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  • Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

    Shaquille O'Neal arrives at a Sacramento Kings game against Denver’s Nuggets. O’Neal joined Vivek Ranadive’s ownership team when the software exec bought the Kings.

  • Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

    Shaquille O'Neal is all smiles during a press conference before the start of the Sacramento Kings game against the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena on opening night on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

Poll

What's your take on the incident involving Shaquille O'Neal?

Leading Off: Is Shaq being targeted because he’s famous?

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 25, 2014 - 9:05 pm
Last Modified: Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 - 9:14 am

Shaquille O’Neal’s name was all over the Internet on Tuesday – and certainly not in a good way.

O’Neal – part-owner of the Kings, NBA studio analyst for TNT and 15-time All-Star – is being investigated by Atlanta police in connection with an alleged assault of a co-worker at Turner Studios. According to the police report, Robert Williams, 44, said on May 9, 2013, O’Neal “ran out of a room and hit me with a tackle punch to the back knocking me down and falling on top of me injuring my neck and back.”

“This was nothing more than horseplay,” O’Neal’s attorney, Dennis Roach, said in a statement. “No one intended for anyone to get injured.”

Williams’ attorney said his client has “permanent injuries” and that he is recovering from surgery.

We don’t know what happened, but we are curious why the incident has just now become public, nearly a year later.

Is this another case of he-said, he-said?

Was O’Neal, 42, just goofing around, not realizing his size – he was listed at 7-foot-1 and 324 pounds as a player – might be too much for Williams?

Or is Williams looking for a large settlement from the deep-pocketed O’Neal?

Professional athletes and celebrities – and O’Neal clearly has transitioned – are in the spotlight and targets for claims, both justified and unjustified.

If O’Neal caused the injury, no matter how inadvertent, we figure he would have offered to cover medical expenses.

Perhaps his offer wasn’t high enough?

– Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to do

NBA, New York at Kings, 7 p.m., Sleep Train Arena: It’s the final home game before three road games in four nights starting Friday.


Today’s poll

What’s your take on the incident involving Shaquille O’Neal?

• It was simply horseplay.

• He’s too big to act that way.

• He’s too old to act that way.

• Assault is assault, no matter the intent.

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports


Tuesday’s results

Which team will leave Oakland first ?

• A’s: 19%

• Raiders: 52%

• Warriors: 29%

Total votes: 209

Read more articles by Tom Couzens



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