Karl Malone Turns 50: We Look Back To The Days When He Wasn’t Riding A Mule

Former Utah Jazz star Karl Malone turned 50 today, and, in celebration of that milestone, he bought a mule.

Yes, you heard me right: The NBA great bought an actual mule. Sure, it seems like a fitting gesture for a guy who is likely getting slower as old age approaches. On the other hand, when we look back at his illustrious NBA career, it is just really hard to picture Karl Malone on a mule.

Even Malone’s own wife Kay Malone joked about her husband’s choice in a birthday present. According to Kay:

“Instead of being the athlete and walking everywhere, he got himself a mule… I think he’s listening to his body more. He’s preserving himself more. He wants to be able to do things with the grandkids.”

Maybe that’s a good point; after all, athlete’s bodies take a huge beating during their playing days, and many suffer increasing amounts of pain as they age.

In any case, we started looking back at Karl Malone’s career, back before he was 50 years old and riding around on a mule. Here are a few of our favorite clips from his amazing NBA career:

In celebration of his 50th birthday we couldn’t help but include this clip:

We love you Karl Malone. You were and always will be one of the greatest Power Forwards the game has ever known.

In the meantime, we can’t forget that Malone is an avid outdoors enthusiast. In fact, the former NBA star during the 2000 season actually acted as a spokesman for an outdoors website.

In case you were wondering why he bought a mule of all animals, his grandfather hand crafted him a small leather mule harness as a child. It looks like the 50-year-old Karl Malone is just keeping a family tradition alive.

Do you think it’s silly that Karl Malone bought a mule for his 50th birthday?

[Image via Yahoo! Sports]