Utah's 42-point loss to the Bulls on Sunday was the most lopsided in NBA Fi-nals history. But there may be hope for Utah. There have been plenty of other teams that have been embarrassed in one game during the league championship series, only to come back with a respectable showing - if not a championship.
Perhaps the prime example is the 1985 Lakers, who were drubbed by 35 points in Game 1 of the Finals in Boston. It was dubbed the "Memorial Day Massacre." The Lakers came back to win Game 2 by seven points. Los Angeles then went on to win the title in six games.The Bulls have some experience in coming back flat after an easy win in the Finals. They beat the Portland Trail Blazers by 33, 122-89, in Game 1 in 1992, only to lose Game 2 at home by 11. It was the only game the Bulls would lose, however, as they beat the Blazers 4-1.
Jordan says he doesn't think the Bulls will fall into the same trap after a blowout win this time as they did against the Blazers six years ago.
"We have (been) in this situation before," Jordan said. "We are very aware of the circumstances, and I don't think we're going to come out overconfident."
KMART'S TEAM: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan disputed the comments of media members this week that the Jazz have more talent than the Bulls. He said that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen are such great players, especially at the defensive end, that "it's not even a fair comparison."
Sloan then pointed out that the Bulls have a much higher payroll than the Jazz.
"We're one of the better, cheaper teams," said Sloan.
By saying that, Sloan wasn't taking a shot at Jazz owner Larry H. Miller - who will be his boss for at least three more years now that the coach and the team are close to a new contract agreement.
SOCCER ANYONE? Karl Malone probably didn't make any friends among the hundreds of foreign journalists on hand to cover the Finals on Tuesday. When asked by ESPN reporter Mark Schwartz to describe how Jordan and Stockton have extraordinarily large and strong hands, Malone grimaced and briefly put a towel over his face so that everyone knew he felt it was an amazingly stupid question.
"I can't believe Mark asked me that question," Malone said. "I'd expect that from someone from another country."
While the comment may sound insensitive, Malone has had his share of dumb questions poised by foreign media members over the years, including once when he was asked why a basket is worth two points.
Stockton actually responded to the question.
"(Hands) play a lot larger role in this game than it does in soccer," was Stockton's sarcastic reply. "I don't know what else to say about it."
AS THE WORM TURNS: The big story on Tuesday in Chicago was the return of Dennis Rodman to practice after missing practice and spending Monday night in Detroit at a pro wrestling event.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was asked about how he'd handle a free spirit like Rodman.
"First of all," said Sloan, "I wouldn't have him. That makes the question real simple. Winning has never been real important to me. Would I sacrifice everything for all the other guys on the team? It's never that important. I'd just as soon lose if I have to be put in that situation."
MCGWIRE FAN: Karl Malone, as a guest of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, attended batting practice and the first part of Monday night's inter-league game between the Cards and the White Sox in Comiskey Park.
Malone came away in awe of Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire, who he watched smack tape-measure homers before the game from right behind the batting cage on the field. McGwire also blasted a two-run shot in the third inning.
Unlike Michael Jordan, who took nearly two years to admit he can't make it as a baseball player, Malone knew long ago that he didn't have what it takes.
"I don't know how he does that," Malone said of McGwire. "I tried out for baseball in high school, but the first pitch went right in front of my eyes, so I walked off the field and went home."