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Trader Joe
06-25-2008, 09:03 PM
Well, I knew this day was coming. The sig I have up now has been in my possesion for over a year lol. It was made when Vescey and Bucher told us JO would be a Laker. Now I know that JO has pulled out some strong emotions on both sides over the past year, but I think it is time to remember JO for the good things he did here.

A stand up citizen. A good role model on a team of bad role models. A guy that you could count on to work on his improve his game in anyway the team asked him (maybe this was his downfall.)

Now JO holds a special place for me. As JO grew up as a player, I grew up as a Pacer fan. My earliest memories of the Pacers are from when I was 4 or 5, and I would watch the team with my Dad and ask him who we were cheering for. He would always reply the blue team (you wouldn't believe my confusion when we started watching IU games as well, but I digress). Now I vividly remember the series with the Knicks. I remember losing to the Bulls in seven games. I remember crying like a baby after losing to the Lakers.

The first Pacer game I ever went to was the year the Pacers lost to the Nets in the first round. This was the game where the Pacers dominated, and I mean dominated from tip to finish. They won by something like 25+ points and I loved every minute of it. I became deeply attached to two players on that team that day, Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal. Reggie was still my favorite, but I knew that I would have two guys to look to when he was gone. Of course, Ron found a way to tear himself away from me as a fan, but JO never did. If anything as the years went by JO endeared himself even more to me.

It may have all culminated with the brawl. It was the second year I had season tickets, and I was very excited. I went to the season opener against the BUlls and man we did crush them. We just KILLED them. I was there with two of my friends because my Dad and Mom were in China adopting one of my sisters, and we were ecstatic. I'm not sure I've ever seen a finer basketball team play in person (Yeah, I know, I'm young). Everyone on that team knew their role and man they were something else to watch. Then the brawl happened. The season was tore asunder, and I was left with a broken basketball team. The one and only game my Dad got to see of that Pacers team was the Brawl.

I didn't really know what to think, and then that team fought and they fought. JO returned, Jack returned and somehow we made it into the playoffs. JO writing "Remember Why, #31" on his shoes, well it just got to me. Thats when I knew JO cared, that and when he made the left handed free throws after having his shoulder destroyed by Nene.
I knew JO cared about winning and losing. I knew he cared about his teammates, and I knew that more than anything he wanted deliver a championship to this city and to Reggie.

I was at the game where Tayshaun Prince blocked Reggie, and I was there the night Reggie's career ended. I don't know if I'll ever forget the events as that game wore down. The crowd knowing the end was near, Reggie probably feeling the same thing, and then the inevitable happened, Reggie Miller was taken out of a game for the final time in his Pacer and NBA career. As he walked to the bench I remember making a point to see what was happening on the court, Jack squatting down next to the block, and then I looked to JO, and I believe IIRC, he had already been taken out of the game. All I remember is I don't think I've ever seen a player more dejected, more devastated by what he was seeing.

I've hypothesized that not only did we lose Reggie that night, but we lost JO as well. At least the JO we knew on the court, he was still the same guy off of it, but on it his drive, his emotion they were kind of sucked out of him. I believe he poured so much emotionally into trying to get Reggie a ring, that when he failed (or at least I'll always think he thought he failed) he could hardly stand it, and I believe he personally felt like he let Reggie down.
I'm not sure if JO ever did recover from that night.

So, I say goodbye to JO, if you asked me now if my favorite PAcer was Reggie or JO, my answer would be simple, both. I can't choose, they are both my favorite Pacer of all time, but for different reasons. Its tough to put it into words really.
To me, JO will always be a Pacer. No matter where he goes from here on out, and I hope he kind of feels the same way. I'll miss him, and you can believe me there won't be one person in the world who will be rooting harder for JO to succeed in Toronto, except for when he plays the Pacers :D.

I say a sad goodbye to JO as a Pacer, but a warm hello to TJ Ford, and whoever we draft at #17. I hope this is a trade that will help both teams.

I guess I've rambled for a long time. Thank you JO. To me you are a true Pacer.

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/topstory/sports/oneal_jermaine0111.jpg

http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/50809344.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF1939847EC77F5F8D1CE0B75457563A320AB A40A659CEC4C8CB6

Kaufman
06-25-2008, 09:06 PM
He was a good guy but I'm not really sure he got out of the imposing shadow of Reggie Miller. I liked him, I think he was a good community guy, but never what I thought of when I thought of "Indiana Pacers". Nonetheless we wish him well - he played an important roll for us for a number of years.

Coop
06-25-2008, 09:08 PM
A+ post. Good luck JO and hopefully you can find that title somewhere down the road.

Oneal07
06-25-2008, 09:09 PM
Can you edit that and separate the paragraphs, it's hurting my eyes

tadscout
06-25-2008, 09:10 PM
He was a good guy but I'm not really sure he got out of the imposing shadow of Reggie Miller. I liked him, I think he was a good community guy, but never what I thought of when I thought of "Indiana Pacers". Nonetheless we wish him well - he played an important roll for us for a number of years.

Ditto :cheers:

ajbry
06-25-2008, 09:13 PM
Nice post.

Jermaine represented the Pacers and the city of Indianapolis very well. His body may have faltered in the past few years, but his desire has remained the same.

I wish him the best in Toronto and will be looking forward to catching some Raptors games on LP this year.

Shade
06-25-2008, 09:16 PM
I don't like this trade and I'm sad to see JO go. I never thought he'd get back to his prime form again, but I still felt we could have gotten a good deal for him next year if nothing else.

I wish JO nothing but the best in Toronto. I'll be rooting for him, even if he is a dirty Craptor now. ;)

duke dynamite
06-25-2008, 09:18 PM
http://a367.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/18/l_f5bca946a75bd1deddb3fdf744d08cae.jpg

Not the first time, but wasn't the last time.

idioteque
06-25-2008, 09:20 PM
I was never JO's biggest fan: I thought he blew a lot of hot air when he was here, but he did say that he wanted to be traded if he couldn't make the Pacers a contender, and he finally got his wish.

JO had some big games in the playoffs but he laid a few eggs as well. What I'll most remember about Jermaine is that he did really put forth a real effort to lead this team after the brawl and even though his body was probably starting to give him some trouble during that time, he competed fiercely.

JO probably would have been better off if he had played his finest years on a team in which there was a more clear cut #1 option, I think his ceiling really was the best #2 option in the league, a really good Pippen to a guy like LeBron or Kobe. In that case, I think he would have excelled quite well and that his body wouldn't have been so beat down. I think in his prime he's a much better #2 Pau Gasol when he's completely healthy, and certainly better in health than anyone sans LBJ on the Cleveland roster. Even when JO may not have franchise player talent, he does have franchise player leadership ability and enthusiasm to win. I've always thought if you actually put some non-convicts around him, he'd be a pretty good moral support guy for a team and he probably will be in his old NBA age for a championship team, at least I hope he is.

So long to JO, and best of luck in Toronto, where he can finally not be expected to contribute as a #1 option. I hope Chris Bosh frees up the paint for him a bit and he can get some of his swagger back.

I also am very thankful to the community work JO consistently did, he was out there in the community when everyone was calling the Pacers a bunch of thugs, a time in which the community service was overlooked by most of Indianapolis and had he not done it, people probably wouldn't have thought much worse of the Pacers. But it did make a difference to that girl he took to prom, and those kids whose lives he touched in other ways.

Good luck, JO, and while you drove me nuts sometimes as a Pacer, I will root for you wherever you go. Thanks for your time.

RomanGabriel
06-25-2008, 09:20 PM
I'm glad JO spent the bulk of his career with us. But he's far from done. The man is still only 29! I won't be surprised at all if Toronto wins the division just as they did a couple years ago. Especially if this rumored 'Sheed/Billups trade goes down with G State. Nonetheless, JO is a good guy and a good talent.

Oneal07
06-25-2008, 09:21 PM
I been a Pacer fan all my life also. . and it sucks to see him go, but for me personally, I'm happy I get to see him in Toronto. I'd rather have him here than in Cleveland. . a team I don't like to watch. While I may not be happy how Jermaine's career was over the last few years, I am glad that he and the Pacers are moving for a better future. Bosh and O'neal combo has been on my mind since Bosh came into the league and I'm ready to see it unfold infront of my eyes. I will still get league pass, cause I am a Pacer fan till I die, I need to see my team play, but as for the Raptors, they lost my interest last year, and now they have gained it back after this trade, cause simply, Jermaine is my favorite player, and he is something that the Raptors desperately need.

I'm happy for everybody. Now Draft night. . Hurry the hell up lol.

ChicagoJ
06-25-2008, 09:21 PM
JO is the most talented player the NBA Pacers have had.

He's also, because of circumstances beyond his control, not lived up to that potential once he signed the big contract.

He's been a disappointment, but its not his fault that he his knees couldn't handle the additional weight after he bulked up, Ron Artest was destroying team chemistry year after year, Stephen Jackson's selfishness, his bodyguard (Brad Miller) was traded away, his team suffered from unreliable guard play for most of his Pacers career (and let's be honest, Reggie Miller of 2000-2004 wasn't exactly Mr. Consistent, either), and a coach who envisioned him in a Shaq-like role who slowed the game to a crawl and exposed weaknesses in JO's game that weren't present in a more fluid, faster-paced offense.

What's he been is:

Outstanding community member
Hard working defender
For many years, willing to do what the team asked even if his individual performance/ numbers suffered

What he's also been:

Maligned for things he can't control: legitimate injuries (torn knee ligaments, separated shoulder, torn groin muscle), game plan, teammates that refused to follow his (or anyone's) leadership, unable to live up to the contract he earned.

The Raptors got the best overall player in this trade of injured players and expiring contracts. If his knee is truly healthy, which is a big if, then to get him for a backup PG and two expiring contracts is a Gasol-to-the-Lakers kind of steal. Let's put it this way, I'd rather be on the Bryan Coangelo side of a trade with Larry Bird.

:dunce:

I wish JO the best of luck, and truly hope he returns to health and puts the silly "JO is overrated" nonsense to rest. And if not, the Raptors just got our best single asset: taking $24 million off the books two years from now.

Unclebuck
06-25-2008, 09:24 PM
I don't have much time here. But I think I was one of the few that was extremely excited when I first heard that DD was traded for JO. I figured JO had star potential and he surely did.

I've also said that in my close to 30 years of following the Pacers that JO is the most talented Pacers ever. (oops, sorry J, I gues I stole your line)

My two problems with JO. he is injury prone. he was often a lazy player, failing to block out, failing to do a lot of the dirty work that players such as KG and TD often did for their teams.

But I wish JO the best and I hope he does have a couple of healthy season in Toronto

PacerFan31
06-25-2008, 09:24 PM
JO was not only a great role model on the floor he was great for the city and organization off the floor!

Thank you JO, and good luck in Toronto!!!

duke dynamite
06-25-2008, 09:25 PM
http://a827.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/35/l_0f814cf972313383907ec1e135bd0d72.jpg

Hicks
06-25-2008, 09:29 PM
I look forward to seeing him in a Pacer uniform this fall now that you've posted this before they physicals were given the "OK" by both sides. :-p

duke dynamite
06-25-2008, 09:30 PM
It will be alright, Hicks.

count55
06-25-2008, 09:32 PM
The story I like to think of with JO is this one:

In his first pre-season game here, he scored like 12 points and had 10 rebounds in a start. It was told that after the game, before he went to the locker room, he chased down Donnie Walsh, shook his hand, and thanked him for the opportunity.

Sure, there have been a lot of bumps in the road. No, JO didn't become the player and leader we all hoped (and paid) him to be.

On the whole, however, I think he was a decent guy who gave the Pacer fans some thrilling nights and nice representation in the All-Star game.

JO...I wish you luck and health. I hope both you and us can be happy with what is happening here in the future.

(BTW...Indy...if he fails his physical, it will be because of this thread, and we're all comin' to get ya.)

Shade
06-25-2008, 09:32 PM
JO is the most talented player the NBA Pacers have had.

He's also, because of circumstances beyond his control, not lived up to that potential once he signed the big contract.

He's been a disappointment, but its not his fault that he his knees couldn't handle the additional weight after he bulked up, Ron Artest was destroying team chemistry year after year, Stephen Jackson's selfishness, his bodyguard (Brad Miller) was traded away, his team suffered from unreliable guard play for most of his Pacers career (and let's be honest, Reggie Miller of 2000-2004 wasn't exactly Mr. Consistent, either), and a coach who envisioned him in a Shaq-like role who slowed the game to a crawl and exposed weaknesses in JO's game that weren't present in a more fluid, faster-paced offense.

What's he been is:

Outstanding community member
Hard working defender
For many years, willing to do what the team asked even if his individual performance/ numbers suffered

What he's also been:

Maligned for things he can't control: legitimate injuries (torn knee ligaments, separated shoulder, torn groin muscle), game plan, teammates that refused to follow his (or anyone's) leadership, unable to live up to the contract he earned.

The Raptors got the best overall player in this trade of injured players and expiring contracts. If his knee is truly healthy, which is a big if, then to get him for a backup PG and two expiring contracts is a Gasol-to-the-Lakers kind of steal. Let's put it this way, I'd rather be on the Bryan Coangelo side of a trade with Larry Bird.

:dunce:

I wish JO the best of luck, and truly hope he returns to health and puts the silly "JO is overrated" nonsense to rest. And if not, the Raptors just got our best single asset: taking $24 million off the books two years from now.

Yeah...

I'm just gonna go ahead and co-sign this post, because that pretty much covers my thoughts on everything.

Arcadian
06-25-2008, 09:33 PM
Good luck to JO. I hope he comes back healthy.

Trader Joe
06-25-2008, 09:35 PM
EDITOR's NOTE: Indy is in no way responsible for the results of Jermaine O'Neal's physical with the Toronto Raptors.

LG33
06-25-2008, 09:37 PM
He will not miss more than 10 games next season. And we will all be sorry that this trade happened.

rexnom
06-25-2008, 09:40 PM
I won't be sorry that this trade happened, even if Toronto wins the East. Toronto is a great place and I wish JO the best of luck. Always great to us fans here. Jermaine, we'll miss you.

ABADays
06-25-2008, 09:41 PM
I'm really biting my tongue here but good luck JO.

duke dynamite
06-25-2008, 09:47 PM
The first time I got to meet JO I was shaking so badly. I was very nervous.

That night was one I hope I always remember. He autographed my team yearbook.

BlueNGold
06-25-2008, 09:59 PM
JO has been a good soldier for the Pacers and deserves our respect. He's a good guy and I believe he's a relatively selfless player and I hope he enjoys his time in Toronto. He's been a good spokesman and IMO has put up with a number of things. All in all, I'm glad he's getting the chance to move on and play with a more talented team. Hopefully it gives his career and spirits a lift.

As for him being the most talented Pacer ever, well, heck, why not? Have a good thread JO and a good life.

Major Cold
06-25-2008, 10:02 PM
I am just glad we won't see anymore JO trade threads.

Putnam
06-25-2008, 10:11 PM
He was always willing to help the team. And the best way for him to help the team in 2008 is via this trade.

So, thanks one more time, JO.

YoSoyIndy
06-25-2008, 10:18 PM
It's not fair to regret the trade just because JO ends up playing well. You can only regret the trade if you believe now he is worth more to the franchise than Ford, Rasho, and #17.

By getting traded, he'll have a different motivating factor than if he stayed here. That's true for anyone. Put it in perspective -- generally speaking, one puts in more concentration and effort during the transitional phase of a new job than s/he does staying in one location in the same role.

I hope JO plays well (against non-pacers teams). I hope he stays healthy. And I hope he looks back positively on Indy.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will be even longer before we put another number in the raftors.

Ownagedood
06-25-2008, 10:41 PM
Im glad JO is gone.. But I'm really gonna miss him from the years he was good and all the years he was faithful to us.. He always tried his best.. I wasn't a huge fan of him cuz he always took and missed the last second shots but he was still a great guy and good player.. Ill miss the guy.. But we got a great player and guy in TJ Ford and others coming back in return.. Im excited for the change.. But JO.. You will be missed.

idioteque
06-25-2008, 10:43 PM
Damn, where the hell is OnlyPacersLeft?

Trader Joe
06-25-2008, 10:43 PM
Damn, where the hell is OnlyPacersLeft?

:suicide2:

Just kidding...

I hope.

Suaveness
06-25-2008, 10:51 PM
Gonna miss JO. Great citizen, and I still enjoyed watching him play the game. Good luck JO, I'll always root for you.

IndyHoosier
06-25-2008, 10:59 PM
Thanks J.O. !!! It's been a pleasure to watch you play here, but it was time for you to go :) !!!!

IndyHoosier

Hoop
06-25-2008, 11:02 PM
Good Luck JO. I got mad at him at times for running his mouth, but he is still one of my favorite Pacers of all time. Solid citizen and seemed like a genuinely nice person.

I'm sure I'll watch a lot more Raptor games next season. I wish him well and I hope the trade works out for both teams, but a little better for us. ;)

Indianapolis_girly
06-25-2008, 11:05 PM
I will miss Jermaine, a bunch.
So many great Pacers memories have him included.

On his birthday this past year, my mom bought him a bauquet of flowers and I made him a big card that said "Happy Birthday Jermaine!" and some other stuff lol, I'm creative. Anyways, he was done with shootaround, and he walked right up to my mom and I. He smiled, and had a security person take his stuff back to the locker room. He said "thank you" so many times. He hugged my mom and kissed her on the cheek. I'm a shy type of person, so my mom spoke up and said, "can my daughter have a hug too? she made the card for you." and he looks at me and says, "she sure can." He promised us a pair of shoes too. I will always remember that hug, and that smile for the rest of my life.

Then about a couple months later, my mom and I heard about an autograph signing he was doing. We went to it and I got my picture taken with him, I was walkin towards him and he said, "it's good to see you again." he had remembered me. I couldn't believe it.

A couple of months after that, we got a pair of his shoes.


I've always thought he was one of the most generous guys in the league. Good luck in Toronto Jermaine! Sure is gonna be different at Conseco without you!


Sorry I rambled lol.
Oh, and I have a picture of the shoes, if anyone wants to see them. :)

Hoop
06-25-2008, 11:10 PM
I will miss Jermaine, a bunch.
So many great Pacers memories have him included.

On his birthday this past year, my mom bought him a bauquet of flowers and I made him a big card that said "Happy Birthday Jermaine!" and some other stuff lol, I'm creative. Anyways, he was done with shootaround, and he walked right up to my mom and I. He smiled, and had a security person take his stuff back to the locker room. He said "thank you" so many times. He hugged my mom and kissed her on the cheek. I'm a shy type of person, so my mom spoke up and said, "can my daughter have a hug too? she made the card for you." and he looks at me and says, "she sure can." He promised us a pair of shoes too. I will always remember that hug, and that smile for the rest of my life.

Then about a couple months later, my mom and I heard about an autograph signing he was doing. We went to it and I got my picture taken with him, I was walkin towards him and he said, "it's good to see you again." he had remembered me. I couldn't believe it.

A couple of months after that, we got a pair of his shoes.


I've always thought he was one of the most generous guys in the league. Good luck in Toronto Jermaine! Sure is gonna be different at Conseco without you!


Sorry I rambled lol.
Oh, and I have a picture of the shoes, if anyone wants to see them. :)
Good story!

GO!!!!!
06-25-2008, 11:24 PM
You will missed and NBA LIVE 09 will suck with out you, i traded away every high salery but Granger, Dunleavey and You, I could allways count on you for some good points and rebounds..

Thanks for the memories and I'll keep my NO 7 Jumper for an eternity, you have the been the Pacers All Star for 00 Decade and 6 Times All Star sure helped put the Pacers back on the Map

Here's to the Raptors becomming a winner and may we meet you in the east finals before not to long

Your status has been tarnished by the RA saga but you have been a pivotal part of our team since we acquired your services.

Thanks Again J, your a champion

Shade
06-25-2008, 11:30 PM
It's not fair to regret the trade just because JO ends up playing well. You can only regret the trade if you believe now he is worth more to the franchise than Ford, Rasho, and #17.

By getting traded, he'll have a different motivating factor than if he stayed here. That's true for anyone. Put it in perspective -- generally speaking, one puts in more concentration and effort during the transitional phase of a new job than s/he does staying in one location in the same role.

I hope JO plays well (against non-pacers teams). I hope he stays healthy. And I hope he looks back positively on Indy.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will be even longer before we put another number in the raftors.

Danny's #33 sure would fill that hole nicely.

Shade
06-25-2008, 11:33 PM
I will miss Jermaine, a bunch.
So many great Pacers memories have him included.

On his birthday this past year, my mom bought him a bauquet of flowers and I made him a big card that said "Happy Birthday Jermaine!" and some other stuff lol, I'm creative. Anyways, he was done with shootaround, and he walked right up to my mom and I. He smiled, and had a security person take his stuff back to the locker room. He said "thank you" so many times. He hugged my mom and kissed her on the cheek. I'm a shy type of person, so my mom spoke up and said, "can my daughter have a hug too? she made the card for you." and he looks at me and says, "she sure can." He promised us a pair of shoes too. I will always remember that hug, and that smile for the rest of my life.

Then about a couple months later, my mom and I heard about an autograph signing he was doing. We went to it and I got my picture taken with him, I was walkin towards him and he said, "it's good to see you again." he had remembered me. I couldn't believe it.

A couple of months after that, we got a pair of his shoes.


I've always thought he was one of the most generous guys in the league. Good luck in Toronto Jermaine! Sure is gonna be different at Conseco without you!


Sorry I rambled lol.
Oh, and I have a picture of the shoes, if anyone wants to see them. :)

Great story. JO really has been a class act. :thumbsup:

Indianapolis_girly
06-25-2008, 11:35 PM
Good story!
Thanks! :)

Young
06-25-2008, 11:40 PM
Jermaine wasn't perfect. He got overpaid, which I don't blame him for because I wouldn't turn down 120 million dollars. He missed a lot of games and in the end it may really have been one big injury that management was trying to cover up IDK. At this point I don't care. A lot of things went wrong here that really weren't Jermaine's fault.

I never questioned Jermaine's character or desire to win. Was he the ideal leader? IDK. The ideal franchise player? IDK. Was he in the ideal situation the past few years? Hell no!

It's just a shame that the past few years ended the way they did. It wasn't Jermaine's fault. I at times felt bad for him because the situation has been pretty crappy. He took some blame that he didn't deserve. I can't imagine coming in to work everyday for a few years and put up with crap and deal with frustrating times the way Jermaine has. I give him credit for it though because I think he did it as well as anyone could.

I can't say that I want to cry over the thought of Jermaine being traded. I'm glad because it is time for both him and the Pacers to part ways. It's been time really.

I just hope this works out for the Pacers and Jermaine. Hopefully we can re build easier now and move on and I hope to see Toronto win a lot more ball games now.

YoSoyIndy
06-25-2008, 11:40 PM
Danny's #33 sure would fill that hole nicely.

Danny grew a lot in a year. Be interesting to see if we overpay and regret later.

What's the guy worth a year now?

And where does JO fall in the all-time Pacers list?

Indianapolis_girly
06-25-2008, 11:40 PM
Great story. JO really has been a class act. :thumbsup: Thank you :) I thought it'd be a good time to share them.

croz24
06-25-2008, 11:45 PM
had a great time teasing your little girl over the years and trying not to be TOO critical of your performance in your wife's ears.

JERMAINE'S WIFE AND DAUGHTER SAT DIRECTLY IN FRONT ON ME AT PACERS GAMES FOR 5 YEARS. THEY SAT ROW 2 DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE PACERS BENCH. I SAT ROW 3 DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM THE PACERS BENCH. - sorry for not clarifying

Shade
06-25-2008, 11:47 PM
had a great time teasing your little girl over the years and trying not to be TOO critical of your performance in your wife's ears.

:wtf:

You're going to have to clarify this, because unless I'm reading this wrong, this seems out of line to me.

Hicks
06-25-2008, 11:48 PM
:wtf:

x2 ............... :hmm:

BoomBaby31
06-25-2008, 11:49 PM
Well JO, it has been fun... and thank you; you will do well up in Toronto, don't sweat hope you can find an affordable house with your low salary.

Indianapolis_girly
06-25-2008, 11:49 PM
<a href="http://s301.photobucket.com/albums/nn55/rachelsuzanne_33/?action=view&current=josshoesss.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn55/rachelsuzanne_33/josshoesss.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

^ I couldn't help myself ya'll. :)

Shade
06-25-2008, 11:52 PM
I'm not going to lie; I'm a bit annoyed at some of the subtle venom creeping it's way into this thread.

This is a JO APPRECIATION thread. Please leave the snide comments at the door.

Trader Joe
06-25-2008, 11:56 PM
I'm not going to lie; I'm a bit annoyed at some of the subtle venom creeping it's way into this thread.

This is a JO APPRECIATION thread. Please leave the snide comments at the door.

No kidding. I think criticizing JO for the size of his contract is one of the dumbest things you could possibly do.

LG33
06-25-2008, 11:58 PM
Jermaine O'Neal. What is there to say about the guy that hasn't already been said?

He went to the prom in 2004, eight years removed from high school. If only we all were that blessed.

He had the worst co-workers a person could have in Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jamaal Tinsley. Why else would a man choose to befriend Al Harrington?

He could punch fans with the best of them. Hell, he didn't even have good footing when he did it.

His first mentor in the NBA was Rasheed Wallace...on the BLAZERS...and he still managed to come out of it all a model citizen and a great guy.

Unfortunately, as we say goodbye to Jermaine, we, as Pacer fans, cannot even find comfort in saying he has gone to a better place, for the man will now rot in the frozen tundra that is Canada. But, God willing, he will excel up in that wilderness armed only with a headband and a smile. Good luck good sir.

Shade
06-25-2008, 11:59 PM
Jermaine O'Neal. What is there to say about the guy that hasn't already been said?

He went to the prom in 2004, eight years removed from high school. If only we all were that blessed.

He had the worst co-workers a person could have in Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, and Jamaal Tinsley. Why else would a man choose to befriend Al Harrington?

He could punch fans with the best of them. Hell, he didn't even have good footing when he did it.

His first mentor in the NBA was Rasheed Wallace...on the BLAZERS...and he still managed to come out of it all a model citizen and a great guy.

Unfortunately, as we say goodbye to Jermaine, we, as Pacer fans, cannot even find comfort in saying he has gone to a better place, for the man will now rot in the frozen tundra that is Canada. But, God willing, he will do it with a headband and a smile.

When God calls, you answer the phone. Just look at how well it worked out for Mark Jackson.

laft
06-26-2008, 12:08 AM
and then the inevitable happened, Reggie Miller was taken out of a game for the final time in his Pacer and NBA career. As he walked to the bench I remember making a point to see what was happening on the court, Jack squatting down next to the block, and then I looked to JO, and I believe IIRC, he had already been taken out of the game. All I remember is I don't think I've ever seen a player more dejected, more devastated by what he was seeing.

I've hypothesized that not only did we lose Reggie that night, but we lost JO as well. At least the JO we knew on the court, he was still the same guy off of it, but on it his drive, his emotion they were kind of sucked out of him. I believe he poured so much emotionally into trying to get Reggie a ring, that when he failed (or at least I'll always think he thought he failed) he could hardly stand it, and I believe he personally felt like he let Reggie down.
I'm not sure if JO ever did recover from that night.


I'd have to agree with this part of the post as well as others. I also felt that as JO grew as a Pacer I also grew as a Pacer fan. This is a rather large statement since conversing, watching, enjoying, and sharing the pain of loss as a Pacers fan is a large part of my life.

To remember JO is a contradiction and difficult. I find myself liking the trade for many reasons: a new beginning for our franchise and the means to replace and rid ourselves of JT before the draft even begins. A new start for JO in Toronto. As many have said, if JO can regain his strength the Raptors' frontline has just become very, VERY dangerous, if not the best in the league.

Those were initial reactions. Once realizing the history JO has with this team and the amazing, incredible, and truly selfless things he has done for the community :angel: and as a player wearing our uniform it's hard not to get choked up. The man will surely be remembered as a Pacer and hopefully he knows how a majority of us feel. I hope JO can leave without any hard feelings and remain a Pacer at heart.

What else can be said about the man? He truly is an athletic freak of nature. Nicknames like "The Body" or "The Specimen" truly describe the raw potential JO possessed. It's perhaps a greater shame than any of us will ever know that Jermaine's body gave up on him at such a young age. What could have been for Jermaine O'Neal if he had remained the same JO we knew 4 years ago? We'll never know.

We'll also never know what could have been if Organizational/ player personality problems hadn't put such a damper on a team with so much potential. It's rarely a wise thing to go on with "what ifs", but there are so many variables that could've lead us to see JO lead the Pacers to the promised land.

Alas, Jermaine's ship has sailed. If you ever happen to read this Jermaine, Thank you. Thank you for your time as a player in Indianapolis. Thank you for your commitment to being a solid Hoosier. Thank you for entertaining the Fieldhouse crowds for years. Leave knowing that your have our best wishes and you will be missed dearly.

croz24
06-26-2008, 12:09 AM
clarified

PR07
06-26-2008, 12:09 AM
One of the best big man that the Pacers' organization has seen. He is a force when healthy particularly on the defensive end. Don't know if he can still produce like he did seasons ago, but he anchored one of the top teams that this organization has ever had. Even if you think he's overpaid and injury prone, you can't help but like the guy. He does wonders in the community, and he always seems to say the right thing. I really think he could thrive next to Bosh where he doesn't have to carry the offensive load and can just play D and work off Bosh.

Thanks for the memories. A True Pacer in my books. Good luck to him in the future.

joeyd
06-26-2008, 12:13 AM
No snide remarks here, only appreciation, the reasons for which have already been eloquently stated above.

I can still remember the conversations he had with my son during some autograph sessions at Conseco over the past couple of years. He really knew how to make kids feel special. My son, now 6 1/2, grew up watching JO and wearing his jersey, and he was inconsolable for several minutes after hearing the news (we were at Best Buy in the TV section when the news broke---several sales people saw him all teared up and wandered over to pat his head, like they could relate).

While we will root against the Raptors, I've a feeling that we will be at every Pacers-Raptors contest, wishing all the best to JO.

Bball
06-26-2008, 12:15 AM
clarified

Playfully teasing I hope....

-Bball

theboyjwo
06-26-2008, 12:22 AM
Great JO moment on the court: ECF finals Pacers and Pistons were going back and forth in a close game. Rasheed Wallace gets the ball on the baseline and drives in for dunk. JO meets him at the top of his jump fully extended and pins the ball on the glass. I about fell out of my seat. They lost the game though, Reggie didn't dunk it.

Thanks JO!

I gotta get a new Pacers Jersey now.

croz24
06-26-2008, 12:26 AM
Playfully teasing I hope....

-Bball

of course lamesha and her kid, asjia, were very friendly to us and those around us. lamesha is SHORT though. 6'11" jo married to a 4'something woman. crazy. jo definitely did well for himself as she's a pretty woman. jo's son rarely came to the games though, and for the past couple of years they rarely showed up to the games and/or changed seat locations. believe they got some courtside seats this past year...i can recall one instance however where i clearly pissed her off by calling jo out (asjia was not there) and cursing to myself about his game. she didn't turn around and say anything to me, but i could tell it annoyed her. oops.

PaceBalls
06-26-2008, 12:34 AM
There were so many good JO moments, this guy never gave up and REALLY wanted to win. The injuries he sustained were absolutely real and I can never fault him for that. Let's not forget he was close to winning the MVP 4 years ago.

I think my fondest memories will be of his role on what I consider one of the best teams to play in the last decade. The 03-04, 04-05 (pre-brawl) squad. That was JO at his most dominant, but not dominant as in having to carry the load, but dominant as in being the perfect player.

The things that ultimately led to JO leaving us today were a cruel twist of fate IMO. First of all, I have no doubts that 04-05 team would have gotten to the championship, and probably won it. Never before has 1 instant reaction totally destroyed a team and brought them so low. We all know this and I'm not gonna go any farther into that bad trip.

JO was always the real true warrior (as opposed to the crazy guy with the mispelled nickname). That in itself might have led to more problems as he would play through his injuries when he probably shouldn't have. And on our team of guys who don't seem to have much fire or passion, JO did, it must have been very frustrating for him to play with Tins and the others who just didn't seem to care about winning as much as JO did.

I truly hope he can reach the same level he was at in 04-05 again. (just not against the pacers in the playoffs) and that will be really strange to watch JO play against the Pacers on another team. Almost as weird as it would be watching Reggie play for the Celtics or something.

When all is said and done and JO retires, I think his jersey will have a spot in the Pacers rafters. #7 deserves to be retired as one of the all time Pacer greats.

laft
06-26-2008, 12:43 AM
When all is said and done and JO retires, I think his jersey will have a spot in the Pacers rafters. #7 deserves to be retired as one of the all time Pacer greats.

I sure hope so. They man worked hard enough for and gave so much of himself it's hard to deny him this.

SoupIsGood
06-26-2008, 12:44 AM
JO has more than proved to me that he was a fantastic player whenever his body help up for him. He hit a point, before things went downhill, where he was unstoppable if his body was feeling good. I won't forgot that 55 point game.

It really is too bad the way things went. JO will be missed--I hope he can take the Raptors somewhere.

BoomBaby31
06-26-2008, 12:55 AM
I think it is funny soo many of you scream for him to be traded, then when it gets done the sympathy comes out. It reminds me how the media/espn hounded Joe Torre all year, finally got the man fired, then showed a sappy 1or2 hour special on what he did for the Yankees.

317Kim
06-26-2008, 01:01 AM
I can't believe that it really happened. I knew that it would happen, but I was avoiding it as much as I could. I guess I can't do that anymore.

(* I just typed up 10 paragraphs and it just got erased...it's only adding to my frustaration)

I just want to thank Jermaine for everything.

When I first met him as a ball-kid in the fall of 2000, I knew that there was more to this baby faced power forward.

Jermaine inpsired me. Not only did he motivate me, but he also resurrected my Pacers Pride.

He helped me dunk. He ate my cupcakes. We laughed at jokes.

I still remember the time we played the Bucks and he scored a whomping 55 points before taking a modest exit to the game, paying homage to Reggie's record.

Or the time he made two FTs with his left arm (banking the first, swishing the second) after Francisco Elson dislocated his right shoulder.

I feel bad that I can list every accomplishment that he's done. I feel like he deserves it much like he deserved having Jermaine O'Neal Day.

I don't even know where to begin. But I do know that I want to thank him for all that he's done for me, the NBA and its fans, and the sport of basketball itself. I appreciate everything that he has done.

Although I won't be seeing O'Neal #7 in Conseco as often, I want to wish him the best of luck. I hope that he, Lamesha, Asjia, and Baby Jermaine continue to live happily together.

It's been a wonderful journey. Thanks, bud. I only wish that he and I could say goodbye sooner. I'll miss him a lot, but life goes on....

I love you, Jermaine.

Retired Ball-Kid,
Kim aka P_G

NorCal_Pacerfan
06-26-2008, 01:03 AM
Wow. Well, we knew it would happen sooner or later. I guess this was the best deal they could get. I'm going to miss JO taking charges and those great blocks of his. His fade-away jumper was looking pretty good at the end of the season. I hope his knee is all healed up for his sake. He'll prob have a killer year now up in Toronto. Going to be weird seeing him in another jersey. Best of luck JO and thanks for the memories!!

Oh and great post PaCeRs_GiRL.

317Kim
06-26-2008, 01:08 AM
Wow. Well, we knew it would happen sooner or later. I guess this was the best deal they could get. I'm going to miss JO taking charges and those great blocks of his. His fade-away jumper was looking pretty good at the end of the season. I hope his knee is all healed up for his sake. He'll prob have a killer year now up in Toronto. Going to be weird seeing him in another jersey. Best of luck JO and thanks for the memories!!

Oh and great post PaCeRs_GiRL.

Straight from the heart.

duke dynamite
06-26-2008, 01:18 AM
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King Tuts Tomb
06-26-2008, 01:34 AM
Or the time he made two FTs with his left arm (banking the first, swishing the second) after Francisco Elson dislocated his right shoulder.


I was at this game in Denver, and after he made both the Nuggets crowd gave him a standing ovation. It says a lot about a player that he's given that much respect by the other teams fans.

JO was always one of the kindest, most intelligent players in the league. I'll miss him a lot and root for him hard whenever I see him in a Raptors uniform.

croz24
06-26-2008, 02:01 AM
jo really was one of the best low post players in the game. it's a shame he felt the need to become a midrange jump shooter...i'll never forget the great all-star memory he cost mj by committing that foul with a few seconds left to send the game to ot, in which the east ended up losing.

LG33
06-26-2008, 02:08 AM
That's my favorite JO moment too, croz.

Isaac
06-26-2008, 02:37 AM
I'll miss seeing JO take a charge one play and stuff a dunk on the next.

I'll miss his quick baseline spin that leads to a smooth one handed lay-in.

I'll miss the way he used to hold out the Indiana in his jersey and the fact that he felt pride in being a Pacer.

Sirius
06-26-2008, 04:15 AM
my second favorite pacer of all time. also the player that took a seat having scored 55 pts as to not upstage my favorite pacer. the fact that we 'swapped' him for a player who is not even necessarily a starter is too far beyond words.

were left with what might be the worst starting lineup in the entire nba...but at the same time, im sure its no coincidence that we have said farewell to both walsh and jermaine in the same year.

the most exciting this upcoming season...or hell probably the next ten-twenty seasons if the team continues to be run on the basis of the firesale bull**** weve seen in the past two major trades (no seriously the gs trade was pure gold...ike diogu for prez yay!!!) could possibly be is somehow eeking out the 8th seed and getting trounced by the celtics/future number 1 seeds...woohoo.

gl jermaine, you were a true pacer and ill root for you for the rest of your career.

dewman_32
06-26-2008, 06:42 AM
I think it is funny soo many of you scream for him to be traded, then when it gets done the sympathy comes out. It reminds me how the media/espn hounded Joe Torre all year, finally got the man fired, then showed a sappy 1or2 hour special on what he did for the Yankees.
I think most Pacer fans love JO as a person and his game (when healthy). Many of us were screaming "trade JO" because it was what was best for the franchise. JO understand that this is a business and I'm sure he will have fond memories of the Pacers, as we will have fond memories of him. Indiana rescued him from the bench in Portland and helped make him a star. I don't recall anyone ever questioning JO's heart, but Tinsley's heart was questioned almost daily. JO is a great ball player and it will be tough to see him in a jersey other than a Pacer jersey, but this trade was about moving the team forward, plain and simple.

Whtwudusay
06-26-2008, 08:09 AM
J.O. leaving has me feeling mixed emotions. There were times that I loved J.O. and times that I got really frustrated with him.

I was genuinely excited when the Pacers traded for him. I kept remember hearing about this kid with a ton of potential that wasn't getting a chance to play in Portland. Donnie went out and got him in an attempt to re-build/load the team after the finals run.

For me, those first couple years were fun to watch. Jalen took a step forward and JO really started coming into his own. Then, we made the deal with Chicago and it looked like we were loaded with talent. When, JO got his max-deal, I didn't think it was a bad thing because he was going to be the franchise. We were also being told he was being courted by the Spurs and other teams. Regardless, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

However, two years later, things started going down hill. The brawl, injuries, etc. and JO and the Pacers haven't been the same since. It's been both frustrating and sad, but in the grand scheme of things, JO has been a good and loyal player for the Pacers -- and the Pacers gave JO the opportunity to come into his own and show what he can do. In the end though, it was time for both parties to go their separate ways.

I will still cheer for him when he plays teams other than the Pacers. Good luck JO. Go Pacers.

2minutes twowa
06-26-2008, 08:29 AM
I just hope that the first time JO returns in a Raptors uniform, that all Pacers fans in attendance show some class and give him a standing O.

Trader Joe
06-26-2008, 08:52 AM
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My God, I had forgotten what an athlete he was when he got here. Some of those moves are just incredible.

2minutes twowa
06-26-2008, 08:57 AM
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My God, I had forgotten what an athlete he was when he got here. Some of those moves are just incredible.

WOW! Haven't seen that version of JO in a while. Makes you wonder if part of his injury problems was putting on all that muscle a few years ago. That's what happened to Smits. Certain coaches put him on a program to bulk up causing his nagging feet problems.

Gyron
06-26-2008, 09:07 AM
Good Luck in Toronto JO. You were one of my favorite pacers and a solid citizen and just all around first class guy.

You will be missed by many. Thanks for all the great memories and playing your heart out here.

I'll never forget him putting Reggie's number on his shoes in Reggies final year reminding him and the other players they were doing it for Reggie that year.

naptownmenace
06-26-2008, 10:32 AM
Nice post.

Jermaine represented the Pacers and the city of Indianapolis very well. His body may have faltered in the past few years, but his desire has remained the same.

I wish him the best in Toronto and will be looking forward to catching some Raptors games on LP this year.

Ditto.


I have to say that I'm a little sad to see JO go. I loved the trade after the first season with JO here. I became a fan after that 2001 season and after the following 2 seasons it was easy to see that we received a steal.

At his peak he was mentioned compared with the likes of Dirk, KG, and Webber. He was a 6-time All-Star and spent at least 2-3 seasons as the best big-man in the Eastern Conference. He almost lead us back to the Finals in 2004 and if it wasn't for that hyper-extended knee (and a miraculous Tayshaun Prince block), we might've made it. He holds several records with the Pacers and he'll be remembered as the best PF in the NBA history of the franchise.

Best Wishes JO. Thanks for all your positive contributions.