For Shaquille O'Neal, a trip down memory lane in L. A. isn't much different than a trip to the foul line. That is, he misses a lot.

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For Shaquille O’Neal, a trip down memory lane in L.A. isn’t much different than a trip to the foul line.

That is, he misses a lot.

“(I miss) the police officers, the people, the kids in the ‘hood, Fox Hills Mall, Beverly Center, all of the superstars,” O’Neal told the L.A. Daily News upon his return as a member of the Miami Heat. “And I miss the atmosphere.

“I don’t miss the traffic, and I don’t miss two or three people.”

And they would be … ?

“I don’t know their names. Their names have been erased out of my memory banks. If I try to go back, I’ll get shocked.”

Lookin’ up

Former tennis vixen Anna Kournikova has supplanted 2003 winner Kobe Bryant as Lycos’ most-searched athlete of 2004, according to hits compiled by the Internet search engine.

Kobe, however, retained the combined search crown, if you include all the body-wand pat-downs at the Eagle County Courthouse.

Them’s fightin’ words

* Dan Daly of the Washington Times, on an arbitrator slicing 10 games off Pacer Jermaine O’Neal’s 25-game suspension for fighting with Pistons fans: “The final CompuBox figures, apparently, showed O’Neal landing far fewer power punches than originally thought.”

* Spotted by the Detroit Free Press on an Indiana fan’s sign at the Pacers-Pistons rematch: “I love my beer too much; I would never waste it on a Piston.”

* Headline at “Brawl erupts at Reindeer Games / Rudolph suspended for season.”

Don’t touch that dial

Tennessee Volunteers fans take it as a point of pride that Knoxville’s area code is 865 — or VOL on the touch-tone pad.

If you’re thinking what we’re thinking, you locked-out Chicago Blackhawks fans, MIA (642) and DOA (362) are still up for grabs.

Pass the football

* Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on the overstretched bowl season: “Who needs a college football playoff bracket when we can watch the MPC Computers Bowl on blue turf?”

* ESPN’s Steve Young, on recent criticism of the Ravens’ defense: “That’s like living in a mansion and complaining that there are crumbs on the floor.”

* Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson, to the Orlando Sentinel, after the Buccaneers’ 37-20 loss to Carolina: “When it rains, it snows.”

Making waves

Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson has been detained in his native Aruba, The Associated Press reported, after he was accused of causing a Christmas Day commotion by driving his personal watercraft recklessly and then popping a beach-goer who turned out to be a local judge.

In lieu of jail time, we hear, defense lawyers say Admiral Ponson just needs some professional help with anchor management.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or