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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 21:50 GMT 22:50 UK
O'Neal signs five-year Heat deal
Shaquille O'Neal
The Miami Heat have re-signed Shaquille O'Neal to a five-year contract worth a reported 56.5m.

The Miami Herald said the centre, 33, opted out of his previous deal - which had one year left worth 17.3m - in order to sign the new contract.

O'Neal averaged 22.9 points and 10.4 rebounds in his first season in Miami.

"We have been able to secure one of the most dominant men to ever play the game of basketball as a member of the Heat," said club president Pat Riley.

"At the same time, we have gained flexibility to achieve our ultimate goal of winning an NBA championship."

The 7ft 1in, 325-pound centre was traded to Miami from the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of last season.

He was a huge success in his first year with the Heat, finishing second in the voting for the Most Valuable Player award.

O'Neal helped lead Miami to the Eastern Conference finals before losing 4-3 to Detroit.

The three-time NBA champion has averaged 26.7 points and 12 rebounds over the course of his 13-year career.





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