Suns News

O’Neal Fine With $25,000 Fine From NBA

Shaquille O'Neal was fined by the NBA for his actions during Sunday's win over the Pistons.
(NBAE/Getty Images)
By Jerry Brown,
Nov. 18, 2008

SALT LAKE CITY - Shaquille O’Neal knew he wouldn’t escape totally unscathed from the Suns’ latest review at the NBA offices, but took the $25,000 fine for “verbal abuse of an official and failure to leave the court in a timely manner” during Sunday’s game against Detroit in stride.

“It’s just like a tax. It’s not something I worry about,” O’Neal said. “It doesn’t matter to me, I don’t care. I said what I had to say, but I guess for $25,000 I should have said a little more.”

But now that the flagrant 2 foul call on Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey has been reviewed and will likely be dropped to a lesser charge (flagrant 1)? He did take exception to that.

“I do care about (the league) being consistent,” he said. “I’m also anxious to know what happens to (referees) when they make mistakes. Do they get fined? Do they get suspended? Someone needs to open up that conversation.”


In the first 12 games, the Suns have played seven on the road and had to deal with injuries, fines, suspensions and players leaving for personal reasons.

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“And we have eight wins and one of the best records in the West,” said forward Matt Barnes, who returned from a two-game suspension Monday. “This team does a good job of taking it all in stride, and we’re still heading up. We’re not all on the same page yet, but you can see it coming and how good we’re going to be once we get there.”

Coach Terry Porter has used all 12 players on his bench and likes the way they have responded.

“The guys have been very resilient. I think we’re making huge strides,” he said. “It’s always nice to win games while you’re working through the corrections.”


Even though Grant Hill had a pair of strong games starting in place of Barnes — after going scoreless in the previous two games off the bench — Porter went back to his usual starting lineup and moved Hill back to the bench against the Jazz.

In five games as a starter, Hill has averaged 12 points, seven rebounds and 2.6 assists, much better production than he’s managed off the bench. But Porter said Barnes hasn’t done anything to warrant a demotion.

“If I was a starter and I earned that right and I have to go out because of a suspension, I don’t want to lose my spot,” Porter said. “It’s such a fine line. I was in a situation (as a player) in Portland when Kiki (Vandewghe) went down with a back injury and Jerome (Kersey) came in and we won 15 of 18 games. What do you do?

“We’ve had discussions about how it best overall fits our team and I think Grant has done a good job embracing that (bench) role.

COPYRIGHT 2008, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.