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"Prison's not the place for Puffy. I think if I had a chance and I could talk to the jury, I'd say, 'Look, before you send this guy to prison, look at the consequences. Prison could destroy this guy.'"
——Marion "Suge" Knight

SUGE BACKS PUFFY

But If You're Puffy, Does Having Suge Behind You Make You Feel Safer Or More Nervous?
Has the hatchet been buried in the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry?

MTV/Sonicnet report that Sean "Puffy" Combs, who nears the end of his trial, has a surprise supporter in longtime rival Marion "Suge" Knight.

The imprisoned Death Row Records chief said from his jail cell Thursday (3/8) that he wishes he could help his rival rap mogul.

"Prison's not the place for Puffy," Knight told MTV. "I think if I had a chance and I could talk to the jury, I'd say, 'Look, before you send this guy to prison, look at the consequences. Prison could destroy this guy.'"

In 1999, Los Angeles police named Knight as a suspect in the 1997 murder of the Notorious B.I.G., Combs' best friend and the biggest star on his Bad Boy label. Bad Boy and Death Row have had a notoriously rocky relationship, which came to a head following the murders of rappers the Notorious B.I.G. (Bad Boy) and Tupac Shakur (Death Row).

Knight, who has nothing better to do, has been following Combs' case from Mule Creek State Prison, where he is serving part of a nine-year sentence for violating probation on an assault charge, and anxiously awaits another visit from his pal, HITS' Roy Trakin.

Combs, on trial for gun possession and bribery charges in connection with a December 1999 shooting in which three people were wounded by gunfire at a Manhattan nightclub, is expected to face final arguments this week.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys will present closing arguments today (3/12) in Manhattan Supreme Court. The jury of seven men and five women is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday (3/13).

Though he said Puffy is "definitely not my friend," Knight added the rapper is "a nice guy," and that he hopes Combs will avoid prison time for the sake of his family and the people he employs, the report stated. "He could do a lot more good not being in prison than being in prison. One thing about prison, everybody can't do this time. I thank God that he made me a man who, if I'm incarcerated, I'm still gonna be the same person I am. For Puffy, I think it will be all bad. For one, he's a small guy. By him being a small guy, there's probably gonna be guys trying to prey on him."

No confirmation of rumors that Knight said substituting the Fs with S's in Combs' nickname "Puffy" would be the first thing to happen if he is incarcerated.

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