I can remember a time when Pat Riley did the pre-game lobbying to the officials himself. From the South Florida Sun’s Ethan J. Skolnick.

“They’re all the same,” O’Neal said of opposing interior defenders, from former NBA center Vlade Divac through the Nets’ Jason Collins. “They all have their flop fraternity. A flopternity is what I call them.”

Flop flop flop?

“Flop flop flop,” he said. “I just have to mix it up and stay out of foul trouble, and I will. I’m going to enjoy mixing it up.”

Alonzo Mourning briefly shared a frontcourt with Collins (above) as a Net in 2003 and 2004.

“What frustrates me is not the player, it’s the way the league has called games,” Mourning said. “I was a part of this game when flopping wasn’t a factor. Now they’re making flopping a factor and the league is helping those guys.”

If you think there’s no news involving non-playoff participants, think again. I Heart KG helpfully reminds us that Troy Hudson has a new CD coming out, along an update from the T-Wolves’ dance team’s tour of China.

You think this guy is pleased the Suns won Game 7 last night? (link swiped from True Hoop)

(16 points for Josh Howard, above, thus far)

in progress : Mavs 65, Spurs 61 (3:21 remaining, 3rd quarter)