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'Are these better, Stern?'

O'Neal squeezes into pair of Stockton's shorts

Posted: Wednesday November 28, 2001 12:27 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal, who proclaimed he didn't want to wear "John Stockton shorts," squeezed -- barely -- into a pair of Utah Jazz shorts Tuesday night in a pre-game gag.

O'Neal smiled while tugging the size 32 purple shorts onto his size 54 waist. Reporters laughed at the ridiculous result: the 7-foot-1 O'Neal stuffed into too-tight, too-short shorts. He couldn't get the waistband over his hips.

"Are these better, Stern?" he said, invoking the name of NBA commissioner David Stern.

O'Neal was among nine players, including Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, who were fined $5,000 each recently by the league for wearing their shorts too low during games.

At the time, an amused O'Neal said he didn't want to wear "John Stockton shorts," referring to the 39-year-old Utah guard who prefers his shorts a lot shorter and tighter than most of the younger players.

O'Neal claimed Stockton sent him the shorts; a Lakers spokesman said someone on Utah's staff did.

 
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