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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Suns make home in McKale

    Former Phoenix forward Sean Marks shoots over forwards Alando Tucker, left, and Shawn Marion in an intrasquad scrimmage last year in McKale Center. The Suns begin training camp in McKale today and will have a public scrimmage Friday.
    Former Phoenix forward Sean Marks shoots over forwards Alando Tucker, left, and Shawn Marion in an intrasquad scrimmage last year in McKale Center. The Suns begin training camp in McKale today and will have a public scrimmage Friday.

    The Phoenix Suns have always brought a big crowd to McKale Center over the past four years.

    And with last year’s midseason acquisition of big man Shaquille O’Neal, most fans would expect the “”Big Sahuaro”” to play on the Lute and Bobbi Olson Court on Friday’s scrimmage for the first time since Dec. 7, 1991, when his LSU squad lost to Arizona, 87-67.

    O’Neal, however, is expected to appear in an Atlanta courtroom Thursday morning for stalking charges, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    A 23-year-old hip-hop artist has a temporary restraining order against O’Neal, and will request a permanent order for both herself and her 19-month-old son.

    Alexis Miller alleges that O’Neal wrote her a threatening e-mail and made harassing calls after they broke up a romantic relationship in July, according to court papers.

    The Suns will have workouts in McKale Center today through Saturday and hold an intrasquad scrimmage at 5 p.m. in McKale on Friday. It is unknown whether O’Neal will be back in Tucson in time for the scrimmage.

    Ticket sales for the scrimmage will benefit university programs, with suggested donation amounts ranging from $6 for adults and $3 for youth under 18.

    “”As always, the Western Conference promises to be deep and competitive, but we feel we have the talent to compete with anyone,”” wrote former Wildcat and current Suns general manager Steve Kerr on the team’s Web site. “”There will be an adjustment period for our team with a new coaching staff in place – there always is – but with our top 7 players from a year ago returning, we should be able to adapt well.””

    The Suns bring 13 players to training camp, including Robin Lopez, a rookie from Stanford, and Sean Singletary, a rookie from Virginia – both of whom played in Tucson last year against the Wildcats.

    First-year Phoenix coach Terry Porter will also debut at camp after 17 years as a player and five seasons as a coach. Porter replaces current New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni.

    “”Our biggest goalÿin the offseason was to add depth to our roster, and we feel like we’ve done so with the addition of five new players,”” Kerr said on the Web site. “”We’re at a point with our franchise where we can continue to compete at a very high level, but there’s undoubtedly a need to add good young talentÿin order to sustain our success. We’re confident that our latest additions will help us do both.””

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