In the 1994 NBA Playoffs, when the Jazz and Spurs met in the first round and Dennis Rodman and Madonna provided the entertainment in a best-of-five series the Jazz won in four games, Antoine Carr was pretty much just a spot-duty player for the Spurs.
He averaged 12.5 minutes, didn't play one of the games, and made five baskets, got one rebound.Carr was a huskier guy then. Looked older than he does now. The Spurs didn't think twice about letting him go that summer.
" A lot of people through my career have tried to say I was overweight," says Carr, now 37. "I never thought I was overweight. I was just bigger than most guys at the time."
Nevertheless, he used that summer to reshape his form and, with help from the Mailman, brought an invigorated career to the Utah Jazz on Oct. 26, 1994.
Carr still spends off-seasons in San Antonio and still has a special feeling for the fans, but Thursday night in the Delta Center, he let the Spurs know yet again that the old Dawg can still have his days.
Carr scored 11 points in a six-minute period in the second quarter, an outburst like he can't remember.
He totaled 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting with three rebounds, two blocked shots, an assist on a John Stockton 3-pointer that brought the Jazz within one to close the first half and some nice defense against Tim Duncan in a 26-minute stint.
"Any time that you leave a team, and you really don't want to leave it, and you don't get an opportunity to play for them, you want to come back and get on them a little bit," said the Big Dawg.
"It upsets a little bit that (the Spurs) wouldn't even consider trying to sign me (when his contract ended in '94). I don't know what they thought," Carr says. "They just didn't sign me. They didn't give me a consideration, so I left."
Carr said the only team he talked with that summer was the Jazz, "because Karl Malone called me and asked me if I would love to play for them, and I said yes. He called his people, we worked on it and got it done pretty quickly.
"He's the type of person," says Carr, "that will step up for you if he believes that you are going to come out and work as hard as you can to help him and the club." Carr says he thinks Malone knew he was getting into shape that summer. "People were telling him I was working out," says Carr.
Thursday, he played like a kid again. "My mind was into it," he said. "I wanted to get a win. I want to get a championship."
"Antoine was terrific," said Stockton, who picked up two second-quarter assists on Carr baskets. "He keeps them honest defensively, he made some shots for us and he's been a good defensive presence."
TENDERFOOT TIM: Duncan's sprained ankle, injured just as the overtime began, was listed as a Grade 1 sprain, the mildest on the charts.
TAKING STOCK: Stockton is notorious for trying to avoid the media after games, dressing and waiting an hour or more in the off-limits training room while wife Nada and the kids often play basketball out on the court.
Thursday, though, Stockton appeared fairly quickly in the dressing room, going to his locker/stall and sitting down. As reporters gathered in front of him, he asked them to wait until Malone was done holding court in the hallway.
Stockton's reason for waiting for all of the cameras and microphones to arrive was, "If I answer more than once, I have to get creative."
It took a bit longer than expected, so Stockton shouted to Malone, "Mail, turn 'em loose."
SIGN LANGUAGE: The likable Spurs don't present much of a target, but the fans tried.
Maybe the best sign was a Jumbotron message: "I-15 South closed. Don't Go That Way."
- "Admiral of the Titanic"
- "No Duncan tonight"
- "Sweep Lake City"
- "Jazz Got Bench"
- "Takeout Order for the Big Dawg: 1 Duncan Donut"
- "Best Little Whine House in Texas - San Antonio"
- "Thursday Not Spurs-Day"
It's a Dawg's life
Jazz backup center/forward Antoine Carr was barking against the Spurs for the in ThursdayUs Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Min. 26 FTA 1
FG 7 Reb. 3
FGA 11 Pts. 15