NBA -- Lakers Sign O'neal Raise Ticket Prices
ATLANTA - Shaquille O'Neal signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers today on the Dream Team's first full day at the Olympics.
O'Neal confirmed the move from the Orlando Magic to the Lakers at an afternoon news conference, several hours after the Lakers said they had signed one of the NBA's most dominant players.
"I am happy about this great deal and to be here," O'Neal said. "Orlando's a beautiful organization. They helped me become the great player I am today."
The Lakers also announced they have raised ticket prices. They sent a notice to season ticket holders last month about the increases, which include raising the cheapest seat price from $9.50 to $21.
O'Neal wanted to make it clear he had nothing against Orlando and its coach, Brian Hill.
"I want to thank all the players I played with there and I want everyone to know there's no feud between me and Brian Hill. I love him as a coach," said O'Neal, a free-agent after four years with the Magic.
MILLER'S OFFER AFFECTED
Reggie Miller confirmed yesterday that the Lakers were one of three teams that had made him an offer, but it would be pulled off the table if O'Neal decided to head for Hollywood.
That leaves Miller choosing between Indiana and Detroit.
ORLANDO RE-SIGNS GRANT
Orlando re-signed power forward Horace Grant to a $50 million, five-year contract.
Grant, a 31-year-old power forward, averaged 13.4 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Magic last season. He originally signed with the Magic as a free agent two years ago after a seven-year career in Chicago.
-- The Miami Heat and free-agent forward P.J. Brown agreed to contract terms today. Brown, 26, recently completed his third season with the New Jersey Nets. The defensive-minded forward started all 81 games last year, and averaged 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.
-- Bryant Stith, a free-agent guard, has decided to remain with the Denver Nuggets, although he said he had more lucrative offers. Stith, the Nuggets' captain, is close to signing a deal believed to be worth $22 million over five years.
-- The Dallas Mavericks added free-agent power forward Chris Gatling to their refurbished frontcourt with a five-year contract of undisclosed value. Gatling, who is 6-10, averaged 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game for Golden State and Miami last season. His .575 shooting average was second-best in the league.
-- Kenny Anderson will sign with the Portland Trail Blazers within a few days, The Oregonian reported today.
Anderson, 25, averaged 15.2 points and 8.3 assists last season for New Jersey and Charlotte.
But a Blazer spokesman said team president Bob Whitsitt was still looking for a replacement for point guard Rod Strickland, traded to Washington Monday in a deal for forward Rasheed Wallace.
The Oregonian also cited renewed reports the Blazers might be pursuing Isaiah Rider of Minnesota.
-- An NBA doctor confirmed that Brad Daugherty's lingering back problems won't improve enough for him to resume his career. Daugherty, 30, is the Cleveland Cavaliers' all-time leader in scoring, rebounds and free throws. He has been out for two years with back pain after surgery for herniated disks.
The prognosis would clear the way for the team to remove Daugherty's $5 million salary from its salary cap. The team will continue to pay Daugherty but expects the cost to be covered by insurance.
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