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Arbitrator Reduces Basketball Star O'Neal's Suspension


National Basketball Association star Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers has had his suspension reduced by an arbitrator, but the NBA might not recognize the ruling.

Arbitrator Roger Kaplan reduced O'Neal's 25-game suspension by 10 games, meaning he would be eligible to play Saturday against the league champion Detroit Pistons.

NBA Commissioner David Stern suspended O'Neal, Ron Artest and two of their Indiana teammates for their part in a November 19 brawl following a game in Detroit. The arbitrator did not change Artest's suspension, which has him off the court for the rest of the season.

It is not clear whether the NBA would recognize Kaplan's authority to rule on the case. The NBA did not comment on the ruling and league officials did not attend the December ninth arbitration hearing.

Two other Pacers players also appealed their suspensions: Stephen Jackson was banned for 30 games, and Anthony Johnson for five.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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