Dad Karl Malone a footnote in Demetrius Bell’s life

If you’re a fan of NBA great Karl Malone, you might change your mind when you start reading this column.

If you never heard of Buffalo Bills rookie offensive tackle Demetrius Bell, you’ll be rooting for him when I tell you his story.

Bell was a seventh-round draft pick and two-year starter at Northwestern State, the same Louisiana school that produced cornerback Terrence McGee.

Bell is the son of Malone, but the Mailman had no role in Bell’s success except passing along athletic genes.

The two have had very little contact during Bell’s life. His mother, Gloria Bell, reportedly was only 13 years old and Malone a college sophomore at Louisiana Tech when Demetrius was born. Malone might have served jail time had her family asked the district attorney to file criminal charges.

Bell didn’t even know Malone was his father until after graduating from high school. When they finally met, Malone told the 18-year-old Bell it was too late to be his father, and that Bell would have to “earn his money on his own.”

In a 1998 story in the Salt Lake (Utah) Tribune, Gloria Bell said, “Demetrius is ashamed that his dad doesn’t claim him. But I’ve told him it is not his fault.”

Malone also fathered twins while in high school. One of them is WNBA star Cheryl Ford. It took years to claim the twins, and now he and his wife, Kay, fully accept them as part of their family.

But what about Demetrius? Doesn’t he deserve the same measure of love and recognition?

You can see Bell in action below.

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~ by spyaokid on April 30, 2008.

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