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Snow strands Magic with unlikely bunch // Monday's game

Picture Shaquille O'Neal and Big Bird doing the hokey pokey.

It could have happened Sunday night in a Hilton hotel bar in Allentown, Pa., where the Orlando Magic has been stranded for two days along with the cast from Sesame Street Live, the hard rock group Nine Inch Nails, as well as Janice and Kenneth's depleted wedding party.

Meanwhile, the Magic's Monday night game with the 76ers was canceled by the NBA because of the weekend blizzard that dumped 30 inches of snow in Philadelphia.

Tonight's game against New Jersey in Orlando also is in jeopardy.

A team official said the league will decide today whether the Magic and Nets will be able to arrive in Orlando in time for the 7:30 p.m. tipoff.

With snow piled high outside their hotel Sunday night, Magic players had few alternatives other than the Hilton lounge where they encountered the bare remains of Janice Huzar and Kenneth Cavanaugh's midday wedding.

"About half the guests had to cancel because they couldn't make it through the snow, but there were quite a few people in the bar (Sunday) night. I guess some kids heard the Magic were in town and some television stations showed up too," said Clement Huzar, father of the bride.

"They were down there signing autographs and having their pictures taken. I know the bride and groom had their picture taken with Shaq."

Magic backup center Jon Koncak said the eclectic crew of guests made for an interesting evening in the lounge.

"I told somebody it was like the scene in Star Wars where you have all the animals from different planets in the bar. Sesame Street, Nine Inch Nails, a wedding party and us. I thought we were in the Twilight Zone," Koncak said.

"You couldn't find a more diverse group of people and stick them together if you tried. It was hilarious."

While their plane has been cleared for takeoff today, Magic officials are concerned whether the roads will be safe enough this afternoon to travel to the airport.

Discrimination suit: Jury selection begins today in a lawsuit filed by former Magic assistant coach George Scholz, who has accused the team of reverse discrimination and defamation in his 1992 firing.

Scholz, now the coach at Jacksonville University, alleges the Magic fired him because the team was being pressured to hire a black assistant coach.

Suns: Forward Charles Barkley had the nail on his left big toe removed and will miss tonight's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers and probably subsequent games. Kevin Johnson (strained left quadricep and groin), John Williams (irritated nerve, left leg) and Stefano Rusconi (heel bruise) also will be sidelined tonight.

_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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