CLEVELAND — Shaquille O’Neal’s practice absence Monday was simply a misunderstanding and the big man said he apologized to the Big Three for the confusion.
Following Friday’s win over Toronto, O’Neal said he read on the team’s message board in the locker room that the flight to Cleveland was at 3 p.m. But written above it for most of the postgame was “Practice Noon.” something O’Neal said he did not see on the grease board.
“It was a miscommunication,” he said. “The only thing I saw on the board was flight at 3. That’s all. I never miss practice. It was a miscommunication.”
Rivers said O’Neal will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Cavaliers.
“That’s OK, I’ll take my fine like a man and we move on,” he said. “It ain’t nothing. I never missed practice. The last thing I saw on the board was two days off and then a flight at 3. I just got some extra rest. So it’s all good.”
O’Neal said he reached out to Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.
“I apologized to the Big Three but not anyone else,” he said. “I just apologized to the generals whom I’m consulting. It’s not a big thing. It’s not like I’m one of those players who said (forget) it, I’m not coming to practice today. But it won’t happen again.”