Musician and noted Magic the Gathering influencer Post Malone is out on tour, and on several stops along the way he’s wearing an NBA jersey of a notable player from the city. On Tuesday he was in Utah, which naturally meant rocking a Karl Malone jersey, which entertained The Mailman to no end.
This got me thinking: Could Posty beat Karl in a game of basketball? Karl is a great player to kick this conversation off, because obviously in his prime this would not be a discussion — he would absolutely destroy Post in the post. However, now, in 2022, an era which is post-Malone, could Karl Malone beat Post Malone?
Post Malone is 6 ft tall, while Karl Malone is a 6’9. A colossal edge to Karl on this one, and obviously when it comes to basketball skills he would dominate too. However, Post Malone is 27-years old, while Karl is 59 now. How much athleticism does a person lose over age, and how much of a functional difference are those 32 years?
According to science, it’s estimated that an athlete who doesn’t spend rigorous time training past the age of 30 will lose approximately 10 percent of their maximum oxygen input per decade. So, at the age of 59 conditioning has dropped roughly 29 percent over Malone when he was 30. In addition there is a 3-8% drop in muscle mass over the same time period, which we’ll even out to 5 percent per decade — meaning Malone has lost 14.5% of his muscle mass over the period since his retirement.
If we average out these two key factors we can estimate that Karl Malone is 21.75% worse than he was at age 30. Can Post Malone beat that? If we look at Karl Malone’s 93-94 season when he turned 30, the dude was a monster. He averaged 25.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists — all while playing 40.2 minutes per game. If we reduce Malone’s overall ability by 21.75% in that season we get a player who averaged:
- 19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 31.4 minutes per game
If we map this onto a 2022-23 player then Karl Malone at age 59 is basically Kristaps Porzingis. Porzingis is averaging 19.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists while playing 31.0 minutes. Post Malone could not beat Kristaps Porzingis, which means by transitive property he could not beat old Karl Malone.