Karl Malone to work with Jazz big men part-time next season

Jerry Markland

NBA legend Karl Malone has stayed out of the game since he retired ... until now.

Karl Malone will come out of retirement and join the Utah Jazz in a coaching capacity, the Hall-of-Famer told Jazz Radio on Wednesday.

Malone, the NBA's second all-time leading scorer, will join the staff and work specifically with the team's big men in hopes of passing along some of his extensive knowledge of the nuances of the NBA game. Jazz CEO Greg Miller told Malone that his involvement would be a catalyst to help them win more games.

The Jazz ranked 13th in the NBA in scoring with 98.0 points per game in 2012-13, but struggled defensively to stop opponents, allowing 98.1 points per contest. They were 22nd in defensive rebounding, which should be an area of development that Malone would be especially good at reinforcing.

Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are both free agents, but if they return, both are young players who would likely see a big return on time spent with Malone. Such a high-profile coach could also be reason to entice both key players to stay in Utah rather than test the waters elsewhere.

Enes Kanter is signed next season and could be the biggest beneficiary of Malone's tutelage. In 70 games, he started just two while averaging 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. At just 21 years old, he has a lot of room for growth.

Though his official title with the team is not yet known, his participation may just make the entire Jazz organization stronger.

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