Tue, Feb 03, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Shaq launches four-letter tirade at NBA officials

AP , TORONTO

Shaquille O'Neal was so frustrated with the officiating during the Lakers' 84-83 victory on Sunday that he twice used profanities on live television and later said NBA commissioner David Stern should hire better officials.

In a postgame interview with Los Angeles-based KCAL-TV, O'Neal said, "My message to [NBA commissioner] David Stern is get some people in there that understand the game and don't try to take over the game because people pay good money to see good athletes play," O'Neal said. "Let us play, don't be trying to take over the game."

O'Neal said official Scott Foster has it in for him.

"Don't be calling bull because you don't like a guy," O'Neal said. "That guy has a clear understanding over the years that he don't like me. If you don't like a person, you can't do your job with them."

When told he was on live television, O'Neal replied with a vulgarity.

Later in the locker room, he offered his suggestion to Stern.

"My message to David Stern is get some people in there that understand the game and don't try to take over the game because people pay good money to see good athletes play," O'Neal said. "Let us play, don't be trying to take over the game."

Vince Carter and O'Neal each received technical fouls in the third quarter for arguing with the officials.

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