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Monday, December 10
Karl says things are fine between him and Robinson

Associated Press

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. -- Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl denied a rift existed between him and All-Star forward Glenn Robinson, who had harsh words for his coach's motivation tactics last week.

Glenn Robinson

"I think Dog and I are fine," Karl said, referring to Robinson by his nickname, Big Dog.

Robinson refused to speak to reporters following practice Monday.

Last week, Karl publicly criticized Robinson for failing to get back on defense one time in the Bucks' 85-71 defeat against the New York Knicks and for sitting out a practice in the midst of the team's five-game losing streak last week.

Robinson responded angrily, telling The Journal Times of Racine: "I have two bad ankles, a bad shoulder, tendinitis in my left knee and a sore wrist and I'm selfish?"

Robinson accused Karl of using him as a scapegoat for the team's early season troubles and took issue with the coach using the media to get his message across, something Karl often does.

"To tell the media and not tell me ... that's a coward. I thought we had a better relationship than that. Obviously, we don't," Robinson said.

Robinson's comments came while Karl was attending his father's funeral. Karl's first public reaction came following practice Monday before the team flew to Miami to play the Heat on Tuesday night.

"I haven't even read the article. I heard the rumblings from my staff," Karl said. "I talked to 'Dog' before practice and during practice. I mean, when you lose five in a row and you're struggling, I think it's time for harsh words and maybe I did a poor job of communicating them in the proper manner, but that's what happens when you lose five in a row."

Karl has been especially critical of his Big 3 -- Robinson, Sam Cassell and Ray Allen -- and there's no indication he plans on changing that approach.

"I need everybody to start playing a little better," Karl said. "But, more importantly, I think our stars need to become more star responsible and that's what I've been saying all along."

The Bucks won two games during Karl's absence and Allen credited assistant Terry Stotts' laid-back approach. He said the team played more relaxed without Karl yelling at them.

"I don't think I yap when they play well," Karl said. "If anybody wants me to shut up, tell them to start playing better."