O'Neal trade raises new questions for Heat-Hawks replay
ATLANTA -- Shaquille O'Neal is leaving some unfinished business behind in Atlanta as he heads to Phoenix.
O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. The deal sent four-time All-Star Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to Miami, and thus the new question: Will the two new Miami players be eligible for the replay of the end of the Dec. 19 game?
"The league doesn't know. They'll have to make a determination," Hawks general manager Billy Knight said Wednesday night.
The replay is necessary because the Hawks' official scorer ruled incorrectly that O'Neal fouled out of the game.
The Hawks won 117-111 in overtime. Play will start from the time after O'Neal's disputed sixth foul, with the Hawks leading 114-111.
Knight said NBA officials brought up the possibility of an O'Neal trade when they announced last month that the end of the game must be replayed. Knight said he was told be officials last month that a decision would have to be made about the eligibility of any new Miami players if there was a trade.
The Hawks also were fined $50,000, with commissioner David Stern ruling the team was "grossly negligent" in failing to address the mistake.
The protest is the first granted by the NBA since December 1982, when then-NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien upheld a request for a replay by the San Antonio Spurs after their 137-132 double-overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers the previous month.
The Spurs and Lakers finally finished the game in April 1983, with San Antonio winning 117-114.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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