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The former Spurs center and Basketball Hall of Famer's son Corey, a 6'4" wide receiver, made an oral commitment to play football at Notre Dame beginning in 2013.

DAN PATRICK:How much do you weigh now?


DP:Wasn't that your playing weight?

DR: No, my playing weight was 242.

DP:Wow, you let yourself go.

DR:[Laughs.] That's all right.

DP:That was less than the guys you were covering?

DR:[Laughs.] I was 20 to 25 pounds lighter than most of the guys I played against—Patrick Ewing was around 270; Shaquille O'Neal was at 325, 350.

DP:What was it like to lean on Shaq?

DR: Even when you were leaning on Shaq, it felt like he was leaning on you. He made you feel like a high schooler playing against a pro.

DP:Who was most frustrating to cover?

DR: It had to be Hakeem [Olajuwon] because he was so talented. His footwork was great, and he's a very smart player. He had all the moves.

DR:Where did the big man go in the NBA?

DP: Everybody likes being the forward. They want to shoot. That's all well and good, but somebody has to anchor the post.

DP:If you were coming out now, would you have played more outside?

DR: Not me. I loved being a big guy. I loved rebounding and defending.

DP:You wouldn't be shooting threes?

DR: I can shoot them, but I wouldn't. I'd let the little guys do that. There are a lot of little guys around. There's not that many big guys.

DP:Where do you rank Tim Duncan among the great power forwards?

DR: At Number 1. His statistics will hold up against anybody's. Two things go against him. One is being in a small market. Jeremy Lin plays great basketball for three weeks, and he's the king of the world. Timmy's a monster and doesn't get the publicity. And the other thing is his reluctance to seek the spotlight, which makes him even a greater person.

DP:What do you think of Lakers center Andrew Bynum's performance this season?

DR: This year he's started to come out and at times be an incredibly dominant force. But not consistently enough.

DP:But he's been in the league for seven years.

DR: For a guy who wants to be a leader, you can't [have] discipline problems. There's no place for that. You need to be helping the coaches discipline the other guys. It's still a matter of maturity. He's getting there, but not yet.

DP:Your son is going to Notre Dame to play football. How did that happen?

DR: I had no control over that one. I tried to train him to play basketball. He loves playing football. Personally, I think that game is way too crazy. You get those 275-pound guys going 100 miles per hour at you—you have to be a little bit crazy.

DP:You have concerns about concussions?

DR: You have to. But you have to trust in the training, that they're going to take the right precautions to take care of your son. And a little prayer.

DP:You didn't try to talk him out of it?

DR: No, absolutely not. He's his own man. There are a few things I've tried to talk my sons out of, but not playing football.

"For me, he's the greatest coach we've ever seen. During this era, when the competitive balance is better than it was back in the dynasty days of Boston and L.A., he has the same system and he's still winning at an extremely high level. He has been in one place for 16 years and won four championships. That's not going to be done again."

—RICK CARLISLE, Mavericks coach, on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich



Warriors guard Stephen Curry isn't surprised by accusations that NBA players take flops. "We had a drill in training camp my first year," Curry told me. "Head coach Don Nelson was out there with the mat down [working on] taking hits and selling it." ... Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau addressed criticism that he was responsible for Derrick Rose's injury because he kept the 2010--11 MVP on the floor too long in a first-round playoff game. "When I look back, I would not have done anything different," Thibodeau said. "It's unfortunate. It's not a death sentence for Derrick. It's not a death sentence for our team." ... Reds manager Dusty Baker thinks recent controversy around hit batsmen is overblown. "You're throwing a projectile 90 mph," Baker said, "and the margin between getting hit and [the pitch] being a strike is about six inches. Guys are going to get hit." ... Buck Showalter managed the Yankees under George Steinbrenner but says that's not the hardest job. "The toughest job in our sport is [managing in] Triple A," the Orioles' skipper told me. "We got guys going down, guys thinking they should be up. Nobody is happy."