Wore Out Shoes Practicing
Born into a poor family in Petersburg, Virginia, Malone was raised by his mother Mary. Shy and awkward, the young Malone was already six-feet three-inches tall by the time he was 12 years old. From the very begining
an unrelenting work ethic, the hallmark of Malone's success, was apparent.
In a Playboy interview Malone recounted, "I didn't pick up a basketball until I was 13 and a half, but I worked hard even then. Every day after school, I'd go over to the playground and play ball until about two in the morning. The only trouble I had was I kept wearing out my shoes. Back then, I didn't get no high-priced shoes; I had to get them old P.F. Flyers. I'd wear them for about five days and then it was time for a new pair."