Giant-sized basketball ace Shaquille O'Neal had the ideal cushion when he fell into the audience during yesterday's (15FEB04) ALLSTAR GAME - RUBEN STUDDARD's lap.

In the final minutes of the annual game, held at Los Angeles' STAPLES CENTER, 7-foot-1 (2.159 metres) O'Neal dribbled far beyond the centre stripe, threw down a one-handed drunk and tumbled into the front row of the crowd.

But luckily, the 340-pound (154 kilograms) baller landed in the lap of rotund American Idol victor Ruben Studdard, who shared a laugh with O'Neal after the potentially dangerous incident.

O'Neal, who won the Most Valuable Player Award, jokes, "I just want to let everybody know, I'm suing Ruben Studdard.

"When I got the dunk, I accidentally bumped him, and he had his hand on my a*s, and he wouldn't let me go. I'm suing you Ruben!"

O'Neal's WESTERN CONFERENCE beat the EASTERN CONFERENCE 136-132 during the game attended by a host of celebrities, including halftime performer Beyonce KNOWLES and her boyfriend Jay-Z, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington, ANDRE 3000, Ashton Kutcher, SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS, Naomi Campbell, Lennox Lewis, JACK NICHOLSON and LEONARDO DiCAPRIO and Gabrielle Union.

20/02/2004 02:47