November 16, 2011
Newspaper beat writers are hurting for content, but their employers have some of the deepest archives around to fall back on. There's no telling what kind of notable stuff might have come up 23 years ago during some random game against the Jazz.
Joe Freeman (no relation), who covers the Trail Blazers for The Oregonian, realized the treasures at his disposal and has started a feature called "This Date in Trail Blazers History." Wednesday, he found a wonderful tale about a random game against the Jazz in 1988. It was written by David Kahn -- yes, the same man who now serves as general manager of the Timberwolves -- and it's about Karl Malone's psychic powers. Read the whole thing, because that is the best description of an article I've ever heard. Here's a sample, as presented by Freeman (via Marcel Mutoni):
"You guys might laugh and say I'm crazy, but I do believe I have psychic powers," Malone told the two reporters. "I don't have the power to just sit here and move stuff, but I do have the power to look into the future."
According to a story Kahn wrote for The Oregonian, Malone said he inherited his psychic ability from his mother, Shirley Turner, who also was psychic. Although she had nine children, Malone was the only one to gain his mother's "special talent," Kahn wrote. [...]
"There's no question in my mind, he has something: Whether it's an ability to dream, to predict, or see an event before it happens, he seems to have it," [Dave] Checketts, then the president of the Jazz, told Kahn. [...]
"Before this, Dave Checketts was the only one who knew about this stuff," Malone told The Oregonian. "Me and him just had a nice little talk before the season started. He said, 'Karl, I have to tell you, when you said those things about the Portland series, I started to wonder how you could do that when you have no idea.' Then he said by saying things like that, you can fire up the other team, and he didn't like that."
It's as yet unclear if Malone predicted future events in his career such as stealing the MVP from a more deserving Michael Jordan in 1997 and 1999 or losing out on a ring with the Hall of Fame starting lineup of the 2004 Lakers. Whatever the case, it's probably a good thing that he didn't talk up these powers much, what with the fact that he played in Utah. That state is very strict about its acceptable spiritual eccentricities.
It should also be noted that Dave Checketts is the same man who reported last Thursday that the NBPA and NBA were close to a labor deal. Did he have inside information? Or was he simply relating a vision? We report, you decide.