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Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

NBA notebook: Shaq helps police to arrest man on South Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Shaquille O'Neal provided an assist to police over the weekend, alerting an arresting officer after trailing a man who allegedly assaulted a gay couple.

The 7-foot-1 Miami Heat center, who is in the process of becoming a Miami Beach reserve officer, was driving on South Beach around 3 a.m. Sunday. O'Neal saw a passenger in a car yell anti-gay slurs at the couple, who were walking, said Bobby Hernandez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department.

The man got out of the car and threw a bottle, hitting one of the pedestrians, who was not seriously injured. The man got back in the car, which sped away. O'Neal followed, flagging down an officer who made an arrest, Hernandez said.

Michael Gonzalez, 18, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon. The driver of the car Gonzalez allegedly was in was not charged.

The 33-year-old O'Neal, who hopes to be a police chief or county sheriff one day, already was being fitted for his Miami Beach police uniform before he helped the police.

"For this incident, I don't want to be credited as an individual who does police work," O'Neal said in a statement. "I want to be credited as a Miami Beach police officer."

May has surgery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Bobcats forward Sean May had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and will not be ready to play when training camp begins next month.

May, who helped North Carolina win the NCAA championship this year and was selected 13th in the draft, is expected to be ready in time for Charlotte's season opener Nov. 2.

"We are fortunate that this was a minor injury and caught early," said Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff, a former Sonics coach. "Sean has a great work ethic and we know he will work extremely hard to be back to 100 percent when the regular season begins."

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May played for the Bobcats' summer-league team and was the most valuable player of the Rocky Mountain Revue, averaging 16.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in six games.

He had the surgery in Santa Monica, Calif., to remove damaged cartilage in his knee.

"I am committed to doing whatever I have to do to be back on the court as quickly as possible because I am so excited to start my NBA career and to help the Charlotte Bobcats grow," May said. "I feel I am in the best shape of my life and this will not keep me down."

May, 21, is the son of former NBA player Scott May, who played college ball at Indiana and was the second player drafted in 1976. Houston made Maryland guard John Lucas the first pick that year.

Notes

• Ray Allen of the Sonics is among 15 current or former NBA and WNBA players teaming with the TV game show "Wheel of Fortune" to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The players are scheduled to tape tomorrow for shows airing from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

The players will compete for their favorite charities and for the Red Cross, with a minimum of $100,000 of their winnings going to help hurricane-relief efforts.

• A judge in Indiana acquitted Minnesota Timberwolves center Michael Olowokandi of misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct at a downtown nightclub last fall.

Olowokandi was arrested Nov. 25 after he refused to leave Tiki Bob's and was subdued by police with a stun gun. He was held overnight in jail and released in the morning, and the team suspended him for its game against the Indiana Pacers that night and its next game against Memphis for "conduct detrimental to the team."

Olowokandi, 30, said he was trying to retrieve a sweat shirt from the nightclub. He was acquitted by Judge William Nelson in a bench trial in Marion Superior Court on Monday.

• The Denver Nuggets re-signed guard DerMarr Johnson, 25.

The Nuggets hired former Sonics scout Mark Warkentien as director of player personnel. Warkentien's most recent job was director of player personnel for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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