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ROBINSON SAYS CARR SHOULD BE `BIG HORSE’

SHARE ROBINSON SAYS CARR SHOULD BE `BIG HORSE’

Milwaukee's Glenn Robinson says the Utah Jazz's Antoine Carr has the wrong nickname.

For years, Carr has been calling himself the Big Dawg. When he was in San Antonio, they called Carr and the other Spurs subs the "Dawg Pound." Then along comes Robinson, who has been called the Big Dog since junior high school.Robinson said he didn't even know there was another canine in the NBA.

"I wasn't aware until I saw him (Carr) on ESPN," he said. "He was talking like I stole the name from him. I didn't name myself. People just started calling me that."

Last year's top NBA draft pick said Carr has every right to keep calling himself Big Dawg, but . . .

"I'll say one thing about him, he played strong. I'm going to start calling him Big Horse, 'cause he's strong as a horse down low."

Carr's reaction? "I am still the original Big Doggy Dawg."

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Bullets' assistant coach Derek Smith was ejected from last Friday's game against the Jazz for getting two technicals, and afterward he tried to blame Utah's Karl Malone.

A Washington Post story the next day went like this: "Malone and Smith have a history. In 1987 Malone punched Smith and broke a bone in his face. `I told him he hadn't changed a bit,' Smith said, `and that's when I got the first one. I got the second one when Karl came straight to me when the half ended. What was I supposed to do? Crawl under the floor? It ain't like I've got a burning desire about Karl Malone, but I'll say he's not above something cheap. When you kick a guy wearing my uniform, I'm not going to take that."

The Post writer should have checked his facts. In the first place, Malone's "kick" of Washington's Kevin Duckworth probably was inadvertent; the Mailman said he wasn't even aware it had happened.

In the second place, Malone's "punch" of Smith - which happened when Smith was on the Kings and Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson was the Sacramento coach - was nothing more than a finger-poke. Malone was passing the ball and as he followed through with his finger jabbed Smith in the face, breaking the bone around Smith's eye.

* * *

Malone, in response to questions about what young players like Chris Webber could learn from him: "I majored in elementary education, but that doesn't mean I want to do it for a job. It ain't my job to teach a young fella anything."

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Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek, who grew up near Chicago, was asked after playing the Bulls if he'd like to end his career in the Windy City. His response: "I'd kind of like to finish my career in Utah. A couple more years and then call it quits."

* * *

The Jazz are running less now than they did at the start of the season, especially on the road, and it's hard to argue with the success of nine straight road wins. Sloan said it's been a learning process.

"We're really getting to know what we can do," he said. "We aren't really equipped to run the full 48 minutes. We tried to do that too often early in the season."

* * *

Jazz guard John Crotty says a long road trip is tiring for the guys who play eight minutes a game, too.

"If you asked these guys (the starters), I'd bet they'd say it's not the minutes and the physical nature of the game as much as it is the constant travel, the getting up early, the going to bed late," Crotty said. "It's more a mental thing than a physical thing."

* * *

After the win in Milwaukee, Malone offered a unique explanation for the Jazz's recent road prowess.

"It's the socks, baby," the Mailman said, holding up a pair of socks with huge holes in them. Malone said he'll continue to wear the socks until the streak ends, or they disintegrate.

* * *

This may seem like stating the obvious (OK, it is stating the obvious), but the Jazz are a better team when they get some production from the small forward position. And not just offensive production, but defensive, too.

"When we score points and do the right things out of that position, we're a solid basketball team," Sloan said. The coach went on to say that starting small forward David Benoit has improved a lot, especially on defense.

"He played most of his career (high school, college) as a center, and we've asked him to play a new position," Sloan said. "It's taken him time to adjust. He's played his best basketball lately because he's kept himself involved defensively."

"I think I'm getting better (at defense) the more and more I'm playing," Benoit said.