Karl Malone got his nickname “The Mailman” for always delivering in the clutch. In a professional basketball career that spanned 20 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers, Malone became the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer; was two-time NBA Most Valuable Player; played in 14 NBA All-Star games; was a two-time Olympic champion with the United States men’s basketball team; and was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players. Playing Power Forward, Malone often beat his competition with gritty determination and a tireless work ethic that saw him collect an average of 25 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. Malone’s play reminded fans and media members alike of the old motto of the U.S. Postal Service—“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Put simply, Malone would not be denied his goals during his playing career and he’s bringing the same winning attitude to the premium cigar industry with Barrel Aged by Karl Malone in partnership with Guillermo Leon of La Aurora in the Dominican Republic.

There would be very few better candidates to launch TPE 2020 than a hardworking world-class athlete who is now producing a world-class cigar and who owns several other businesses, including a car dealership, a premium tobacco retail shop in Louisiana and has become the U.S. distributor for Rum E. Leon Jimenes.
Rather than discuss his playing career, Malone chose to focus his keynote address, which he delivered on Jan. 29, the TPE 2020’s first day, on lessons he has learned throughout his life and applied to his own businesses—the most important of which has been to have a passion for people.

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