O'Neal Has First Practice With Suns
Shaquille O'Neal practiced with the Suns for the first time yesterday, showing no sign of the hip injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 21.
"It was different. It was very intense," he said after the one-hour workout. "I learned a lot. Now I can see why they can go at the pace they play at. When you just do short bursts like this, then you can save it all for the game."
Just when he will play in a game remained undecided.
"I haven't done anything in a month, but I'm in pretty good shape," O'Neal said. "It will probably take me a few more days to get in tune. The good thing about these guys here is they told me when I'm comfortable, when I'm one thousand percent, then I can join them."
Phoenix has two games before the all-star break -- at Golden State tomorrow night and at home against Dallas on Thursday. The first game after the break is at home against Shaq's old team, the Lakers, his former coach Phil Jackson and his ex-teammate Kobe Bryant.
"I think it's going to take a little bit," Coach Mike D'Antoni said.
¿ HARD TIMES: Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell's home is up for foreclosure and his yacht sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he owes on the boat, according to court filings.
¿ LEAVE: Raptors Coach Sam Mitchell is taking a leave of absence so he can fly home to Atlanta following the death of his father-in-law. A team spokesman said that Mitchell left Toronto and will not rejoin the Raptors until after the all-star break.
¿ IN, OUT: The Lakers signed C D.J. Mbenga for the rest of the season. . . . Mavericks F Jerry Stackhouse (hamstring) and Center Erick Dampier (sprained ankle) missed last night's game.
-- From News Services