Bits from Antoine Carr Interviews
On his relationship with the fans
Always with the fans, there’s a magical connection between me and them..I can’t figure out exactly how it works, other than I love them and they love me…
I always looked at it like this: Without them, where would we be? I mean, if they’re not filling up those stands, they’re not buying the jerseys, they’re not getting the tennis shoes and things like that, we’re back to doing the game before the Harlem Globetrotters. …
You know, if I’m — one of my thing is, is I’m signing autographs and there’s a line, I’m not going anywhere until that’s done. Now, I’ve been with some of my guys and they’re, “OK, Antoine. It’s one hour. We gotta go.” Well, that’s not the rule, Antoine. These are for the fans. They made me, so I’m staying. I’ll get done. Then we’ll go.
Looking back, what was it about the Finals team(s) that made it so special to be a part of?
Well, I wouldn’t say it was necessarily just the team, if you want to say the team. But I would say it was the team, the city. Because without the fans being pumped up and doing all that they did, we could’ve never pull that off. You know, it, this was a great thing that this city came together, and pushed us, and made us feel like, you know, we were just part of the town all the time.
* People possibly calling Utah a “city” and then downgrading it to “town”: Antoine Carr
** His sons’ mother “is still traumatized by [the airport frenzy the night John Stockton hit The Shot] a little bit. She can’t really go into crowded areas anymore ’cause it makes her nervous.”
On how he was prepared to play at any given moment
For me, it was more for the fans, because, you know, it’s fans way up top. Those are the guys that really don’t get to see the game the way they want to; don’t really get to spend time with the players.
So, my thing was, I gotta go perform for these guys. I gotta show them that someone out there cares, that their hard work is helping take care of us. So, that’s kinda my idea, is when Jerry [Sloan] called my name, it’s no playing around. It’s time to go.
And I’m not gonna give him a chicken — second chance to think about it. You know, every now and then, you get coaches going, “Ah, wait, wait, wait. Come back.” Nah, it’s too late. I’ve ripped off the clothes, and I’m there.
** Still in touch with Chris Morris and Greg Foster. Talks to Karl Malone sometimes.3
Michael Jordan or LeBron James?
You wanna tell me that this guy actually think he’s as good as Jordan? It’s a joke, ok? Let’s take a look at it. How many time does he travel per game?* I would say probably 50 percent of the time he catches the ball. And they don’t call it.
How many times does he go to the hole, and he takes three steps? Constantly. I’ve got film…Everybody’s telling me, no, you’re just being hard on the guy. No, I’m not. If he wants to be as great as Jordan, do the things that Jordan did…
Now, yes, Jordan pushed on the last shot against Bryon Russell, but he wasn’t constantly pushing the whole game.
You look at these guys now, they dribbling down and the first thing they do is they push their forearm out, and then you step back and shoot a jumper. Well, first of all, that’s a foul — if it’s called properly.
And that’s my biggest thing now is, is you got all this one-on-one so the referees really don’t know how to call it anymore. Let’s get back to the real game, guys…If you’re a specialist at shooting three, then you should be able to do it without using an illegal tactic. And pushing off to me is a illegal tactic.
* There was a transcription break at this point because I broke into applause at my keyboard.
What do we need replay for? Back in our day, we were gonna hit you and then that’s just part of it. Play through it. Toughen up.
On the Dawg Pound
I was doing some autograph-signing upstairs earlier, and the whole place was up there barking. They were having fun. We always gonna do that. The Dawg Pound is alive and well.
On him not wearing sunglasses during the interview
Well, if it was real sunny right now, I’d mostly be wearing them. Every now and then, I take them off ’cause I’m trying to get my eyes used to the sun again, and some days are better than others. You know, it’s still at the point where I get headaches and those type of things if it gets too bright.
Did you see Jeff Hornacek as a coach when you played together?
No, I didn’t. You know, I saw him more as a assistant. I really didn’t see him as a NBA top coach because he was such a good player. You know, what’s he gonna teach them, how to come off the pick and shoot the jumper?
Well, then you start to find out he’s a lot more talented than you know. So, now that I look at it, it was obvious. It was just at the time, I was just thinking he’s just such a great player, there’s no way he’s gonna end up [being] a coach.
What have you been doing in San Antonio?
We did [the renovation of] the Missions, which is Mission San Jose, Mission Guadelupe. We went in, we did s–a little bit of stone work. We did a bunch of painting. And there’re just great looking things and if you ever get a chance to go out to San Antonio, you might wanna go around the Missions, and see how good we did. (KSL, KJZZ, 1320, 1280)