Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal was fined $35,000 by the National Basketball Association for criticizing referees.
The league issued the fine today, NBA Executive Vice President Stu Jackson said in a news release.
O’Neal made the comments after scoring two points and fouling out in the fourth quarter of the Celtics’ 86-78 loss to the Orlando Magic on Dec. 25. In a post-game interview, O’Neal criticized the game’s officiating and singled out veteran referee Bob Delaney.
O’Neal, a 15-time All-Star and three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, has averaged 23.9 points and 11 rebounds per game over his 19-year career. He is seventh on the all-time scoring list and first among active players, with 28,460 points.
In 2008 when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns, O’Neal was fined $25,000 by the league for verbal abuse of an official. He was fined $5,000 this season for criticism of referees.
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