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On This Date in Sports January 29, 2000: Mailman 30K

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz becomes the third member of the NBA's 30,000 club as he scores 35 points during a 96-94 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. Malone joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players with 30,000 points in an NBA career. Karl Malone would end his career in 2004 with 36,928 points ranking second behind Kareem, who has 38,367 points.

Karl Malone was born on July 24, 1963, in Summerfield, Louisiana. Raised on a farm, Malone, the youngest of nine children, worked chopping wood, hunting, and fishing after his father left the family and committed suicide. Heavily recruited by several top-level programs, Karl Malone chose to attend Louisiana Tech, which was close to his home. He was a second-team All-American in 1985, taking the Bulldogs to their first NCAA Tournament appearance. 

Karl Malone was taken with the 13th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. With 14.9 ppg, Malone was selected for the All-Rookie team in 1986. Teamed with John Stockton, Karl Malone nicknamed the "Mailman" because he always delivered quickly developed into an NBA star. In his third season in 1988, Malone made the first of 14 consecutive All-Star Game appearances. By 1992, Karl Malone was one of the NBA's most popular players and a member of the Dream Team.

Karl Malone never won a scoring title but averaged 25 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He won a pair of NBA MVP awards in 1997 and 1999. He was a member of the NBA's 50th Anniversary team in 1997 and led the Jazz to a pair of appearances in the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. 

In the game, Karl Malone reached 30,000 by grabbing his own rebound and scoring under the basket. In the game, Malone got 35 points with 13 boards. However, the younger Timberwolves won the game 96-94, as the Jazz were in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Malone would spend three more seasons with the Jazz before playing with the Los Angeles Lakers in his final year. When his career was over, Karl Malone climbed to second all-time in scoring at 36,928. 

In the years since Karl Malone reached 30,000 points, four more players joined the 30,000 club, with Michael Jordan coming out of retirement with the Washington Wizards to reach 30K in 2002. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks would also reach the 30,000-point club. The active leader LeBron James currently ranks third in NBA points and will likely pass Karl Malone in the next year.