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View Full Version : Jermaine O'Neal on the trade rumours and family (SI.com)



SwissExpress
02-23-2006, 11:54 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/marty_burns/02/22/trade.rumors/index.html

Players are human too

Trade rumors weigh heavily on players' minds

Posted: Wednesday February 22, 2006 12:48PM; Updated: Wednesday February 22, 2006 4:00PM

Imagine being in your office one day when a co-worker pops in with some news.
"Hey, I just talked to Fred down in the mailroom. He said he heard from Bill in accounting that you're being transferred to the Houston office," the co-worker tells you. "Man, you better get yourself a cowboy hat!"
For most people, this would be a bit of a shock. For NBA players, it's part of the daily routine at this time of the year.
With Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline fast approaching, dozens of players around the league are nervously wondering where they might be playing next.
Steve Francis, Earl Watson and Ben Gordon are just a few who have recently admitted to being affected by hearing their names mentioned in trade rumors.
While most players understand it's part of the job -- and that they are well compensated for the trouble -- it doesn't make it any easier. No matter how much money you make, it's no fun to have somebody tell you where to live.
"It's hard because most guys have families, maybe kids in school," says Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal. "You have a foundation in place. When you hear you might be traded, it can be a hard thing to deal with. [It] does affect our families, especially the kids.
"A lot of fans don't really think about that. They only think about the actual basketball part. Wins and losses. They don't think about how we do have families, that we do bleed. It's almost like our lives are superficial or something. Like we're not human. They don't expect us to be sad about [it] or be disappointed."
O'Neal knows firsthand how tough it can be. When he got traded from Portland to Indiana six years ago, his wife was finishing school, so she couldn't move with him, and their daughter was a newborn. "I probably saw my daughter four times all year [that first season]," O'Neal says. "It was hard on me mentally."
Players and agents, in fact, say the turmoil for an NBA player involved in trade talks can be quite extreme. A wife might have to quit her job. A kid might have to leave school and friends. A brand-new dream home might have to be put on the market.
In this day of sports talk radio and Internet chat rooms, meanwhile, it is almost impossible to insulate families from the daily swirl of trade rumors. O'Neal says his wife recently came to him after seeing a picture on the Internet showing him in a Bulls jersey. He had to explain to her that it was just a rumor, that they probably wouldn't have to pack their bags again.

"If your kid hears at school that he's going to have to move and say goodbye to his friends, he's going to be affected," says agent Jeff Fried, who represents Francis and several other players. "It doesn't matter how much money his dad might have in the bank account."
Not surprisingly, the turmoil can extend to a player's job performance. Players are human beings. They might like living in a certain city. They might like certain teammates, coaches or styles of play. They spend so much time traveling and practicing together that the mere thought of being removed from the team can lead to sleepless nights.


"Sometimes it seems like people almost go out of their way to tell a guy he's the subject of trade rumors," Sonics guard Ray Allen says. "But most guys don't want to hear that. You might be in an arena getting ready to play a game, and they'll tell you you're about to get traded clear across the country."
Adds Pistons coach Flip Saunders, "It does affect some guys. As a coach, you try to talk to them.... It's part of the business. I tell [my players] they're lucky they're not in the CBA. We used to go through 42 players in a year.... But there's no question that after the trading deadline, a lot of teams have a tendency to settle into things and players settle down."
Changes to the NBA's trade rules over the past decade have exacerbated the situation, leading to an increase in the number of players, especially the younger and lesser-paid ones, being discussed in deals. O'Neal believes some of his Pacers teammates were distracted during last month's long Ron Artest saga. "They were all wondering if they were going to be included to make the salaries match up," he says.
Meanwhile, the Web has spawned a 24-hours-a-day source of trade rumors. Even if players shouldn't believe 95 percent of the stuff they hear, they often can't help it -- especially the younger ones. Bulls GM John Paxson recently went out of his way to talk to Gordon after the second-year guard expressed some concern over a report that had him headed to Boston for Celtics guard Paul Pierce.
The problem for NBA teams is when players don't express their fears and instead choose to brood. The NBA is a macho culture. Most players won't admit to being bothered by trade talk. Yet carrying those fears can lead some to go into a shell. "I was once told that what you can't control, you can't worry about," Mavs guard Jason Terry says. "That's how I approach it, and I still feel that way. But some guys don't have the mental capacity to be strong enough. It gets them distracted."
"Players shouldn't worry about things you can't control," adds Pierce. "People make up rumors about you not even related to basketball. You just gotta deal with it. If you're in the limelight, you're going to be a target. It's part of the business."
Players aren't saying they want any sympathy. They know that regular people in regular jobs -- business executives, military people, etc. -- get transferred all the time. They just wish fans would be a little more understanding if their favorite players' thoughts might be elsewhere on occasion during this time of year.
"The first thing a fan thinks [when he hears about a trade] is, Who are we getting?" Allen says. "To them it's just like moving pieces on a chess board. They don't think about the impact it might have on [a player's] whole support structure."
NBA coaches certainly understand. That's why they all will be glad at 3 p.m. Thursday, when the deadline passes and there can be no more trade distractions for the rest of the season.

ChicagoJ
02-23-2006, 11:58 AM
I'll give you a couple minutes to clean it up. No html or code. Add a link.

Roy Munson
02-23-2006, 12:09 PM
Well, I suppose if it's so bad, Jermaine could pursue a different line of work. If he got a job at McDonalds he wouldn't have to worry about uprooting his family and moving to another city.

Raskolnikov
02-23-2006, 12:10 PM
Nice read.

Raskolnikov
02-23-2006, 12:11 PM
Well, I suppose if it's so bad, Jermaine could pursue a different line of work. If he got a job at McDonalds he wouldn't have to worry about uprooting his family and moving to another city.
:unimpress

dannyboy
02-23-2006, 12:11 PM
Contrary to popular belief, you are NOT required to own a cowboy hat to live in Texas. :banghead:

SwissExpress
02-23-2006, 12:13 PM
Sorry, I thought I had it clean. Looks like I missed a lot.

I won't have time for a link now, but it's easy to find it on SI.com bball frontpage.

Ragnar
02-23-2006, 12:23 PM
I think the Pacers would be stupid to trade J.O. for Bosh FWIW.

Blaming Jermaine for Rick's coaching is unfair to him. Jermaine does anything they ask him to do. They ask him to bulk up and play center he does it, when Isiah was here he was suposed to get rebounds and run back on offense and he did it. Make Rick design plays for the players we have dont trade good players with skill for players with potential.

ChicagoJ
02-23-2006, 12:37 PM
It is not a matter of whether or not it is easy to find, it is an IP issue.

Please add it soon.

SwissExpress
02-23-2006, 12:48 PM
It is not a matter of whether or not it is easy to find, it is an IP issue.

Please add it soon.

Sure.

PS: I'm not sure about US intelectual property law, but in many countries it does not matter whether you provide an exact link or some other reasonable instructions on how to find and identify a source. I think US requirement should be similar, though I cannot say for sure.

Lithfan
02-23-2006, 01:03 PM
It is not a matter of whether or not it is easy to find, it is an IP issue.

Please add it soon.

Excuse me for interrupting here, but why this hostility?

There are different ways to aks for a link.

Being more time on PD doesn't give you right to be obnoxious.

RWB
02-23-2006, 01:13 PM
Excuse me for interrupting here, but why this hostility?

There are different ways to aks for a link.

Being more time on PD doesn't give you right to be obnoxious.


I guess Please has a different meaning in other parts of the world.

You have to understand Lithfan. There are certain parameters all PD members have to follow to keep our hosts (Able and Hicks) out of trouble. Otherwise this beloved site gets shut down.

Hope you understand now. Jay was not being rude, but rather very cautious and exactly the way it should have been handled.

Lithfan
02-23-2006, 01:20 PM
I guess Please has a different meaning in other parts of the world.

You have to understand Lithfan. There are certain parameters all PD members have to follow to keep our hosts (Able and Hicks) out of trouble. Otherwise this beloved site gets shut down.

Hope you understand now. Jay was not being rude, but rather very cautious and exactly the way it should have been handled.

Rules are rules and it's OK but this:


I'll give you a couple minutes to clean it up. No html or code. Add a link.

Sounds obnoxious and patronising, no matter where you are from.

RWB
02-23-2006, 01:33 PM
Lithfan, trust me, in no way was Jay trying to be rude with Swiss. Actually he could have just removed the thread completely, but instead saw the worthiness of the content and just asked Swiss to comply. Which he did.

Los Angeles
02-23-2006, 01:39 PM
I only see one poster in this thread being obnoxious, and it isn't Jay.

Maybe this is a cultural translation thing.

:whoknows:

18to88
02-23-2006, 01:45 PM
I agree with Lithfan, he was kind of bossy and rude about it.

RWB
02-23-2006, 01:57 PM
I agree with Lithfan, he was kind of bossy and rude about it.

Wow, I just didn't see it that way. :blush:

Anyway this is what it boiled down too.

2. On Posting Articles From Other Sites:

I like to emphasise that when posting articles from newspaper sites, or other sites in general as a rule you will have to:

A. make sure the source and the author are mentioned, B. make sure there is a "linkback" to the article in question

Failing to do so will result in removal of the post in question.

This is not a power syndrom, this has to do with rights (IP and other) and obligations you face when doing this. It is allowed (more or less) to post the articles under several laws, however we can never prove our case if we do not mention sources, at that moment in time (no sources) it becomes simply theft of IP rights.

Please protect the people who run this site.

18to88
02-23-2006, 01:59 PM
I bet SI wouldn't go after him. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they don't have someone monitoring this message board.

RWB
02-23-2006, 02:01 PM
I bet SI wouldn't go after him. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they don't have someone monitoring this message board.

Monitoring this board? Yeah, I would agree, but don't be mistaken in thinking people can and do find out.

SwissExpress
02-23-2006, 02:08 PM
I know Jay as the big Saras and Europe hater from his posts, so I kind of expect him being rude and nasty:) I'm joking.

Now to be serious, once again I'm sorry for not giving the link at the moment and leaving some advertisements in it - I had the article opened in a window with no address line at that time, and was a bit concerned about other things.

I did not get offended by Jay's words.

However, thank you, Lithfan and 18to88, for support, and thank you RWB for posting the link for the time being!

Bball
02-23-2006, 02:22 PM
Trading is a fact of life in the NBA and the players are paid very well to have to deal with that fact.

Some are paid very, very, very well...

IOW... it comes with the territory. It doesn't mean you have to like it, but it is what it is and you are compensated well to deal with it.

-Bball

Pacesetter
02-23-2006, 03:00 PM
JO is right as usual! :)

ChicagoJ
02-23-2006, 03:05 PM
a) We've got rules and they've got to be followed 100% of the time on stuff like this.

b) Others mods would have deleted this thread without even providing an opportunity to clean it up. I guess next time I'll just delete the thread instead. :shrug:

c) Sorry, but I was in the office working on a report until 1am last night, and didn't really have much time to reply on here but I wanted to make sure this got cleaned up instead of deleted. So if I sounded cranky then I apologize.

d) Not that you care, but I do a lot of Intellectual Property valuation in my day (and night) job. Protecting the publisher's rights is a big deal around here, probably moreso than any other country. Perhaps we are erroring on the side of caution, but that's the way we've decided to do it.

By the way, SwissExpress, that was a nice article so thanks for posting and thanks for cleaning it up.

Now, can we go back to discussing the article?

ChicagoJ
02-23-2006, 03:17 PM
I bet SI wouldn't go after him. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they don't have someone monitoring this message board.

SI? - I don't know.

Go after him? No. Us/ the site? Yes.

Was this an article from the "premium" section of their site? I don't know. I can't even keep track of who has "premium" content and who doesn't anymore.

But you better believe that the companies who publish "premium" articles and charge subscriptions want to make sure their property/ content is not being used improperly.

The last thing we, as a volunteer/ free site, want is to get a cease-and-decist order from a big corporation with lots of money that wants to protect its property. And yes, it happens all the time.

able
02-23-2006, 04:27 PM
Jay has shown great patience here, and posture, my patience has long been exhausted, had I seen it, it would have been deleted.

If you read the rules you will know that it is not a matter of asking but telling, like it or leave it.

And yes, A: they monitor and have special tools for that specially if you leave cookies and links to their site in the source
and B: there are laws allowing me to partly or wohle publish the article however not without source, as the IP rights are recognized by us to begin with, henceforth.

And as I said before, you are not paying my lawyers to solve the matter should it arise, nor are you paying a possible settlement or court decision I might face (or Hicks for that matter but lately the law has been swinging heavily against the hosts instead of the site owner) so in the end I do not really care what people think of the rule.

Lithfan
02-23-2006, 06:01 PM
Now to the topic of this thread. :laugh:

Here is what one wise man said

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/fan_blog.html



Feb. 23, 2006
Subject: Think Before You Speak

I was reading about the plight of Jermaine O’Neal and other NBA players who suffer through the draft rumor season and can only say one thing: Give me a break! I’ve been in the Army for nine years. I have a 4-year-old son who sometimes cries for the friends he left behind when I was reassigned from Italy to Arizona. I’ve lost touch with friends scattered all over the world and I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve never deployed to a battle zone where you are away from your family living in the shadow of war. The men and women serving in battle zones throughout the world miss their kids too but you rarely hear them complaining about it because like NBA players, they signed a contract saying that is what they would do. I’ll never make as much in my lifetime as Jermaine O’Neal makes in a season but I’ve already spent more time in places I don’t want to be in far worse conditions than he. I understand that NBA players are human too but look at the big picture. J.O., I think you’re an awesome player and even more awesome person because of your contributions off the court but think before you speak because the whole world is listening.

- Bill in Auburn, Ind.

fifo
02-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Now to the topic of this thread. :laugh:

Here is what one wise man said

http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/fan_blog.html

I've been in the army, and trust me - they complain just like anyone else..
It sucks not to see your wife & kids.

Raskolnikov
02-23-2006, 06:20 PM
I've been in the army, and trust me - they complain just like anyone else..
It sucks not to see your wife & kids.
I wanted to make a comment on this as well but could not find the right words. You said about what I had in my mind.

Thank you!

Pacesetter
02-23-2006, 07:55 PM
I'm very surprised that pacers.com published this on the website.

IMO, "Bill" chose his line of duty as did JO. No one forced him to serve in the US Army, last time I checked we hadn't instituted a draft. Secondly, What JO makes is irrelevant, unless the man wants to compare what kind of talent it takes to make it into each respective profession (take nothing away from the selflessness necessary for soliderhood). Lastly, small children only know the grief they feel when they leave their friends because they have to be uprooted to move to a new community. Small children do not think, "Daddy makes millions so I can do without my friend." I was a bit disappointed that pacers.com let that blog stand because it was a slap in the face to JO. I sensed JO was just expressing a human need to have stability in the home environment without the fear of upheaval to a new locale. However, making the millions JO makes, probably makes the transition a little easier than "2 hots and a cot!"

:grinyes:

SwissExpress
02-23-2006, 08:02 PM
Jay has shown great patience here, and posture, my patience has long been exhausted, had I seen it, it would have been deleted.


I really appreciate the way Jay reacted.

As regards the topic, I'm starting to like Jermaine's interviews. I used to skip his interwies before - probably I adopted a bit biased attitude when he started to talk of racism so often. But now I'm starting to like what he says. It's sometimes hard to agree with him, but he does speak very frankly, does not use standard statements too often and has eloquence for a basketball player.