Shaquille O’Neal Fined $35,000 for Criticizing Official

Shaquille O'Neal has been around for a little while, so he probably wasn't all that surprised to find a $35,000 waiting for him on Monday.

That's what he got, according to several reports Monday, for criticizing referee Bob Delaney following the Celtics' 86-78 loss in Orlando on Christmas Day.

"I guess they came out to see No. 26 today," O'Neal said on Saturday, regarding the fans' seeing more of Delaney than Shaq's matchup with Dwight Howard. … [The fans] paid all that money to watch No. 26 play. If I was a fan, I would be pissed. You pay all that money for good seats, you have two of the best guys in the [NBA] sitting on the bench, out of the game. That is what happens when you have control freaks out there."

O'Neal fouled out in just 13 minutes, scoring two points and recording one rebound in the game.

Normally, $35,000 wouldn't cause O'Neal to bat an eyelash, but with the 38-year-old earning $1.35 million this year, the fine represents a rather significant portion of his salary.

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