*The NBA fined Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal $35,000 today for public comments about the officiating following Boston’s 86-78 Christmas Day loss to the Magic in Orlando.
According to ESPNBoston.com, O’Neal fouled out in only 13 minutes of playing time and sounded off after the game.
“I guess they came out to see No. 26 today,” O’Neal said, referring to official No. 26, Bob Delaney. “… He was a great player out there today.
“They [fans] paid all that money to watch No. 26 play. If I was a fan, I would be pissed. You pay all that money for good seats, you have two of the best guys in the [NBA] sitting on the bench, out of the game. That is what happens when you have control freaks out there.”
Orlando’s Dwight Howard picked up five fouls, including a technical, while being held to six points in 33 minutes.
“It’s just two good guys going out there hard,” O’Neal said of his battle with Howard. “I just wish we had the opportunity to play.”
O’Neal scored his only two points seconds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. His 13 minutes were by far the fewest in any of the 63 games in which he’s fouled out in his career.