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Irish Coffee: Shaquille O’Neal talks Hoopz

Wake up with the Celtics [1] and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦  

  

During the filming of “Flavor of Love” on VH1, Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander dominated Flavor Flav in a game of one-on-one. Then she owned some dude named “Entertainer” with a flurry of profanities [2] on “I Love Money” — another VH1 reality show.  

But she’d probably have a tougher time defeating her current boyfriend, Shaquille O’Neal [3].  

Sudbury’s most famous couple went two-on-one in an interview with The Globe’s Meredith Goldstein for a Home & Lifestyle section cover story [4]. Here’s what we learned:  

Ever wonder what Ray Allen’s old house looks like? Here it is. You can have it for $3.7 million. (AP)

RAY ALLEN STILL OWNS A HOUSE IN SEATTLE? 

 As long as we’re on the subject of reality, I stumbled across a website that claims Ray Allen put the five-bedroom, 10,000-foot mansion [9] he lived in for four years as a member of the SuperSonics back on the market for $3.7 million. 

 The house includes a swimming pool, movie theater and full-size basketball court. It’s pretty nice. I think I’ll submit my bid this afternoon. 

 While Allen tries to sell his old home, Rajon Rondo [10] is busy remodeling. The Celtics point guard — along with Red Bull — recently revamped a third basketball court [11] in the Boston area, at the intersection of Jersey Street and Park Drive just south of Fenway Park [12]. They had already upgraded courts in Roxbury and the Allston/Brighton area. The fourth is up for a vote between the South End, Dorchester and Roslindale. 

 LEBRON JAMES [13]: ‘WE’RE WAY BEHIND’ CELTICS 

 The Heat — tied with the Bulls — trail the Celtics for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed by just three games with 34 games to play, but based on what LeBron James and Dwyane Wade [14] told ESPN.com [15] they’ve got a long way to go to catch the C’s. 

 James: “We’re way behind those guys. Just look at the number of games played, the number of playoff series those guys have had. We’re only a few months in together — 40-something-plus games. I’ve seen the statistics. Boston has like 250-plus games played together. We’re way behind those teams.” 

Wade: “You talk about Boston, you talk about Orlando or the Lakers, we’re never going to catch those guys in experience. I think the stat is, Boston is 30-[17] in the playoffs since they’ve been together. We’re 0-0.” 

Let’s take the Magic out of that discussion. That team is completely different since the trade. 

ARTEST: SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO

For the third consecutive day, the panic in Los Angeles rose to the next level on Wednesday. This time, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein [16], Ron Artest [17] wants off the Lakers via trade. 

One source close to the situation insists that Ron Artest wants out.

Asked to react to that, Artest’s agent David Bauman declined comment.

Stein then details the two main reasons Artest wants to be traded from a championship team:

1. He’s weary of being scapegoated for the team’s struggles and feels that he’s destined to always absorb the bulk of the blame no matter what happens because Phil Jackson [18] and Kobe Bryant are so dependent on the more glamorous contributions of Pau Gasol [19] and Lamar Odom and will never publicly go after regal Laker lifer Derek Fisher.

2. As we heard at various points during his stops in Indiana, Sacramento and Houston, Artest is eventually going to squawk if he’s being marginalized in the offense, which inevitably disengages him from his defensive responsibilities. (Relegated “to the corner shot” is the way Daniel Artest described it [20].)

Excuse me while I stop laughing. … Artest wants to be more of a central focus in an offense that features Bryant, Gasol and Odom? I see coaching in Artest’s future.

The Los Angeles Times refuted the report, quoting Artest denial [21] of any interest in a trade:

“No. Definitely not. I feel good every day. We’ve got a chance to win multiple championships here … trying to work towards another banner.”

Stein shot back. The reporter tweeted [22]: “If player or agent publicly seeks trade they get fined.”

Meanwhile, Bryant remains on topic. Appearing on “Conan” [23] Wednesday night, Kobe responded to the question of whether or not the Lakers can three-peat:

“I think so. The beauty of the season is that it’s filled with challenges. In this city, everybody breathes Lakers basketball, so when there’s struggle it’s like it’s the end of the world. But that’s what the season is about. It’s about overcoming those challenges, and we’re up to the task.”

Everybody in Los Angeles breathes Lakers basketball? Well, the NBA might as well get rid of the Clippers.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee or a future mailbag? Send an e-mail tobrohrbach@weei.com [24] or a Twitter message to @brohrbach [25].)