Whether Mike Krzyzewski decides to take the Los Angeles Lakers' head coaching job or not, Shaquille O'Neal seems intent on moving to another team -- especially after Phil Jackson's departure from Los Angeles.
"Me playing for another coach rather than Phil is like me leaving my wife and marrying a woman that looks like me -- exactly like me," O'Neal said in a telephone interview from his offseason home in Orlando last night.
O'Neal learned of Krzyzewski's meeting with the Lakers while piling crates of Gatorade into his grocery basket at an Orlando Costco on Thursday night. With a swarm of people clamoring around him, he watched an ESPN report. "What the hell is going on now out there?" he said he mumbled to himself.
According to a person close to O'Neal, a meeting between Jackson and the Lakers' perennial all-star center after Jackson and the Lakers mutually decided to end their relationship served as a defining moment in his decision to request a trade.
Asked pointedly where he envisioned playing next season, O'Neal declined to give specifics, other than: "I gave the Lakers two or three teams. They know where I want to go. That's all I'm going to say."
If O'Neal had his druthers, according to the person close to him, he would play in either Dallas, Sacramento, Memphis or New Orleans next season.
Asked for a comment on Krzyzewski meeting with the Lakers, O'Neal said, "Just put, 'Sources said O'Neal's favorite college coach is Dale Brown.' "
Translation: Since O'Neal's former coach at LSU has not been interviewed by the Lakers, the chance of a Krzyzewski-O'Neal pairing is remote.
-- Mike Wise