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Lakers O'Neal Suspended for Fighting - 2002-01-15

The National Basketball Association is suspending three players, including Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal, for a fight last Saturday night during a game between the Lakers and the Chicago Bulls.

O'Neal drew a three-game suspension and a $15,000 fine for throwing a punch and fighting with Chicago Bulls' player Brad Miller Saturday. Miller has been suspended for one game and will pay a $7,500 fine. The 154 kilogram O'Neal threw one punch that just missed Miller's head.

At practice in Chicago Monday, Miller said he feels lucky. "I saw the film," he said, "and I think I probably would not be here right now. I would have been laid up with a big migraine [headache] if that [punch] would have connected, best-case scenario."

It was Miller's flagrant foul against O'Neal that touched off the fight in Saturday's game, which Chicago won in overtime. Chicago Bull Charles Oakley was suspended as well, for two games, and fined $10,000.

O'Neal will lose about $800,000 in salary. He is eligible to play again January 22.