The incident occured during a game against the Lakers on Saturday. The mascot, a bear, held a mock telephone conversation with a Malone impersonator over the Delta Center's public-address system that went a little something like this:
"Go tell Larry [Miller, the Jazz owner] I want to come home," the faux Malone said. "I don't care if Stock ain't there. I want to come home. They're mean to me here. They don't give me the ball. They don't like me."
As the crowd cheered, faux Malone added: "But, I guess it could be worse. I could be Ko--."
Malone, who was in Arkansas visiting his brother and nursing a right knee injury, was upset by the prank.
"I had said that I wasn't going to say nothing about the Jazz, but that was no class from that organization," he said. "I was there for 18 years. Not only was I surprised by that, but I was surprised that [Jazz owner] Larry Miller was involved in it.
"That kind of stuff there is like pathetic. If an athlete would have did that, we'd have been talking about it for the rest of the year on SportsCenter."
Bryant is awaiting trial in Colorado on charges that he raped a 19-year-old woman. He claims they had consensual sex. Malone signed with the Lakers as a free agent after 18 seasons in Utah. Bryant had 21 points in the 93-86 victory.
Jazz spokesman Kim Turner said Malone's comments were the first negative feedback he has heard about the skit since the game.
"The Utah Jazz have extended an apology to the Los Angeles Lakers organization,'' Turner said, without elaborating.
I saw absolutely no reason for anyone (especially Malone) to be upset over that skit up until Kobe's name was (semi)mentioned ... There was no need to throw that in there.
Other than that, a perfectly harmless mocking by the Jazz organization ... Hell, Karl got worse from the Jimmy Kimmel Show when Jimmy whipped out his Crank Yankers puppet ("This here Karl Malone!").
Alessandro "Hercules" Boondy
Just so you guys know: 75% of this crap [you read on the internet] is made up, either by the writer, or the wrestler the writer is getting the dirt from. Just so you know. -- Tammy Sytch, from Hyatte's Dec. 29th column, with one of the smartest lines I've ever read on the 'net