Bits from Antoine Carr Interview, 12/3
What are your thoughts on superteams?
Well, I mean, if that’s the way you can get your championship, okay. You know, it’s, I mean, when we were coming up, you always wanted to go against the best guy. It was never, “Well, I want the best guy on my team” ’cause you wanted to prove that, hey, I’m just as good as him. So you know, for me, that’s one of those, okay, if that’s what you need to get a championship, then go do it.
But if you gon be a real baller, you really out there, go out there and do the job and make the players that you get on your team better, a la [Michael] Jordan, [John] Stockton, [Karl] Malone, those type of guys. Probably also I would say Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
Some say the traditional center is going away. Do you see that the position is morphing?
Well yeah, if you gon play ballet basketball. You can’t touch anybody…Why would you need a center? Then you got all them guys, the 7-footer, they can put their tutus on and go out and shoot 3-pointers.
You know, it’s just, I mean, it’s a joke to me, for real. I mean, why would, the center position is the greatest position on the floor. It is the only position besides the guard that can dominate a game.
On the Jazz’s Finals years
For me, it was a great time. You know, I was able to really connect with my fans. The fans got really pumped up and I think that is what really made us be able to go those two years back to back against the Bulls. Without our fans, you know, we’ll’ve been doing what Utah had been doing for years: get the first round and out.
But you know, with those guys, you know, you had a different attitude…When you’re playing the Utah Jazz, we had a chip on our shoulder at every moment because no one wanted to give us credit of how good we were.
What do you think of guys today missing games due to small issues like a bit of stomach flu and or a little shoulder inflammation? Did you take pride in being tough men?
Well, for us, we always had that attitude that we’re tough men. You know, a lot–especially with that team, you know, we’re country boys, and country boys tend to get up regardless of the situation and get the job done.
You know, you can sit around, go “oh, my toe hurt” or “my stomach hurt” but when you’re out in the country and you got to bring in the crops or you got to do something, you don’t have a choice. You have to get up, and I think a lot of the guys at that time had that type of attitude.
Do you look at salaries today and think to yourself, “I was born 20 years too early”?
(laughs) Yeah, I definitely do. You know, and especially when you see these guys can only go on one end of the floor. You know, you’re paying a specialist US$ 20 million because he can score, but he can’t stop anyone.
What would the Big Dawg Antoine Carr be like in the NBA today?
They will probably have me as a role player. You know, backing up one of these guys who’s soft and doesn’t really want to get in there and bang. And I would have to come in and do all the banging work, and the real work, and then he’ll come in and get his millions for doing nothing, and maybe averaging 17, 18 points because no one else is working hard against him.
So you know, for me, what you get out of me is the same thing you’ve always gotten out of me. A big guy that’s coming to bang, that can shoot the ball, and keep his teammates and the fans in the games.
What does it take to be a great defender and a great defensive team?
Attitude. It’s strictly attitude and willing to work. You know, do the proper techniques, and work. And that’s where it all is. To me, basketball mostly is effort. You can learn the techniques. You can learn all that.
But if you’ve got the effort, a lot of times the guy who’s not as talented will beat out a guy because he had more effort. So that, for me, that’s the biggest thing. If you’re giving your strong effort on defense, you can cut a lot of guys off, or you can look at the other fact. I’m gon wear this guy down until the fourth quarter. Come the fourth quarter, he has no legs; I’ve done my job.
Can Quin Snyder create that attitude in his players, or do the players have to already have it in themselves?
Oh, I’m sure [Quin Snyder] can create it, and I, but it’ll have to be one of the guys, not him. It’ll have to be one of the guys on this team, that says, “Look. We’re gonna work out. We’re gonna lift weights. We’re gonna do these things in order to make ourselves stronger and better.”
And that, you know, that was kinda John Stockton’s and Karl [Malone]’s thing. We come in. We come in early. Everybody’s going to the weight room. We’re gonna be stronger. We’re gonna be able to outrun guys. And that was the whole idea behind what we did.
What is a day in the life of Antoine Carr like?
I get up, about 5:30, 6 o’clock. I double check with all my guys, make sure everything is good. We go out, we do a demo job or a painting job or construction; whatever we’re doing that day. We knock those things off. Usually done about 5:30, 6 o’clock, if we’ve got a good day.
After that I come home, put my feet up, get a little something to eat, and call back here to Witchita to find out how my mom’s doing, and my sister and family, and that’s about it. And of course, next day, same thing: back to work.
What did Jerry Sloan mean to your career?
Coach Sloan was just, he was a added piece to make me a whole player. He was one of those guys that, “Antoine, we need you to do this. We don’t need you to start. We need you to come off the bench. We need a tough guy. We need those type of things.” And that’s what I tried to give him.
And I think that was, I was able to keep years on me because I was able to see what the coach wanted, and tried to do that. So, he taught me how to play the game as a real player, as a country boy. Get in, get your work done, relax afterwards.
My mom just got diagnosed with cancer, so if the fans there in Utah and all around would just please pray for her, I would appreciate it. (1280)