Shaq not upset Lakers missed playoffs

Updated: May 5, 2005, 7:58 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- Nearly a year after the trade, the verbal jousting between Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers is still going strong.

Shaquille O'Neal
Center
Miami Heat
Profile
2004-2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
73 22.9 10.4 2.7 .601 .461

One day after Lakers owner Jerry Buss said O'Neal found motivation for losing weight only after being traded by Los Angeles to Miami, the Heat's All-Star center took issue with the remark.

"I didn't need motivation," O'Neal said. "I needed a real owner. ... I needed a real owner like Micky Arison. You can quote me on it."

Buss also said he doesn't regret trading O'Neal to Miami.

"And I don't regret him losing money and his not making the playoffs," O'Neal said.

On Wednesday, Buss said O'Neal was not willing to get into shape when he played for the Lakers. O'Neal, who played at an estimated 370 pounds during his final season in Los Angeles, is down to about 325 in Miami.

"It seems that the motivation for him to lose weight was to trade him," Buss said Wednesday. "I suspect if I knew he was going to lose 60 pounds, I might have made a different decision."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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