Meeting an NBA player can be a cool experience. But what if that player is an NBA legend like Karl Malone? And what if you didn’t just meet him, but go to grill up a hamburger for him? Recently, I found out my brother-in-law was able to do just that.
The year was 1997 in the small town of Preston, Idaho. The Utah Jazz had just made a trip to the NBA Finals, before some guy named Michael Jordan had to get in the way. The Jazz were preparing to gear up for another finals run the next season.
In what would seem to be a fairly insignificant event, the Burger King in Preston was having its Grand Opening event. But this wasn’t your typical Grand Opening. This particular Burger King happened to be part-owned by none other than the Mailman himself, and he decided to be there when they opened the doors.
Preston is a pretty small farm town in southern Idaho, so to have a celebrity and star like Karl Malone in town was a pretty big deal. Several hundred people were there hoping to get a picture or autograph of the future Hall of Famer.
My brother-in-law was on of the original employees, and was grilling up the hamburgers that day. Malone wanted one as well, but not just any old Whopper. It was made very clear exactly how his was to be Delivered. It’s the way he always gets it, and it goes something like this:
- Bottum bun
- Top bun
He was sure to follow those exact instructions, and because it was so particular, he’s hasn’t forgotten it 15+ year later.
Here’s a commercial Karl did for Burger King around that same time:
My brother also mentioned how Malone was a good foot and a half or so taller than he was. And don’t forget about those bowling ball shoulders! Shaking his hand felt like the Hulk, and his hand wrapped around my brother’s at least twice.
It was an experience he will never forget, and I’m sure you have had those as well. I’d love to hear your experiences meeting an NBA player, especially one that played for the Jazz! Leave them in the comments, or better yet, write up a fan post and share your stories as we continue counting down for the start of next season.