O'Neal fought foul trouble throughout the Lakers' 102-85 loss to Sacramento, finishing with just 10 points and five rebounds. A group interview session in the Lakers' locker room was breaking up when O'Neal made a profane response to a final question, asking him to clarify an earlier statement about the Kings' play.
"Not impressed, not impressed," he said. "Not (expletive) impressed, you know what I mean?"
At least one TV station was showing the interview live.
On Feb. 1 in Toronto, O'Neal used two profanities while criticizing the referees in a post-game interview with a Los Angeles TV station. O'Neal later issued a statement of apology, but he was suspended without pay for one game, costing the center about $295,000.
The Lakers were outraged by the suspension, with coach Phil Jackson saying, "The league is known for its vindictiveness." The team was infuriated again when Houston's Steve Francis received only a $25,000 fine after using a profanity during a halftime interview at a nationally-televised game in Sacramento on March 21.
O'Neal's latest profanity wasn't directed at the referees, which might mitigate the league's response.
The Lakers have just two games remaining: at home against Golden State on Tuesday, followed by a road game at Portland on Wednesday. After losing to the Kings, Los Angeles seems likely to finish with the Western Conference's fourth-best record regardless of the outcomes.
Shaq has courted controversy before. Last season, Shaq apologized for comments about Rockets center Yao Ming.
On June 28, 2002, Shaq said to "Tell Yao Ming, 'Ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh,'" which was accompanied with approximated kung-fu moves.
"If I offended anyone, I'm sorry," Shaq said.