The new Jazz arena is taking shape these days, and though it probably will be somewhat sterile - as are all new buildings - team officials say they want to preserve the homecourt advantage as much as possible.

Jazz V.P. for Public Relations Dave Allred says the seats - which will be green - will come "right down to the court" rather than ending several yards back, as is the case in some NBA arenas."We are going to try to preserve the homecourt advantage," says Allred.

Which isn't a bad idea. This year the Jazz are 30-5 at home, and in the previous fours years, Utah has been a monster in its own house, winning 134 of 174 games.Whatever the reason, Karl Malone hasn't exactly hit it off with the L.A. Clippers.

Last time the Clippers were in town, Ken Norman mouthed off about the Mailman being overrated, prompting an angry dismissal of Norman's abilities by Malone.

This time it was the Clippers' Olden Polynice who aggravated the Mailman. Polynice complained that during a first-half incident last week, Malone called the Clippers "losers." But Malone said he only called Polynice a loser, and it was because Polynice had been "talkin' trash."

"Guys get traded, they get new life and all of a sudden they turn into All-Stars and they like to talk a lot of trash," said Malone. "I think they should just go out and play basketball."

Once fully warmed up, the Mailman continued, "I think for anyone to come out and talk trash - and all his life he ain't did nothing as far as helping the team he's been on, and now all of a sudden he's an All Star - I don't like that. I think he should come out and play the whole year and the whole ballgame and stop talking a lot of trash.

"There weren't any other guys out there talking except him. That's twice in a row when we played 'em. He never did that before. Now all of a sudden he begins to talk, and when guys go talking to me, it makes me go out and play that much harder."

The Mailman also issued a not-so-veiled warning to Polynice to consider in the years to come. "So," said Malone, "for the rest of my career, and the rest of his, I want him to keep talking, 'cause I will continue to bust his --- when I play him."Of the 56 luxury suites available in the new arena, all but 12 have been sold on three- to five-year leases. The cheapest suites, naturally, are on the ends, and the most expensive are those near mid-court.

For the most part, says Allred, buyers who are purchasing suites are also electing to keep their courtside seats.

It seems there's still nothing that beats being where you can get up close and personal (and harass players and officials).

As far as the demand for suites goes, basic rules of real estate apply. Says Allred, "What you're paying for is location, location and location."Forget "Pretty Woman" and "The Little Mermaid." According to Video Business, a trade publication, the top-selling video in the U.S. two weeks ago was none other than "Michael Jordan's Playground."

Jordan outdrew such hits as "Peter Pan" (No.2), "The Little Mermaid" (No. 3) and "Pretty Woman" (No. 4).

And you don't think Michael will go into movies after basketball?A final opinion by the Mailman on Polynice: the guy doesn't even fake drawing fouls well.

"I think you ought to be a man out there and I don't think you ought to be out there flopping like a fish out of water," said Malone. "I ain't never seen a guy flop like that."

Asked if that included famed flopper Bill Laimbeer, Malone grinned, "I think he just took over Laimbeer's place."Former Ute Kelvin Upshaw's future is looking up. The Dallas guard reportedly could see some serious playing time in upcoming games.

Last Thursday, Mavs' Coach Richie Adubato said he will make forward Randy White, center John Shasky and Upshaw starters on a rotating basis, once Dallas is officially knocked out of the playoff race.

The idea is to get a better look at the three players in game situations. Upshaw would start instead of Derek Harper.

This report includes some materials gathered from other news sources.