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O'Neal fined, suspended for slapping Ostertag

Published Oct. 2, 2005

The NBA suspended Shaquille O'Neal for one game and fined him $10,000 on Monday for slapping Utah center Greg Ostertag before their season opener last week.

The slap will cost O'Neal the fine plus the game's pay, $156,794, that he won't receive because of the suspension.

O'Neal apologized to Ostertag and said he failed to set a good example for young people.

"I hope he accepts my apology and that he and I can put behind us any bad feelings," he said in a statement.

"I made a mistake. Instead of focusing upon what is best for the team, I got caught up in the drama of the season's first game and reacted emotionally instead of logically," said O'Neal, who will miss tonight's game at Sacramento.

LAKERS: Guard Eddie Jones said he's tired of hearing his name mentioned in trade speculation, and he had a rather strong message for the Sacramento Kings, who reportedly are interested in dealing for him.

"The truth is, I don't want to be there," Jones said. "At all.

"I don't want to go to Sac."

The Kings have talked to the Lakers about a trade that would send Jones and backup center Sean Rooks to Sacramento for unhappy guard Mitch Richmond, a five-time All-Star who has been seeking a trade since last season.

The Lakers are at least listening, although Jones said front office members assured him he remained a part of their plans.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Isaiah Rider followed a two-game suspension by missing practice. Team officials said they did not know why he didn't show up. Coach Mike Dunleavy told a Portland radio station he was disappointed and said Rider probably would be fined $2,000. But he won't be suspended and could be back in uniform for tonight's home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dunleavy said.

MAVERICKS: Dallas signed Chris Anstey, the 7-foot center it acquired in a draft-day trade with Portland, and waived forward Adrian Caldwell. Anstey fulfilled his contract in Australia's National Basketball League and arrived in Dallas on Sunday.