This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Karl Malone insists he's not particularly surprised that the Utah Jazz made the 2012 NBA playoffs.
"I'll tell you this," he said. "No. 1, I've always said the Jazz were one of the most talented teams in the league. I know people [are] excited that they made the playoffs, but they got a talented team. So it don't surprise me.
"It was a little shocking that it took the [second-to] last game to do it."
But the two-time NBA MVP made it clear he wasn't bashing the current edition of the Jazz for how they got into the postseason by beating the Phoenix Suns on Monday night he was praising them.
"Here is the most important part of it they did it when they had to do it," he said. "Phoenix needed to win, the Jazz needed to win. And the Jazz won. So this, to me, is awesome."
"Really and truly, I think the top three [teams] close your eyes and pick one," he said. "But if [the Jazz] play, they can beat anybody. They've got that kind of talent. And I'm excited."
And Malone, who was in town to debut his new weekly radio show (4-6 p.m. Wednesdays on ESPN 700), said he remains excited about the Jazz. That every morning when he gets up, he checks on what the Jazz did the night before.
"Before I do my training in the morning, I sit down and have my coffee and I see if the Jazz won or lost," he said. "The Jazz won, it's all good. And the show's going to be unbelievable, too."