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Now a word from our soft drink

It used to be fans of other sports would make fun of the overt commercialism engaged in by NASCAR, with the logo-bedecked cars, decal-covered racing suits and unfailingly mentioned sponsors. But no other sport really has room to talk anymore. Last night's example: During his post-game news conference, Phoenix Suns coach Mike D'Antoni carefully gave his diet soda can a quarter-turn so that the drink's label could be read by the cameras televising his remarks.

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I didn't catch Shaquille O'Neal's appearance on TNT's Inside the NBA until after the Suns-Spurs game, so perhaps he was better earlier, but he needs some work on his studio skills. He certainly seemed comfortable enough, making noises to accompany game highlights, but he didn't say much. Charles Barkley went on and on about how the Suns' Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw unfairly might draw suspensions for leaving the bench area -- but not joining in -- during the scuffle that followed Robert Horry's hip check of Steve Nash into the scorer's table. Host Ernie Johnson gave the Big Aristotle the chance to offer a final thought on the matter, and the best Wilt Chamberneezy could come up with was: "Life is unfair."

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