Sunday , May , 14 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

NBA Notes and Quotes: 14th May 2006

Shaq and Pat Riley Want Justice

One of the more prominent themes of this year’s playoffs has been Shaq’s foul trouble, which often forces the big man to the bench at the worst of times. Today, he and Pat Riley have drawn attention the part the officials have played in the Diesel’s problems.

“As soon as I touch someone, they fall down,” O’Neal said.

Coach Pat phrased his complaint a little more technically.

“You have post defensive dislodgement,” Riley said. “You cannot dislodge a post defender with multiple backings, but there are times he doesn’t overpower anybody. He just backs in and guys go the other way.”

NBA Notes and Quotes: 14th May 2006

However you put it, it’s clear that the Nets assigned to cover Shaq have been flopping like a Jeff Foxworthy routine at the Apollo. Where Chicago’s post players exaggerated each impact, New Jersey have been faking falls that would make an Italian football player blush. Why the referees are the only people in the stadium incapable of seeing that, I couldn’t tell you.
Joe Arriola is a Character
Although Miami city manager Joe Arriola isn’t officially linked with the Heat franchise, he’s a familiar face within the crowd at most home games. However, unlike most high-ranking politicians, Joey isn’t exactly afraid to exercise his right to fan participation according to today’s Miami Herald.
Listening to Arriola’s antics has become an amusing sideshow. Last week, he engaged Nets players in conversation during games. First, he mocked Vince Carter’s baggy pants: “Nice shorts, Vince!”
Later, he said, “You’re a big baby, Vince!” Carter then turned to Arriola and said, “You’re fat!”
To which Arriola responded: “Fat and happy!” Arriola told 39-year-old Cliff Robinson, “You’re too old for this game.” Robinson looked over and said, “You’re probably right.”
Vince’s response might be the best part of that excerpt, although Shaq’s mother, of all people, easily beats him out for the quote of the day.
In the case of Lucille O’Neal,her in-game communication with her son has changed over the years. When Shaq shot free throws earlier in his career, she held a sign saying, “Bend Your Knees.”
But “I think that embarrassed him,” she said. “He said, ‘Ma, please don’t do that.’ I put the sign in the garage.”
It’s not hard to see the source of Shaq’s wit and likeability.
Flip Saunders is Gangsta
This article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer is worth reading in its entirety, but one part in particular is worthy of mention.
Saunders remembers the first time he visited Los Angeles and encountered Nicholson’s needling from his seat next to the visitors’ bench. Nicholson kept asking Saunders to sit down.
“I pay good money for these seats and I can’t see the game,” he told Saunders.
Finally, the coach turned around and said, “Hey, I didn’t like your last film either, but I didn’t ask for a refund.”
Whether he meant it in jest or not, Flip just went up a little in my estimation.

Odds and Ends
George Shinn is looking to add investors from New Orleans to the Hornets’ ownership group. If he’s unsuccessful in bringing in local money, the franchise will be one step closer to setting up shop in Oklahoma permanently.
Ben Wallace has hired super-agent Arn Tellem to represent him. What does this mean? Probably not much, but some believe it suggests that Big Ben may be open to entertaining offers from teams other than Detroit. In unrelated news, twenty-nine General Managers have called Arn Tellem since Ben signed with him.
It was Doc Rivers’ call to can Paul Pressey and Jim Brewer. Word is that he’ll be pursuing current Sacramento assistant Pete Carril as a replacement.
Carmelo Anthony will be at the Indianapolis 500 practice runs today. He’ll be supporting the driver of the vehicle he sponsors, imaginatively called the “Car-Melo”. It hurts me deep inside that someone was probably paid to create that name.

That’s all there is to it for today. If you want to reach me with your comments, questions or suggestions, you can email me at [email protected] or leave a message in the box below this article. Until tomorrow, take it easy.