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This Gig Would Have Fit Nelson to a ‘T’

TNT’s broadcast of the NBA playoffs is filled with analysis from former coaches -- in the studio and at the game.

There’s Mike Fratello, Jeff Van Gundy, Magic Johnson and Cheryl Miller, plus, up until about a week ago, Danny Ainge.

All but Ainge were working during the deluge of technical fouls called during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

Dallas Maverick Coach Don Nelson picked up two and was ejected in the first quarter, prompting this from Dallas Morning News columnist Barry Horn:

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“Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that TNT didn’t pull Nelson aside on his way off the floor and sit him down to help broadcast....

“After all, technically he was between coaching gigs.”

Foul play: Notably, Maverick owner Mark Cuban -- notorious for his fits over officiating -- was not called for a technical.

In fact, afterward he couldn’t even be baited into the controversy.

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Asked about the discrepancy in free throws -- Dallas shot 22, San Antonio 45 -- Cuban said, “The fact you guys are sitting here talking to me tells you all you need to know. I don’t have to say anything.”

I don’t have to say anything?

What have you done with the real Mark Cuban?

Trivia time: With the retirement of Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton, who is the oldest active player in the NBA?

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Fowl play: He was OK with the “Hack-a-Shaq” on Laker center Shaquille O’Neal, but comedian Jerry Perisho isn’t sure he likes the Mavericks’ strategy of fouling free throw-challenged guard Bruce Bowen of San Antonio.

“Goose-a-Bruce,” he said, “just doesn’t sound right.”

Scared straight: Former Louisiana State basketball coach Dale Brown is recovering from an April 24 stroke that was a surprise to everyone because the 67-year-old doesn’t smoke, rarely drinks, exercises daily and keeps his weight in check.

“I always thought if I was to die it would be in a fall off the Matterhorn or by being eaten by Bigfoot,” Brown said.

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Sounds like a rough childhood experience at Disneyland.

He’s no Aggie: A former Kentucky basketball player has easily won that state’s Republican primary for agriculture commissioner.

His name: Richie Farmer.

He says he nose: Comedian Alex Kaseberg is certain he knows how figure skater-turned-boxer Tonya Harding broke her nose: “Slipped in the bathroom when her house hit a speed bump.”

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Professional jealousy: Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom is concerned the NFL will be in a pickle if owners choose to bring the league back to Los Angeles because “if L.A. finally gets an NFL franchise, Chicago will want one too.”

Trivia answer: San Antonio’s Kevin Willis, who turns 41 in September.

And finally: Jeremy Shockey, the New York Giants’ big-talent, big-mouth tight end, reportedly was rebuffed by pop star Britney Spears when they met by chance recently at a trendy New York City restaurant.

Is that not typical for a receiver attempting a pass? Always incomplete.

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