MIAMI -- The losses have been adding up for the Miami Heat
Now, so are the injuries.
O'Neal, who played in each of Miami's first 29 games, has sore
hips along with a sore thigh that he's battled all season; Williams
has left knee tendinitis.
"Sometimes you just get smacked in the face with injuries and
you've just got to deal with it for three or four games and then
hope your guys get back and get back on track," said Heat coach
Pat Riley, whose team entered Friday with an 8-21 record, the worst
in the Eastern Conference.
Miami had only 10 players in uniform Friday, giving center Earl Barron his first career start.
And none of those were a true point guard, either, so -- perhaps
out of nothing more than desperation -- Riley even summoned point
guard Smush Parker, who hasn't played in a month after a
confrontation with a female valet parking attendant.
Parker has remained on the inactive list, collecting nearly
$27,000 per game.
"It really has to do with the market," Riley said. "I'm going
to be very honest with you. We've been trying to trade him. So if
it doesn't work, he comes back and plays."
Parker was not with the team Friday, missing his 17th straight
game since the parking incident.
He, point guard Chris Quinn (left ankle) and center Alonzo
Mourning (season-ending knee injury) were inactive against the
Magic, while O'Neal and Williams were simply out of uniform.
O'Neal, Quinn and Williams all will likely miss Saturday's game
in Washington as well, with none of them expected to even travel
with the Heat. O'Neal -- who has missed an average of 20 games over
the past six full seasons -- aggravated the hip problem by diving
for a loose ball last week against Utah.
"Shaq could be day-to-day," Riley said. "We hope to have
Chris back in a couple of days and J-Will in a couple of days."
The Parker situation will undoubtedly last a bit longer.
On Nov. 27, Parker was leaving a condo a few blocks from the
arena and asked for his car. He told attendants he paid the $12
valet fee, plus tip, the night before.
Those at the valet stand in the morning had no record of
payment. An argument ensued, Parker missed that night's game
against Charlotte and has remained inactive since.
"It's time to reassess that whole thing," Riley said. "But it
Under league rules, a team can essentially put players on the
inactive list for any reason. The Heat have 15 players on the
roster; only 12 may be in uniform for each game.
Parker has a $2.4 million player option for next season.