Tom Smart, Deseret News
Utah's Earl Watson drives on James Johnson as the Utah Jazz are defeated by the Toronto Raptors 111-106 in double overtime in NBA basketball Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

A Jazz fan told me he went to Fanzz and tried to buy an Earl Watson jersey. No luck. We don't have the popular player's jersey, either, but here are five free Watson items:


Watson isn't quite sold on the nickname he's been given on TV: Bulldog.

"Bulldogs are lazy," he said. The fiery Jazz guard speaks from experience, having been a bulldog owner. "It slept. The dog would eat. It would come like lay under my leg and fall asleep and start snoring." They drool, too, he was reminded. "Everywhere!"

Watson jokingly asked, "How's that parallel? What's the reference to me and a bulldog?"

Laughing, Watson continued dissing his old dog.

"Their teeth are really small and crooked, so they can't really bite anything. I've never seen my bulldog fight anyone or anything," Watson said. "It ran from like the sprinkler system. It ran from the vacuum."

Watson: "Maybe because we're both bull-legged? It's the only comparison. Other than that, I don't get it — but if the fans want to roll with it, I'm cool with it."

Here's hoping he doesn't start snoozing, snacking or slobbering in games.


Dr. Michael Sheps should sign Watson as his spokesman. The 11-year vet said he's about "problem solving," so he hobbled to L.A. to get his ankle problem solved by a one-of-a-kind laser that seems as magical as it is mysterious. Four treatments later, Watson, who's been helped by Sheps since his college days, said he was pain free, swelling was down and he was able to tear it up in the 96-87 win over the Lakers (11 assists, eight points).

"You know me," Watson said. "I hate sitting out."

Watson wasn't sure if the Jazz were surprised by the quick results, and it's his fault.

"They think I play through pain anyway. They don't believe me," he said. "They're like, 'You're sure you're not hurt?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm all right. I feel no pain.' They think I'll play regardless."

And they're probably right.


OK, so he got cured by a laser. Cool. Wait. A laser for a sprained ankle!? Is this a Star Trek episode? Explanation?

"Science," the UCLA alumnus said, "was not my field."

History was his major, but he did take a Health & Sports class with the Lakers' Matt Barnes.

"We knew about health and sports, right?" the basketball standout said. "After the midterms: F."

They studied like crazy the second half of the class to pull off a "B," which he admitted "was lucky."

Watson laughed when asked to explain with his "B "education what the laser treatment was about. Sheps' laser, he said, penetrates deeper (10-15 inches if needed) to quickly regenerate cells and remove toxins.

"It gets down to the problem," he added.

Watson, being very un-bulldog-like, didn't run from the laser, either.


A reporter told Watson he's reminiscent of NFL great Ronnie Lott in terms of being willing to play through pain. Imagine, Watson had a story for that, too. "Ronnie Lott is one of my favorite people. He came and spoke to us one day. He was telling us how his finger got crushed in the helmet. He was like, 'Just wrap it up.'"

Most of Lott ended up playing.

"He lost his finger, but he's like, 'I got rings,'" Watson said, smiling. "I love those stories. That's tight."

UCLA coach Steve Lavin had to chase Watson out of practices when he was legitimately injured because the guard kept coming back.

"I had the best game in my career in college when I tore my retina," he said. "I think injuries are good opportunities for great moments."

Hold on. Did Watson, Mr. Bruin himself, really compliment Lott, a USC guy?

"His son went to UCLA, though," Watson said. "We adopted him."


"I'm Mexican. I'm not Puerto Rican," Watson said, referencing the hip-hop star. "It still doesn't correlate."

Sorry, DJJazzyJody and BonJody are already taken.


Monday at Knicks, 5:30 p.m. MT, ROOT

New York's basketball team has been lousy at a lucky time, considering the Giants' Super Bowl run has greatly overshadowed the Knicks.

Tuesday at Pacers, 5 p.m. MT, ROOT

Brownsburg's Gordon Hayward got a hero's welcome in his Indiana pro debut last year. Expect lots of No. 20 Jazz jerseys this time, too.

Friday vs. Thunder, 8:30 p.m. MT, ROOT/ESPN

It still seems kinda weird that Oklahoma City has an NBA team. It sounds even weirder that Oklahoma City has the NBA's best team.

Sunday at Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m. MT, ROOT/ESPN

Speaking of weird things in the NBA, the Jazz have a bear for a mascot and this musical city has a bear for a nickname.



The Jazz have only made 84 of 287 3-point attempts this season, ranking them 29th of 30 NBA teams. Raja Bell leads the team with his improved 34.8 percent accuracy from long range.


HOT: Jamaal Tinsley

Point guard seizes a rare playing opportunity with a team-season-high 13 assists and nine points at Golden State. His leadership has been a welcome addition.

NOT: Devin Harris

Week started nicely with 13 points vs. Portland, but starting point guard only hit 2 of 12 shots since and missed one game with hamstring issue.

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Twitter: DJJazzyJody