Karl Malone in the Apex Mailman

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Karl Malone Makes History in the Apex Mailman

There's no doubt that Karl Malone is one of the greatest NBA players, of any era, to never win a championship. Much like his teammate John Stockton, his list of accomplishments is seemingly endless. The fourteen-time All-Star is also a two-time NBA MVP, was selected eleven times for the All-NBA First Team, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010. But unless you're the kind of person who plays close attention to statistics, this one may surprise you. Karl Malone is ranked at number two, just behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, for all-time points scored in the NBA. That's right—Karl Malone has more career points than household names like Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kobe Bryant.

On March 20, 1998, Malone was beginning to etch his way into history. He'd already cracked the top ten of all time, but on this night he score 23 as the Jazz toppled Philadelphia 91-79. That put him past Elvin Hayes and moved him to the number five spot. With a final career total of 36,928 points, Malone's currently the second highest scorer of all-time. The only active player in the top ten is Kobe Bryant, but he's still over 5000 points away from reaching The Mailman's total.

During this time, Karl Malone was sponsored by lesser-known brand APEX. The Mailman wasn't available in any form to consumers, but Malone wore them on and off for years. While it's difficult to determine what sort of technology was used in this '90s model, there are several familiar style cues in place on the APEX Mailman. The translucent outsole and ghillie-lacing setup were popularized by companies like Nike and Reebok, while the high-profile was suited for Malone's dominant style.

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