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Andrew Ayres is an NBA editor for ESPN.com
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Trail Blazers interim GM Tod Leiweke tells Chad Ford how the search for a new president and GM is going.• Daily Dish
I stopped Shaquille O'Neal in the visiting locker room Thursday at the Meadowlands to ask him to take a couple softball questions, then I quickly hit him with the changeup and asked him to name his All-Time Top 5 Dirtiest Players.
I half-expected him to blow off the question and half-expected him to put Kobe Bryant on it, but instead he spent a good 45 seconds trying to come up with the right names.I suggested he begin the list with Bill Laimbeer, and Shaq agreed (their careers overlapped by two years in the early '90s).
Dirty is "not just physical. Dirty to me means to foul you and try to break something," O'Neal said.
O'Neal also came up with this doozy when asked about whether anyone would ever duplicate his style of play:"I'm unemulatable. I took the files and deleted them, ate 'em, used 'em in the bathroom, flushed it, went through the sewage plant and blew the sewage plant up. So there's no way that my style can be copied. It's gone, forever. There's a new big guy style, Dirk Nowitzki style, guys stepping out and shooting jumpers, shooting 3s. So that style will be here for a while, but my style is gone, forever." • Complete Chris Sheridan blog
Bucks guard Lynn Greer: When you score a career high, it's a good night. But when your 14 points all come in the fourth quarter, and you snap the Spurs' 13-game win streak, well, that's impressive. With Mo Williams ejected in the third, Greer lit up the Spurs. Linas Kleiza's big night for Denver was a close second for nightly best honors.
Lakers guard Smush Parker: The spiral continues. Bags just 1 of 8 shots. Lakers lose seventh straight, falling 113-86. Not smooth days for Smush.
Quote of the Day
"I thought you only get fined for criticizing the officiating. They're the sacred cows. But I find out somebody else has a sacred cow somewhere else."
-- Lakers coach Phil Jackson, after getting a $50,000 fine for describing punishment of Kobe Bryant as a "witch hunt."
-- Andrew Ayres
Larry Krystkowiak picked a great time to coach his first NBA game. Not only did the Bucks team he took over lose 26 of 33 games since Jan. 1, but Milwaukee had to face the hottest team in the NBA. The San Antonio Spurs had won 13 straight games and limited opponents to 82.4 PPG during that span.
None of that mattered on Thursday. The Bucks shot over 53 percent from the field and defeated the Spurs 101-90. Krystkowiak becomes the first coach in NBA history to have his debut win come against a team with a double-digit win streak.
|Debut Is A Snap|
|Mar. 2007||Larry Krystkowiak, Mil||Spurs||13|
|Nov. 1981||Pat Riley, LA||Spurs||7|
|Dec. 2002||Terry Stotts, ATL||Spurs||4|
|Nov. 2000||N. McMillan, SEA||Blazers||4|
|Dec. 1966||Gene Shue, BAL||Warriors||4|
-- Michael E. Jackson, ESPN Research
ESPN Classic will air the Suns-Mavericks double-OT thriller on Friday at 4 p.m. ET as an Instant Classic.
The Lakers' loss to the Nuggets was the seventh straight for the Lakers, giving Phil Jackson the first seven-game losing streak in his career as an NBA head coach. That leaves Red Auerbach as the only head coach in NBA history to never lose seven straight games in a career spanning at least 800 games.• Elias Says