The family of the late George Mikan accepted Heat C Shaquille O'Neal's Thursday night offer on national television to pay for Mikan's funeral, O'Neal said yesterday, adding that "everything's going to be handled."

Mikan's family contacted the Heat's front office after O'Neal made the offer while being interviewed by a TNT reporter, saying after the game he heard Mikan's family was struggling to pay the bills. O'Neal and Mikan had met several times and O'Neal described Mikan as a big influence on him.

"If the Mikan family is watching, please contact the Heat office because I'd like to pay for his funeral," O'Neal told TNT. "I know who he was. I know what he did. Without George Mikan, there is no me."

* KARL SUSPENDED, TEAM FINED: Nuggets Coach George Karl was suspended three games and his team fined $200,000 by the NBA for violating draft rules. . . .

Pistons F Rasheed Wallace was fined $20,000 by the NBA for his public criticism of the officiating in a loss to Miami on Thursday night.

* FINLEY HAS SURGERY: Mavericks swingman Michael Finley had arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle, as doctors removed the bone chips that bothered him for most of the season.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports