And you will be on time and you won't miss.  If you do, Dr. Shepard will tell me and then I will deal with you.  Do any of you have a problem with that?" Coach Sloan looked at each player right in their eyes with this fierce look.  All three players couldn't say "No problem" fast enough.  Coach Sloan displayed great leadership by saying the right thing at the right time. 

          PLAYING TIME COMPARISON TABLE

                                     Season      Minutes      Total Season
                                     Games       Per Game   Poss. Minutes

HIGH SCHOOL            25                 32                800

COLLEGE                     30                 40                1,200

THE NBA                      100               48                4,800


 

BRIEF JAZZ BIOS

SHANDON ANDERSON:
FORWARD 6-6 205 AGE: 23

Shandon was the lone rookie on last season's team averaging 5.9 points per game.  He just signed a great contract for the next season.  Shandon was the 54th pick overall after leading Georgia to the sweet sixteen in 1996.  Played his high school basketball at Crim High School in Atlanta.

ANTOINE CARR:
FORWARD 6-9 255 AGE: 36

Antoine was the 5th leading scorer on the team at 7.4 ppg.  Started his NBA career as the #1 draft choice of Detroit in 1983 and came to the Jazz in 1994.  He was a First Team All-America at Wichita State in 1983 and played his high school ball at Wichita Heights.  Has seen action in 162 straight games.

JEFF HORNACEK:
GUARD 6-4 190 AGE: 34

Jeff was the Jazz' 2nd leading scorer at 14.5 ppg while shooting .482% from the field.  Played at Iowa State and was the 46th player picked overall by Phoenix in 1986.  Jeff became an NBA All-Star in 1992.  Since joining the Jazz, Jeff has played in 245 out of a possible 246 games.  From Lyons Township H.S. in Illinois.

JOHN STOCKTON:
GUARD 6-1 175 AGE: 35

Sure fire Hall of Famer John Stockton played in all 82 games for the 12th time in 13 seasons.  John is the all-time NBA leader in assists (12,170) and steals (2,531).  The teams 3rd leading scorer at 14.4 ppg.  Finished 8th in the NBA steals (2.02).  He was Jazz' 16th pick overall in 1984 from Gonzaga in Spokane.

HOWARD EISELY:
GUARD 6-2 177 AGE: 24

Howard played in all 82 regular season games and has seen action in 147 straight over the last two years.  He averages 4.5 ppg.  Howard had a great playoff series which enhanced his market value.  Played at Boston College and was the 30th pick overall in 1994 by Minnesota.  Came to the Jazz in 1995.

GREG FOSTER:
CENTER 6-11 240 AGE: 28

Greg also had a great playoff series.  He averaged 6.5 ppg during the regular season.  Also averaged 2.4 rebounds per game.  Was present at all 82 Jazz games.  Played college ball at UTEP and was the 35th pick overall by Washington in 1990.  Came to the Jazz in 1995.  Went to Skyline High School in Oakland.

STEPHEN HOWARD:
FORWARD 6-9 225 AGE: 27

Stephen was a GTE First Team Academic All-American at DePaul in 1992 averaging 17.1 ppg and 8.7 rebounds.  Played at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas.  Stephen joined the Jazz last January and was present at every game.  His pro career has seen NBA, European and CBA action.  Scored 16 for the Jazz against Washington.

ADAM KEEFE:
FORWARD 6-9 241 AGE: 27

Adam averaged 3.8 ppg and saw action in 62 out of 82 games.  At Stanford, Adam ended up as the Pac-10's 5th all-time leading scorer (2,139 points) and 4th all-time leading rebounder (1,119).  He was the 10th player picked overall by Atlanta and came to the Jazz in 1994.  He was California's High School Athlete of the Year.

BRYON RUSSELL:
FORWARD 6-7 225 AGE: 26

Bryon just signed a $20 million contract with the Jazz.  He was the 4th leading scorer on the team at 10.8 ppg.  Third in rebounds and second in steals.  Started in 81 of 82 games.  Played at Long Beach State and was the 2nd round Jazz pick in 1993 (45th overall).  Gained All-America recognition while at San Bernadino High School.

CHRIS MORRIS:
FORWARD 6-8 220 AGE: 31

Chris averaged 4.3 ppg and was present in all but one game.  He was suspended one game for violation of team rules (He missed a strength workout).  He played at Auburn where he received All-SEC honors.  Played his first seven NBA seasons for New Jersey and signed as a free agent with the Jazz in 1995.

GREG OSTERTAG:
CENTER 7-2 279 AGE: 24

Greg led the team in blocks at 1.97 per game and was second in rebounding averaging 7.3 per game.  Greg was drafted in the first round by the Jazz in 1995 and was the 28th pick overall.  Played in 77 of 82 possible games.  Greg was an Honorable Mention All-America while at Kansas and played at Duncanville H.S. in Texas.

 



Return to Fall 1997 Articles


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