Presumably no longer hunting little Mexican girls, sure-thing Hall Of Fame F Karl Malone is hoping to be a mid-season pickup for the San Antonio Spurs, writes the Express-News’ Mike Monroe.

The Spurs for months have acknowledged their willingness to sign Malone, 41, if he decides to continue playing. Popovich promised to keep a roster spot available if, and when, he decided he wanted to play for the Spurs.

“It’s up to Karl to decide what he is going to do and with whatever team,” Popovich said. “I’m just waiting, trying to be patient, and seeing what he wants to do. When he’s ready to start talking to people about wanting to play, I will be ready to talk to him.

A spokesperson in the office of Dwight Manley, Malone’s agent, issued a “no comment” Monday on the agent’s behalf to all questions about the forward.

Manley spoke Sunday with Spurs general manager R.C. Buford, who has been out of San Antonio on a scouting trip, and with director of basketball operations Danny Ferry.

“Everything was just very general, that’s all,” Ferry said. “There were no specifics talked about. It was just setting up an opportunity for Pop and Karl to talk.”

No date or time has been scheduled for such a talk. Popovich said he was awaiting word from either Malone or Manley as to when he could speak with Malone

“I don’t want to talk to anybody but Karl. I don’t need to talk to Manley or anybody else,” he said. “I gave that job up a couple years ago. R.C. and Danny can handle that part.”

Ferry said the Spurs would not press Manley for a discussion about Malone.

“They’re driving the process,” Ferry said. “Obviously, we are listening. I don’t know what their goal is. It’s more to keep contact, as much as anything else. He’s still thinking about playing and wants to maintain contact with one of the teams he’s interested in discussing that with.”

If nothing else, Tuesday has been very educational. Joe McEwing, a Doctor. Danny Ferry, a director of basketball operations. Who knew?