Tuesday , Mar , 04 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Players Not Enthused with Pat Riley’s Methods

Lamar Odom was neither shocked nor offended the first time the Heat medical staff gently pinched the flesh above his hipbone with a pair of calipers to measure his body fat. ‘It was cool because I was in shape,’ said Odom, a Heat forward in 2003-04 who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.It wasn’t cool for Antoine Walker, who was suspended by coach Pat Riley last year for exceeding a team-mandated body-fat limit.Walker, a forward who was traded in October to the Minnesota Timberwolves, said the Heat checked his body fat weekly. ‘Every Monday,’ he said. ‘It gets nitpicky at times.’

That kind of hard-nosed approach – which in the past also manifested itself in unusually exhausting practices – might be why NBA players questioned recently by Sports Illustrated said Riley was the coach for whom they would least like to play.He was No. 1 in a runaway. Riley received 28 percent of the votes among 242 players interviewed. Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and former Chicago Bulls coach Scott Skiles were next at 12 percent each. Click here for more from the Palm Beach Post.