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SAYING GOODBYE TO 'MR. DON': A standing-room-only crowd packed the funeral for Stephon Marbury's father on Thursday, including famous basketball players and residents who considered "Mr. Don" Marbury the mayor of their close-knit, hardscrabble Brooklyn neighborhood.

Donald Marbury was taken from Madison Square Garden to a hospital during halftime of the Knicks' loss to Phoenix on Sunday night. He died of a heart problem before the game ended.

Knicks coach Isiah Thomas and former players John Starks and Allan Houston were among those at the funeral.

NOT LIKING THIS: Lakers coach Phil Jackson is more than a little unhappy about the NBA's new rule requiring coaches to wear microphones for nationally televised games. Jackson mockingly referred to it as "a mandatory-voluntary effort."

The Lakers make the maximum 24 national TV appearances this season, so Jackson will have plenty of opportunity to navigate what he views as intruding on his "inner sanctum."

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Pearl the obese dog gradually losing weight

After six months in the care of DNA rescue and through a careful rehabilitation program, Pearl has lost 15.7 pounds, down from the 76.5 she weighed when she was found as a stray on Kensington ...
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