LOS ANGELES — The Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal left Sacramento with a spoiled souvenir of his 20,000th career point — someone scribbled an insulting expletive on the ball used when he reached the milestone.
The unknown culprit apparently got to that game ball sometime after Lakers public relations director John Black had grabbed it just before halftime of the rival Kings' 107-99 victory over Los Angeles on Thursday night.
O'Neal, booed by the Sacramento crowd at halftime when his accomplishment was announced, said he hoped no one connected with the Kings' organization was responsible.
"History was made last night. You can't take that away from me," said O'Neal, the 28th player in NBA history to reach the plateau. "I hope the Maloof family (Kings' owners Gavin and Joe Maloof) doesn't condone this kind of action.
"I will not hold the city of Sacramento responsible, but whoever did this shows no class. I'm not mad at all. I know the Maloofs allow a lot of stuff. If they do condone this, I'll be very disappointed in that organization."
At least for O'Neal, the vandalism added fuel to what already is a heated rivalry between the Pacific Division foes.
"This is one thing I won't forget, and I'll see you soon," O'Neal said.
The Kings are at the Lakers on April 10.
Black said the Lakers sent the ball back to the Kings.