Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Heat, Hawks to replay end of game, but can new players go?
ATLANTA -- Shaquille O'Neal is leaving some unfinished
business behind in Atlanta as he heads to Phoenix.
The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat must replay the final 51.9
seconds of their Dec. 19 game in Atlanta on March 8, but now O'Neal
won't be with Miami for the game.
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
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
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.