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Mourning likely going to Miami

Associated Press

Alonzo Mourning was once the face of the Miami Heat, the cornerstone of the franchise, its absolute biggest star and the person who seemed destined to lead it to a championship.

Shaquille O’Neal fills those roles now.

Yet if Mourning returns – which seems virtually certain, probably not too long after he becomes a free agent today – O’Neal said the chemistry that’s helped carry the Heat to the top of the Eastern Conference won’t be affected in the least.

“It’s my job to make sure everybody gets on the same page,” O’Neal said Monday. “I’ll do that, because that’s what I do. I make everybody at ease, I make everybody else better. It’s not going to be a problem.”

Mourning, who agreed to a buyout with the Toronto Raptors on Friday for between $9 million and $10 million, will be free to sign with any team after 10 a.m. today. His plans to reunite with the Heat are no secret, although neither he nor his agent, Jeff Wechsler, are commenting publicly on their future plans.

Dr. Gerald Appel, the physician who performed Mourning’s kidney transplant in December 2003 and continues to monitor the seven-time All-Star’s health, also declined comment, saying he couldn’t discuss “these matters while negotiations are underway.”

Nets get Robinson from Warriors

The New Jersey Nets strengthened their front line Monday, acquiring forward Clifford Robinson from the Golden State Warriors for two second-round draft picks.

“Clifford is a veteran big man whose overall presence will provide depth to our front court,” Nets president Rod Thorn said.

Robinson has averaged 15.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 16 NBA seasons. This season, he averaged 8.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 42 games with Golden State, including 29 starts.

The Warriors will get the Clippers’ second-round draft pick this season, which the Nets acquired in the trade that sent Kerry Kittles to Los Angeles. Golden State also will get the Nets’ 2007 second-round pick and a trade exception equal to Robinson’s salary.

Randolph’s brother sentenced

A judge in Anderson, Ind., sentenced the brother of Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Randolph to three years in prison for his role in a nightclub shooting.

Madison Superior Court Judge Dennis Carroll sentenced Roger Randolph, 22, of Marion, Ind., on two counts of criminal recklessness as part of a plea agreement. Randolph pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 18.

Zach Randolph, a native of nearby Marion, was at the bar with his brother when the shootings happened on a dance floor after an argument, police said. He was questioned in the shootings, but not charged.

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