Last night, along with the contest participants, the NBA also announced that. among the judges for this Saturday’s Slam Dunk Contest will be Karl Malone.
– #NBAAllStar (@NBAAllStar) February 15, 2023
Malone is an NBA legend, in the 1990s a true force of nature, with several spectacular dunks in his repertoire. His choice as a judge, however, has created, and is creating, several controversies. Of course, it has nothing to do with Malone’s role on a basketball court or the Slam Dunk Contest, but rather with a shadow that has been hovering over his figure for several years.
The part light (but really not light at all anyway) of this story is referring to when Malone “tried”, not to say “harassed”, Vanessa Bryant, just as he was Kobe’s teammate at the Lakers. Even more serious, however, is the fact of Having impregnated a 13-year-old girl. At the time, Malone was 20 years old, playing college ball, and had sexual intercourse it is not known how consensual with Gloria Bell, precisely 13 years old, who did not report him and months later gave birth to Demetrius Bell, who would later become a professional athlete in the NFL.
This indelible stain on Malone’s resume (and absurdly not on his criminal record) led several NBA fans to protest the former Jazz’s involvement in an official event such as the Slam Dunk Contest. Especially for a league so concerned with legality and equality, the presence of such a controversial figure surprised many and sparked a full-blown uprising on social media.