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Jazz notes: OSU alum John Lucas weighs in on Smart’s shove

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz point guard John Lucas III (5) drives on Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) in NBA action, Utah vs. The Denver Nuggets, in Salt Lake City, Monday, November 11, 2013.

By Aaron Falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Feb 10 2014 01:05PM
Updated Feb 11, 2014 06:56AM

John Lucas III doesn’t know what Jeff Orr, the Texas Tech booster and super-fan, said the other night in Lubbock. But Lucas remembers his playing days in the Big 12 and hearing Orr’s taunts.

"I don’t forget a face and he says a lot of crazy [things]," Lucas, the Jazz point guard, wrote Saturday on Twitter.

Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart has claimed Orr used a racial slur, which Orr denies, apologizing only for calling Smart "a piece of crap," before Smart shoved Orr, earning himself a three-game suspension.

Whatever led up to that moment, Lucas, an Oklahoma State alum, doesn’t excuse Smart’s reaction, nor does he believe it should define the NBA Draft lottery candidate.

"You can ask anyone who played in college, anyone who plays in the league now, some fans have no filters," Lucas said Monday at the Jazz’s practice facility. "But at the end of the day, we have more to lose than the fans do."

Lucas will be in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday to watch the Cowboys play and plans to speak with Smart then.

"At the end of the day, you have to be the bigger person," he said. "What he did, he made a mistake."

Still, he doesn’t want Smart judged for this alone.

"Now they might look at him as he’s this guy, or he’s that guy, when he’s not any of that," Lucas said. "… This is a mistake that anybody could have made."

Back at it

In the locker room after Saturday night’s win over the Miami Heat, Trey Burke felt his back tighten up. The rookie said he wasn’t hit during the game and isn’t sure what happened.

"It feels better than it did the other night after the game," he said. "It’s still sore. I’m going to see how it feels today in practice and go from there. … I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it’s something you keep your eye on."

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