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NBA PLAYOFFS | LAKER NOTES

Dudley's Shove of Shaq Over but Not Forgotten

May 02, 1997|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Coach Del Harris put his players through a lengthy film session before practice Thursday, about an hour 40 minutes, to review the debacle that was Game 3. Part of it was devoted to Chris Dudley's foul on Shaquille O'Neal that officials ruled flagrant and the Lakers considered downright dirty.

"We definitely talked about that," Eddie Jones said.

With the Trail Blazers facing elimination Wednesday night and apparently intent on sending a message with physical play, O'Neal streaked down the lane midway through the first quarter to catch a lead pass, Dudley in pursuit. O'Neal caught the ball, then was shoved in the back by Dudley, forcing him hard out of bounds.

"I don't know what kind of statement that is," Harris said. "It's a flagrant foul and flagrant means very unnecessary. He should have been thrown out of the game. That's potentially a career ending-type foul. You can't make that foul.

"You should have more respect for your fellow pro than to make that foul. And certainly a guy who went to Yale should have more sense."

O'Neal declined to speak with reporters after practice at the Rose Garden. But Dudley, not known as a dirty player, defended the play.

"I just gave him a little shove," Dudley said. "I just wanted to make sure he didn't make the layup. I wasn't trying to hurt him. In no way would I try to do that."

Countered Jones: "I think it was a cheap shot. You don't do that in this league. You don't do that to anyone, but especially to one of the top 50 players in league history.

"But I don't care if it was to a 12th man. If a guy shoved you with two hands in the back, he should have been kicked out."

*

The Lakers have not decided whether to exercise an option to take the 53rd pick in the draft from the Knicks, part of the deal that sent Doug Christie to New York in October 1994. If the Lakers decline, they will get cash instead.

"We're going to wait until all the underclassmen have declared, do a mock draft and see who might be available at that position," General Manager Mitch Kupchak said.

The Lakers already have the No. 51 pick, their first-round choice having been traded to New Jersey in the George McCloud deal. They also have the same option to get a second-rounder or money from the Knicks next year.

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