When most sports superstars buy themselves gifts, it’s usually something extravagant like a pimped-out sports car or an exotic animal, but not Karl Malone. As Malone turned 50 on Wednesday (July 24), it was revealed that the former Utah Jazz star bought himself a mule.
Yeah, you read that right — a mule.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Malone, who has a lifelong passion for hunting and fishing has purchased the animal to aid him during his hikes through the thick forests and rolling hills of Louisiana and Arkansas, where he’s prone to hunt.
“Instead of being the athlete and walking everywhere, he got himself a mule,” wife Kay Malone says. “… 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.”
Malone, who was known as a fitness fanatic during his 19 seasons in the NBA hasn’t allowed his body to deteriorate, however. He’s still dedicated to hitting the weights and taking exhausting bike rides near his family’s home in Ruston, La., which have kept him at his playing weight of 256 pounds.
“To be honest with you, it helps make me a better person,” Malone says. “It takes the edge off. When I sweat, it gets me going.”