Star still not cleared to play

Originally Published: December 4, 2004
Associated Press

Indiana Pacers: Jermaine O'Neal practiced with Indiana on Monday for the first time since being suspended for fighting with Detroit fans during the Pacers-Pistons brawl on Nov. 19.

Jermaine O'Neal
O'Neal

O'Neal did not speak with the media. NBA commissioner David Stern suspended the All-Star for 25 games after the ugly brawl with Pistons fans, who threw drinks, popcorn, a chair and other debris at the Pacers.

Ron Artest was suspended for the season and Stephen Jackson got 30 games for going into the stands to fight.

Stern said O'Neal's punishment was less because he never made it into the seats. O'Neal did punch at least one fan who came onto the court during the melee.

Coming off their first four-game losing streak in more than a year, the Pacers were relieved to see their leader back on the court, even if he won't be able to play for another 17 games.

The players' union is appealing the suspensions. Arbitrator Roger Kaplan will preside over the grievance hearing Thursday and Friday at a Manhattan law office.

"It was good just to see him here," center Jeff Foster said. "Those three guys -- Ron, Stephen and him -- are going through a tough stretch and hopefully their suspensions all get reduced and we'll see him out here sooner rather than later."

Boston Celtics: Celtics longtime play-by-play television broadcaster Mike Gorman was taken to the hospital Monday night at halftime of Boston's game against Golden State with complaints of stomach cramps.

Gorman felt sick before the game and was lying down in the Celtics locker room, where he was examined by Boston team doctors.

He was sent to the hospital for tests, Celtics spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz said.

Gorman is in his 23rd straight season as the TV voice of the Celtics on Fox Sports Net. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Orlando Magic: Center Tony Battie was suspended for one game without pay by the NBA on Monday for elbowing Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol in the head.

Battie was called for a flagrant foul midway through the first quarter of Orlando's 96-91 victory on Saturday.

He was to serve the suspension during Monday night's game at Denver.

Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks signed free-agent guard Kendall Gill on Monday and placed center Daniel Santiago on the injured list because of an eye injury.

Gill was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 draft. He's averaged 13.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 952 NBA games.

He will join the Bucks when the team travels to Indiana on Tuesday night. Terms of the contract were not released.

Santiago has missed three games after scratching a cornea in practice on Nov. 29. He averaged 1.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in four games this season.

Utah Jazz: The Jazz activated point guard Raul Lopez from the injured list Monday and replaced him with Keith McLeod.

Lopez has been on the injured list since Nov. 1 and had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee the next day. He also missed the entire preseason with the injury.

Lopez was not available for Utah's game against the Miami Heat on Monday night.

McLeod, a second-year player who made the team in training camp while Lopez was out, has missed the last three games with a groin strain. He will miss at least the next five games.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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