Mailman Takes To The Airwaves

Karl Malone isn't very busy these days because of the NBA lockout, so he's taken on a new venture -- radio talk-show host.

Malone, who led the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals following each of the last two seasons, began his new job Monday, hosting a two-hour afternoon show on KXTA radio in Los Angeles.

"This gives me something to do during the lockout," Malone said. "I'm excited about this. I'm going to say things that are on my mind. We don't want it to be boring. I'm not going to make stuff up just to get listeners."

Malone, who has established himself as one of the top power forwards in NBA history, will work five days a week with Vic "The Brick" Jacobs, who has hosted the 1-3 p.m. show since the station went to an all-sports format on March 10, 1997.

The station, also known as XTRA Sports 1150, just completed its first season carrying Los Angeles Dodgers baseball games.

"This is a great day for Los Angeles radio," said Tom Boman, the station's sports director. "It's ironic that he had to come to Los Angeles to get his own show. We're glad to have him as part of the family."

Miday through Malone's first show Monday, it was announced on the air that an agreement had been reached for the show to be carried in Salt Lake City, starting Tuesday. Malone said he wouldn't do such a show unless it was carried in Utah, where he's played for 13 years.

Boman said the hiring stems from an interview Malone did with Jacobs on the air earlier this month.

"Mike Thompson, our operations manager, offered Karl the job on the air, and Karl said he'd think about it," Boman said. "The hiring is for as long as the lockout continues. He'll continue to be our NBA correspondent after that."

There was no announcement as to how much Malone will be paid, but the 35-year-old superstar said money wasn't a prime motivator.

"I'm doing this because it's something I'd like to do," he said. "It's not anything substantial, not at all. It was about the opportunity to have some fun. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

"It's not that I'm bored, I've got a lot of things to do. The weird thing about it -- of all the places, I'm doing this in L.A. You know what I'm saying? I've been in Utah for 13 years, these people here are the first people to ever say, 'You want to do this with us?' I said, `Sure.'"

Malone, who has one year left on his contract with the Jazz, said he's wanted to have his own talk show for some time.

"If it's what they like and what they expect, it will continue in the future," he said. "I have to like it, too. It's got to make some sense for both sides.

"I'm not trying to just run into this business with all the answers. I just want to have a good time, voice my opinion, let the fans voice their opinions. I love it. I'm going to take the same attitude with this that I do with my basketball, my workouts.

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