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granger33
07-05-2008, 12:06 AM
INDIANAPOLIS - Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen provided the blueprint for what Jermaine O'Neal hopes to accomplish as a Toronto Raptor.

O'Neal, a six-time All-Star who has said he's being traded from the Indiana Pacers to Toronto, said he watched as Garnett and Allen sacrificed personal statistics to win their first championships after being traded to Boston last summer. By taking the same approach, O'Neal hopes to shake the drama that followed him as a Pacer and win his first ring.

"I think you've got to be able to do whatever you need to do to make the team successful," O'Neal told the AP in a telephone interview, admitting he was a bit jealous of the Boston stars. "I watched Kevin and watched Paul (Pierce) and watched Ray win a championship, and it's probably the most emotional I've ever been watching a game in my career. I felt the burden being lifted off their shoulders."

O'Neal still carries the burden of having a solid individual career that lacks the ultimate team accomplishment. He was third in the MVP balloting in 2003-04, when he averaged 20.1 points, 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He averaged a career-high 24.3 points per game in 2004-05, then averaged 20.1 and 19.4 points the next two seasons.

Critics say O'Neal is too old to return to top form. He'll be 30 before the season starts, and he's missed 122 regular-season games the past four years, mostly due to injuries.

O'Neal hears the doubters, and hopes to prove them wrong.

"If I dominate and do things I'm supposed to do, and it's at an All-Star level _ that's what matters," he said. "Get in the locker room, get guys ready, bring an emotional presence, a defensive presence that I'm supposed to bring. If I can bring those things and the bitterness that I have right now _ because I am bitter _ I know where I need to get back to, I know who I am. I know I'm focused on this."

O'Neal is excited about playing next to Chris Bosh, an All-Star forward who averaged 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season. He likes point guard Jose Calderon, a pass-first court general who emerged last season.

Mostly, he's looking forward to playing for a contender in front of loud, loyal fans, things he had as a Pacer before the November 2004 brawl between Indiana players and Detroit Pistons fans. In the fallout, most of the key elements to the team _ Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and now O'Neal _ were sent elsewhere.

Off-the-court problems involving other Pacers further tarnished the team's image, and the once popular franchise ended last season with the lowest attendance in the league.

"The support just wasn't there," O'Neal said. "As a player, you want that stuff to be there, and rightfully so, it shouldn't have been there. The negativity should have been there, the perception should have been there because we didn't give ourselves a chance to look any differently."

The Pacers had an NBA-best 61-21 record in 2003-04, the year before the brawl. The past two seasons, they failed to make the playoffs.

"That probably was the hardest part for me, to go from talking about what we need to do to win a championship to coming into a situation where we're talking about what we need to do to make the playoffs," he said. "It's hard to watch some of my peers win championships every year."

Though he missed 53 games in the past two seasons to injury, O'Neal was popular with Pacers fans when he could play. He was third in fan balloting for the franchise's 40-year anniversary team, trailing only Reggie Miller and Mel Daniels.

He hopes fans don't forget his better days.

"Hopefully, at the end of the day, I can one day be looked at as one of the all-time greats to play for the Pacers."

O'Neal said he thinks the Pacers did well with trade, which brings them point guard T.J. Ford and center Rasho Nesterovic and the rights to the No. 17 overall draft pick, center Roy Hibbert of Georgetown.

His departure leaves Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, both coming off career years, as Indiana's new leaders.

"Those guys understand now how to carry a team," O'Neal said.

For O'Neal, however, this time is about a fresh start.

"I'm going to be back next year, and whatever happens, hopefully it makes the city of Toronto and the country of Canada really happy," he said.

Yehhh. umm, not sure about this. His a really nice guy, but i dont think Raps will win a championship anytime soon. But if he thinks so, good on him.

Some real good quotes there.

MillerTime
07-05-2008, 12:08 AM
he needs to seek a knee surgent in TO

Trader Joe
07-05-2008, 12:12 AM
The guy is pure class. Without a doubt one of the most genuine interviews in the NBA.

indyman37
07-05-2008, 12:13 AM
I know it probably isn't as funny as I find it, but now instead of having just Indiana on his back, JO has all of Canada. Even though it is not very popular..

But he was always a class act and I for one will miss him.

Hicks
07-05-2008, 12:19 AM
When will Toronto be trading for Kevin Garnett?

Pig Nash
07-05-2008, 12:19 AM
:burn:

idioteque
07-05-2008, 12:24 AM
Nice story and all but JO will have to have quite the impact next year for Toronto to even get to the ECF.

TheSauceMaster
07-05-2008, 12:31 AM
It's J.O.'s typical summer I'm better , I'll do better , I'll prove people wrong....Speech.

Dece
07-05-2008, 12:49 AM
I'll put JO's over under for games played at 50.

Oneal07
07-05-2008, 12:53 AM
The difference is . . he's not a Pacer. The ACC Will be loud as hell for him. Imagine J.O. playing every home game like how he played in GS last year before he got hurt. . .That is a dangerous Jermaine O'neal

TheRifleman51
07-05-2008, 02:25 AM
Yehhh. umm, not sure about this. His a really nice guy, but i dont think Raps will win a championship anytime soon. But if he thinks so, good on him.

Some real good quotes there.

i feel that the day the Rapters when a championship is the Year the Former Sonics comeout the Western Confrence.

Shade
07-05-2008, 02:29 AM
Best of luck, JO. I'll be rootin' for 'ya.

NorCal_Pacerfan
07-05-2008, 03:08 AM
I hope he has a great comeback year. Will be weird seeing him in a Raptors jersey though. Make us proud JO, make us proud.

Roy Munson
07-05-2008, 03:31 AM
The guy is pure class. Without a doubt one of the most genuine interviews in the NBA.

Genuinely delusional.

Nothing has changed. Still talking big.

Peck
07-05-2008, 05:28 AM
I am swearing to myself that at some point in time I am just going to have to walk away from all of this and not point these things out.....

But today is not that day.

I give you the pure wisdom of Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal, a six-time All-Star who has said he's being traded from the Indiana Pacers to Toronto, said he watched as Garnett and Allen sacrificed personal statistics to win their first championships after being traded to Boston last summer. By taking the same approach, O'Neal hopes to shake the drama that followed him as a Pacer and win his first ring.


Followed up by

"If I dominate and do things I'm supposed to do, and it's at an All-Star level _ that's what matters"

He doesn't get it, he never got it and my guess is he will never get it.

As I said over and over when he was here, I truely hope he is saying stuff like this because he thinks that is what his fans want to hear.

Oh I know a slew of people will be coming on here to tell me I'm wrong or am taking things out of context or telling me that I have convenieantly left out the second half of his quote where he talks about locker rooms, leadership and defense.

It doesn't matter, I've heard this speech before. I heard it the first day he was introduced to the fans as a member of our team and I've heard it every single time he has talked about making a comeback.

However I will give him credit for one thing, actually I will give him a lot of credit for this.

Not once did he say that the fans in Indiana were wrong. In fact he stated they we were right.

So kudos for that.

Big Smooth
07-05-2008, 05:47 AM
I am swearing to myself that at some point in time I am just going to have to walk away from all of this and not point these things out.....

But today is not that day.

I give you the pure wisdom of Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal, a six-time All-Star who has said he's being traded from the Indiana Pacers to Toronto, said he watched as Garnett and Allen sacrificed personal statistics to win their first championships after being traded to Boston last summer. By taking the same approach, O'Neal hopes to shake the drama that followed him as a Pacer and win his first ring.


Followed up by

"If I dominate and do things I'm supposed to do, and it's at an All-Star level _ that's what matters"

He doesn't get it, he never got it and my guess is he will never get it.

As I said over and over when he was here, I truely hope he is saying stuff like this because he thinks that is what his fans want to hear.

Oh I know a slew of people will be coming on here to tell me I'm wrong or am taking things out of context or telling me that I have convenieantly left out the second half of his quote where he talks about locker rooms, leadership and defense.

It doesn't matter, I've heard this speech before. I heard it the first day he was introduced to the fans as a member of our team and I've heard it every single time he has talked about making a comeback.

However I will give him credit for one thing, actually I will give him a lot of credit for this.

Not once did he say that the fans in Indiana were wrong. In fact he stated they we were right.

So kudos for that.

I think you make a valid point here.

I'm just curious if Jermaniac has his Raptors gear by now. :D

I do think Jermaine tries to say the right things but truly doesn't know what it takes.

Rajah Brown
07-05-2008, 07:44 AM
He had me until he used the words ,'All-Star'. Same old J.O. I won't be
rooting for him and I won't be rooting against him. I'm ambivalent.
I just don't care.

Erik
07-05-2008, 08:38 AM
If we're not gonna take the east, I can't think of another team to root for.
If this is indeed they're starting line-up:
J.O.
Bosh
Kapono
Parker
Calderon

I can't say whether or not this team looks like it could do something.

DGPR
07-05-2008, 08:43 AM
I hope they don't put him down as "center".

Erik
07-05-2008, 08:49 AM
"Centre" he's in Canada.

BlueNGold
07-05-2008, 08:54 AM
Yes, there's still some talk left in him. JO means well, but I'm glad that mouth is now out of the country. Yes, he typically does a good job with PR, but the dominating comment is so out of place it's not funny. He is not going to be the best player on that team and he should be talking about supporting Bosh. He also should be talking about staying on the court for a full season or at least 70 games. IOW, he should be considering how many games it took Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to play in to win it all.

Naptown_Seth
07-05-2008, 09:53 AM
The guy is pure class. Without a doubt one of the most genuine interviews in the NBA.
I agree. I thought he handled all this pretty well.

"The support just wasn't there," O'Neal said. "As a player, you want that stuff to be there, and rightfully so, it shouldn't have been there. The negativity should have been there, the perception should have been there because we didn't give ourselves a chance to look any differently."
Sounds really reasonable to me, and not even sports speak cliches to hide behind.


Good for him, go win the title, I could seriously get behind seeing a Bosh-JO team from Canada break through way more than I could DET-BOS-MIA. And if he does become an all-star and win the title, no pain here because clearly the Pacers weren't going to put him in that same position.

Unlike Kravitz this wasn't about blowing it up to me, it was too late for that. This was about adjusting finances and shifting the talent distribution on the roster in preparation for steps 2 and 3 the next 2 seasons, hopefully ending with a team finally ready to start making runs at it again.

If Hibbert or Ford fail it's just par for the course's risk. 17 was a good pick to get, getting size there was smart, getting Ford back gives you a fair shot at a quality PG. At least it was the correct attempt.

Slick Pinkham
07-05-2008, 10:07 AM
To be like Boston, they need three really good players, none of them 42% shooters, and who can play a full season. They do have Bosh.

Will Jermaine ever accept the type of Antonio McDyess 6th man role, 20-25 min/g, that his broken -down body demands?

I think his ego will never allow it, so it's best that he continues his self-deception elsewhere.

Rajah Brown
07-05-2008, 10:16 AM
I'm looking forward to J.O.'s comeback making 'the country of
Canada' happy. Apparently, he hasn't heard about the game
of hockey. Once that season gets rolling, outside of a handful
of folks in Toronto, Canadians have about as much interest in
the NBA up there as they do the price of tea in China. In fact,
I'll bet you could poll 1000 folks outside Toronto and you'd be
lucky to find 5 who'd ever heard of J.O.

Arcadian
07-05-2008, 10:26 AM
???

People are bashing him for wanting to play at an all-star level like once did? Tough crowd. Perhaps he should say "You gave up a pick, expiring and TJ. I hope I can come off the bench and spell Bosh for bit. Hopefully we will get to the second round."

Slick Pinkham
07-05-2008, 10:51 AM
People are bashing him for wanting to play at an all-star level like once did?

Not exactly.

People are bashing him for his over-inflated ego, saying he is seeing championships "won by his peers" when he is far removed from the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce/Dwayne Wade/Tim Duncan/Manu Ginobili level of player.

He is just not anywhere near that good anymore. 5 years ago, yes. Now he is Drew Gooden, with a better resume only if you go back far enough and convince yourself that going back that far is relevant.

I am thrilled that this over-inflated sense of self-importance is so longer our problem to deal with.

sweabs
07-05-2008, 10:52 AM
I'm looking forward to J.O.'s comeback making 'the country of
Canada' happy. Apparently, he hasn't heard about the game
of hockey. Once that season gets rolling, outside of a handful
of folks in Toronto, Canadians have about as much interest in
the NBA up there as they do the price of tea in China. In fact,
I'll bet you could poll 1000 folks outside Toronto and you'd be
lucky to find 5 who'd ever heard of J.O.
:laugh:

Okay. I'm sorry, but this is wrong on so many accounts.

Bball
07-05-2008, 10:57 AM
???

People are bashing him for wanting to play at an all-star level like once did? Tough crowd. Perhaps he should say "You gave up a pick, expiring and TJ. I hope I can come off the bench and spell Bosh for bit. Hopefully we will get to the second round."

Perhaps he should say:
"It's been a tough last few years for me and the fans but I'm ready and willing to do whatever my coach and new teammates need to make us a better team. If I make another All Star game... great... If not... no big deal as long as I'm doing my part to help the team win. Whatever role Toronto has for me, I promise to do my absolute best to fulfill it"

Reading JO's actual comments I'm not sure how any of you are finding anything particularly "classy" about them. I'm not saying they were 'unclassy', but I just don't see anything particularly classy about them either. JO is very good about choosing his words and rarely do you see him flatout burning bridges. He's also good at mentioning "All Star" and "dominating" to the point they are becoming cliches. I guess if you consider that classy, then so be it. To me it's just more of the same and it has never been backed up on the court.

In any case, I'm thrilled he's gone. It's clear to me we'd never be a team again with him a part of it because between his ego and injuries, he was always going to be the anchor holding the team back. Even if one day he 'got it' and realized we didn't need him "dominating" and making "All Star games"... I don't know if he'd ever understand how much we needed him practicing with the team (not sitting them out with injuries).

I hate pi$$ing in anybody's Wheaties but I think we're far better off now. We can finally move on in so many ways. I hope he goes to Canada and is the same egotistical, me first player he was here just to end the frustration of this debate.

YoSoyIndy
07-05-2008, 11:08 AM
Genuinely delusional.

Nothing has changed. Still talking big.

Exactly right. He has always talked a great game until things got tough.

I don't know how he can play alongside Chris Bosh. JO is softer than Bosh and, like him, prefers to not bang in the post.

I wish JO well. I won't boo him when he returns. I'm very happy he's gone.

Arcadian
07-05-2008, 11:20 AM
"The support just wasn't there," O'Neal said. "As a player, you want that stuff to be there, and rightfully so, it shouldn't have been there. The negativity should have been there, the perception should have been there because we didn't give ourselves a chance to look any differently."

This is why people ay he is classy. Unlike players who have been shipped out previously who say they don't regret the brawl or begin each game with a mock pat down, JO accepts responsibility. Come on, surely, even the guys who like peeing in Wheaties can recognize that.

Also the next sentence Peck left out after All star was about bring emotion and defense--not scoring and stats.

JohnnyBGoode
07-05-2008, 11:32 AM
He's bitter? About what, taking Pacer money and then laying down and blaming everyone else for not winning a title. Glad this prima donna is gone.

McKeyFan
07-05-2008, 11:37 AM
I give him props for not blaming the fans.

Other than that, I feel like we fleeced Toronto in the trade.

Bball
07-05-2008, 12:16 PM
I give him props for not blaming the fans.

Other than that, I feel like we fleeced Toronto in the trade.

I wonder if it will take more than 8 games before he has a discussion in Toronto about 'where' he's getting his touches? :zip:

Anthem
07-05-2008, 12:22 PM
You guys crack me up.

Reeder
07-05-2008, 12:47 PM
He's bitter? About what, taking Pacer money and then laying down and blaming everyone else for not winning a title. Glad this prima donna is gone.


I had the impression that he was bitter about the team being on the verge of winning a championship and then having it all snatched away by the brawl. After that point, the goal of simply making the playoffs and being happy about it must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

I have conflicted and ambivalent feelings about JO, but I'm glad he's gone as well.

ABADays
07-05-2008, 12:48 PM
???

People are bashing him for wanting to play at an all-star level like once did? Tough crowd. Perhaps he should say "You gave up a pick, expiring and TJ. I hope I can come off the bench and spell Bosh for bit. Hopefully we will get to the second round."

I have to go along with Peck on this one. JO doesn't get it. He never got that he doesn't have to be "dominant". All he had to do was play. The fact is, he will never be dominant and probably will never be an All-Star again even in the watered down NBA East. His statements give false hope something might be there and it isn't going to be. The right road would have been to emphasize is doing whatever it takes in support of the other players.

I agree JO is a nice guy but he talks too much. He needs to quit thinking of himself as the player he was back in '03.

2minutes twowa
07-05-2008, 10:48 PM
Winning a championship in Toronto? Talk about trying to walk before you even crawl! Maybe focus on being in the top 4 in the East. As far as I see it, even with JO the Raps are exactly where they finished last year:

Boston
Detroit
Orlando
Cleveland
Washington
Toronto
Philly

And Philly might just pass them if they sign a significant free agent.

NuffSaid
07-05-2008, 11:12 PM
I hope they don't put him down as "center".
He won't be the starting PF. That position belongs to Bosh. So, unless he wants to come off the bench, he'd better eat, sleep and breath the Center position.

BlueNGold
07-05-2008, 11:42 PM
I give him props for not blaming the fans.

Other than that, I feel like we fleeced Toronto in the trade.

Extremely well put.

It's interesting to see the reactions on this board. JO is a smart and likeable guy. Consequently, there are people who will back him all the way to the grave.

Yes, he certainly didn't blame the fans for the last 4 years. He always does a fairly good job at picking his words. But still there are the all-star, dominating and championship comments...from a part-time player who has not been healthy for years...and has not looked anything like an all-star for the last several years.

On one hand, it's good he's trying to be positive, but OTOH, this is truly new ground for his mouth. He has yet to prove he can stay on an NBA court let alone dominate. How can he possibly call Garnett his peer at this point. At the present time, Bender is as close to being his peer. Just put a one-legged Kenyon Martin on him and watch him melt. Even at his best (years ago), he folded when guarded physically in the playoffs. Good luck to him, but stick a sock in it.

As for the trade, I suspect we did at least OK. IMO, we won the trade or broke even. It all depends on how Hibbert, Ford, Rasho and JO perform...and we will not know for sure for months. I truly hope JO the best in Toronto, but if he goes down again, we made a tremendous move.

BlueNGold
07-05-2008, 11:55 PM
I have to go along with Peck on this one. JO doesn't get it. He never got that he doesn't have to be "dominant". All he had to do was play. The fact is, he will never be dominant and probably will never be an All-Star again even in the watered down NBA East. His statements give false hope something might be there and it isn't going to be. The right road would have been to emphasize is doing whatever it takes in support of the other players.

I agree JO is a nice guy but he talks too much. He needs to quit thinking of himself as the player he was back in '03.

JO is no longer a spring chicken either. His past greatness was due to him being a particularly athletic big man. It was never because he was a great passer or a tremendous shooter. The point is, the skills that made JO an all-star are not skills that age well. Again, good luck to him. I hope he's happy in Toronto and wins multiple championships...:devil:

OnlyPacersLeft
07-05-2008, 11:59 PM
poor JO...of all places he got shipped to canada. Pass first pg in calderon? LOL...okaaaaaaaaay.... Bosh is soft...and will stand outside all day kind of like JO. JO will bring a little bit of a defensive presence to them but not enough. Bargnani is horrible as well...JO will more then likely fade to obscurity in toronto.

Kegboy
07-06-2008, 12:01 AM
It's J.O.'s typical summer I'm better , I'll do better , I'll prove people wrong....Speech.

You left out "dominate". He's always going to "dominate" during the summer.

Normally that would be followed by him saying he doesn't mind playing center, then by Thanksgiving he'd be complaining that he needs a big man to protect him up front. Of course, I don't think that's going to happen this year, if only because they spell it "centre" and Canadian Thanksgiving is in the preseason. Weirdos.

Doug
07-06-2008, 09:37 AM
Maybe he keeps bringing up "all-star" and "dominate" because that's what his salary level says he should do? Expectations can be a big burden - a lot of pressure to live up to them.

That said, I generally agree with Peck and the other similar posts on this.

Dukins
07-06-2008, 10:22 AM
Like before, alot of talk before the season, and no action during the season. Talk is cheap.

Bridge
07-08-2008, 12:22 AM
JO talked this game every year he was in Indy. He was a beast at times, but no franchise superstar. I will clap for him during pregame if he plays while I am at Conseco, but I will not miss seeing him in a Pacer uniform.

I wish him the best in Canada.

Naptown_Seth
07-08-2008, 11:33 AM
I wonder if it will take more than 8 games before he has a discussion in Toronto about 'where' he's getting his touches? :zip:
Yeah, because he was wrong about that. At least you had the decency to correctly say "where" instead of the painfully wrong "how many" like people usually do.

Personally I thought the running game of Jack, Tins, Rawle and Quis stunk. I also like JO getting 6-7 FTAs per game on 12-14 FGA a lot more than 2-3 FTAs on the same FGAs. Call me crazy, but playing near the rim and drawing inside fouls helps win games and I kinda like that. And not only that, but most JO detractors complained about him settling for jumpers, yet you are going to bash him for saying "get me more inside looks than high post jumper looks"?

Make up your mind on what is wrong with his game.


Maybe he shouldn't see himself as an all-star still but other than that I don't see the issue. He took blame for fans not having interest, he admitted that he felt deflated from the situation, he did increase his assists and charges taken in the last 3 seasons and he did see his FGAs drop a bit.

And yet he didn't try and was selfish. Dun on his back taking a charge = hustle, JO does the same = selfish. Dun's 3.5 apg = facilitator, JO's 2.2 apg = selfish.



I agree JO is a nice guy but he talks too much. He needs to quit thinking of himself as the player he was back in '03.
I can agree with that but I'm also sympathetic. All of us want to think we can still be something we were 5 years ago. Just watch if a pickup game starts at the PD party next weekend. ;)

Losing a step sucks and in JO's case I'm sure he's hoping that the injury is the only thing holding him back.

Speed
07-08-2008, 12:12 PM
It's typical JO.


Team, team, team, team.... Give me the ball, I'm going to dominate.

Um, what happened to team?

What JO should have said was, I'm going to try to make my teammates better and fit into a team that is really close to something special.

You can smell fake humble a mile a way.

juadam09
07-08-2008, 06:53 PM
Any body looking for XL JO Pacers jerseys?

lol

Anthem
07-08-2008, 08:14 PM
Any body looking for XL JO Pacers jerseys?

lol
I'll take it. How much you want?

duke dynamite
07-08-2008, 09:12 PM
I've got a couple. Plus one that is autographed.

Unclebuck
07-09-2008, 10:12 AM
New article

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080708.wsptraptors8/GSStory/GlobeSportsBasketball/home#


O'Neal's impact to remain mystery until the fall
MICHAEL GRANGE

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

July 8, 2008 at 9:45 PM EDT

TORONTO — This afternoon the Toronto Raptors will introduce Jermaine O'Neal, their newly acquired centre.

Who exactly he is and what he will bring to the franchise will likely remain a mystery until the season starts in November.

Is O'Neal an injury-plagued fading star destined to be a drag on the bottom line? Or a still potent veteran determined to extend the prime of his career and help the Raptors win their first playoff series in six years?

Trainer Joe Abunassar, who has been working with O'Neal daily in Las Vegas since May 15, bets on the latter as O'Neal attempts to rebound from a lost season and a "best thing for everyone" divorce from the Indiana Pacers.


"He's a world-class player and an unbelievable guy," said Abunassar, who runs an elite summer training program in Las Vegas for a who's who of NBA stars. "He's like Kevin Garnett that way, just a pleasure to be around."

The scouting report only gets better from there. It needs to as Raptors president Bryan Colangelo tries to steer the franchise back into the mix in the Eastern Conference after a desultory 41-41 season.

In trading T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the No. 17 pick in the draft (Roy Hibbert), Colangelo has staked the Raptors' short-term future on the belief that a revitalized O'Neal will team with Chris Bosh to give Toronto one of the premier front lines in the NBA.

But if O'Neal continues to battle injuries — he's played more than 51 games only once in the past four seasons — or fails to fit in alongside Bosh, the Raptors will have little choice but to count the days until his massive salary comes off the books after the 2009-10 season and they can begin to rebuild.

For what it's worth, opinions around the NBA are fairly uniform: If O'Neal can regain his health and maintain his enthusiasm in his 13th NBA season, few question his ability to have an impact on a game.

"The thing about Jermaine is there have been two issues over the past couple of seasons," said one front-office staffer. "One has been injuries; the other has been the circumstances around the Pacers that impacted everyone on the team. The bottom line with Jermaine is that he's an all-star-calibre player, and if he's healthy enough, he's still young enough to be an all-star-calibre player again."

O'Neal's injury problems have been varied: torn groin muscles, shoulder problems, sprained ankles and most recently a balky knee that never stabilized last year after surgery for cartilage problems after the 2006-07 season.

The Pacers' problems have been all over the map, as well. There was the brawl in Auburn Hills, for which O'Neal was suspended 25 games for punching a fan in the melee, and a number of off-court incidents — some involving guns and drugs.

O'Neal wasn't involved, but their frequency, critics say, threw into question his leadership abilities. Defenders point out that O'Neal was trying to lead a team that featured noted problem cases Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley.

With a seven-year, $120-million (U.S.) contract, O'Neal became a focal point for fan discontent as the Pacers missed the playoffs the past three seasons. His occasional pleas to be traded didn't help the cause.

Complicating matters was that O'Neal and Pacers president Larry Bird are less than close. The perception is that Bird used former coach Isiah Thomas to get O'Neal to sign his contract after the 2003-04 season and then fired Thomas, betraying O'Neal's trust.

The pair are said to have hardly spoken in recent years, but given Bird's status as an in-state legend, it was a popularity contest O'Neal could never win.

"He's a misunderstood guy, coming from a screwed-up situation," said one NBA insider.

O'Neal has gone out of his way to prove he's ready for a fresh start in Toronto.

Following news of the deal, O'Neal called Colangelo, Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell and Bosh, in each case assuring them he was determined to make the most of a fresh start and fit in well alongside Bosh. He wanted to prove his string of six consecutive all-star seasons was the norm and the past two years the exception.

More important, he's been walking the walk, Abunassar says.

O'Neal has spent nearly two months focusing primarily on basketball-specific fitness training with just a dusting of skill work thrown in. His fitness and health have continued to improved, and he's now up to 45 minutes of basketball work following nearly two hours of therapy and training.

His four- to five-hour days will get longer later this month as he begins to scrimmage against other NBA players later this month.

"Most NBA players don't start coming in until June or July," Abunassar said. "But Jermaine was here in May. He was very determined to get into elite shape, and we set up a four-month plan to get there and we're way ahead of schedule.

"I've been doing this for 10 years and he's as good a guy as I've had in terms of focusing on the plan and doing what it takes to get ready. If he keeps going at this pace, he's going to have a tremendous summer and be able to roll right into training camp. He'll be ready."

2minutes twowa
07-09-2008, 10:32 AM
Nobody said he wasn't a good guy. Nobody said he wasn't a hard worker. Nobody questions his desire to win. The big question is durability. When you pay a guy that much, he has to be there for you in the playoffs. Even the all-star years, he rarely was 100% in the playoffs. I don't see that changing, especially now that I assume he'll be exclusively at center. They make it sound like everyone in Indiana hated him, and that's simply not true. Pacers had to rebuild, his contract had to be removed.

Putnam
07-09-2008, 10:40 AM
O'Neal has spent nearly two months focusing primarily on basketball-specific fitness training with just a dusting of skill work thrown in.

His four- to five-hour days will get longer later this month as he begins to scrimmage against other NBA players later this month.


Good for him. I'll be glad to see JO playing well again.

I hope there won't be a lot of second-guessing around here if and when Jermaine does well with the Raptors. The trade was good for the Pacers, even if Jermaine comes back strong. (Only if Ford, Nesterovich and Hibbert all flop should we regret it.)

Anthem
07-09-2008, 10:50 AM
Great article... thanks UB.


More important, he's been walking the walk, Abunassar says.

O'Neal has spent nearly two months focusing primarily on basketball-specific fitness training with just a dusting of skill work thrown in. His fitness and health have continued to improved, and he's now up to 45 minutes of basketball work following nearly two hours of therapy and training.

His four- to five-hour days will get longer later this month as he begins to scrimmage against other NBA players later this month.

"Most NBA players don't start coming in until June or July," Abunassar said. "But Jermaine was here in May. He was very determined to get into elite shape, and we set up a four-month plan to get there and we're way ahead of schedule.

"I've been doing this for 10 years and he's as good a guy as I've had in terms of focusing on the plan and doing what it takes to get ready. If he keeps going at this pace, he's going to have a tremendous summer and be able to roll right into training camp. He'll be ready."
I get that this won't make people suddenly like Jermaine if they hated him before. But at the very least, can we put to bed the "lazy" comments that sometimes find their way into the discussion? People who rip his work ethic or conditioning are really reaching.

Roy Munson
07-09-2008, 11:00 AM
Great article... thanks UB.


I get that this won't make people suddenly like Jermaine if they hated him before. But at the very least, can we put to bed the "lazy" comments that sometimes find their way into the discussion? People who rip his work ethic or conditioning are really reaching.

I hardly think that the testimony of Joe Abunassar (who is being paid to be JO's trainer) erases all questions about JO's work ethic and/or character. Besides, his work ethic and character were never a problem with me, it's always been about the ridiculous things he says and the inflated view he seems to have of himself. I've also never thought that he was a good team player in that he has never really made the players around him better.

To me, a player who quietly goes about his business and does a good job is preferable to a player who beats his chest and takes every opportunity to tell people how good he is, or how good he is going to be.

Hicks
07-09-2008, 11:07 AM
Wait, when did people start saying JO was lazy? That's nuts.

Well, unless the discussion is boxing out for rebounds. ;)

Naptown_Seth
07-09-2008, 11:15 AM
It's just funny to me that other than some locals most people really like JO and respect his game.

I mean mentioned in there but oft forgotten here was the whole Bird waits till JO resigns before firing Isiah thing. Then Bird calls out JO's leadership...multiple times. Bird calls out Rick's discipline issues till he's finally fired. Bird brings in tough guy JOB.

And what happens? More of the same. I'm willing to beleive that Bird has a plan now and is getting there, but it's a mistake to assume that Bird hasn't F'd up along the way to this point. The team had a lot of issues and somehow he wasn't involved in any of the oversight, but other people were.


I'm fine with the trade, it made sense. I'm fine with it even if JO kicks butt this year.

But people are saying that JO is a "bad guy" because they are saying he's selfish and egotistical, as well as a liar/deluded because he talks "team" when his real interest is personal accomplishments.

I don't agree with that.

You know "if I'm kicking butt this team is going to win" doesn't have to mean "it's all about me". It also means "I know the rest of the guys are solid, to me I'm the only question mark" as well as "I wouldn't expect those guys to carry my load, that's my job".

There's a lot to be said for reading your own opinions into things and JO has been the best/worst example of that in action.

MagicRat
07-09-2008, 11:23 AM
He would've saved himself a lot of grief if he just would've shaved his head for the playoffs............

pacers08
07-10-2008, 02:43 PM
yeah i dont think J.O is going to make it to champinoship this year:bs:

Bball
07-10-2008, 10:56 PM
Wait, when did people start saying JO was lazy? That's nuts.

Well, unless the discussion is boxing out for rebounds. ;)

I seem to recall a certain poster who has the initials UB weighing in on this subject once....

-Bball

Rajah Brown
07-12-2008, 02:47 PM
Was just listening to an interview on ESPN radio w/ Joe Abenassuer
(just a wilda$$ guess on spelling it), the personal training guru
who's worked with numerous NBA guys in the off-season, He
said he's been working with J.O. in recent weeks and his knee
is fine, he's stronger in his lower body than ever, slimmer in terms
of conditioned muscularity in his upper body and, (drumroll...)
'has been working harder than he's ever seen him in the 10 yrs
he's been around him'.

It was time to move J.O. and move on. But if he's suddenly gotten
religion training-wise and has a huge year next year, I'll admit I'll
be a little pissed off. Where the hell was that work ethic in recent
years ?

Mourning
07-12-2008, 03:05 PM
And I say it's BS and more of a salestalk of his trainer, maybe a pat on the back of JOs sort of like "I really like the effort you are putting into it, bud" to show his appreciation or give JO's morale an extra lift or maybe even to give the Toronto fans some extra hope, I dunno.

I do know that JO improved parts of his game virtually every year and did it in the summer by training hard.

Rebounding, shotblocking, passing out of doubleteams/better court awareness, more muscular/higher weight (as per request from our own management), etc. The summer when on his initiative (virtually) everyone came back earlier from summerbrake to train together in preparation of the new season.

I call BS on him not having had a good work ethic or whatever. Yes, I think he maybe wasn't as active the last two summers because he was rehabbing major injuries.

Sjeesh, can't believe I'm actually standing up for JO against some of you now, used to be more the other way around...

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

BlueNGold
07-12-2008, 06:12 PM
Nothing is going to matter until later in the season. If his body holds up in the second half and he plays at a high level, it will be the first time for years. In any event, he was not going to stay in Indy so he could turn into Duncan and we'd still lose him...

Anthem
07-12-2008, 10:16 PM
Where the hell was that work ethic in recent years ?
Let it go, dude. You're reaching.

Sirius
07-13-2008, 03:51 AM
not sure jermaine really knows what it takes, as some of you have said. really how could we know...the state of affairs with this team since he arrived has been rather ridiculous...he could be a totally different guy/player had the brawl not erupted and we had realized our championship caliber potential that year.

he however has always been a great interview/quotestar and seems perenially in the right state of mind. pretty sure he always means what he says, and hes certainly a class act. in some of the best and then suddenly darkest years of the team he almost always was a bright spot (sans injury troubles, although ill never forget his left handed foul shooting). hes talking a little big here but i wouldnt want to see anything else from a player of his potential/caliber on a decently talented team and i really wish him the best...after the pacers, toronto will now be one of the top few teams ill be rooting for this season.

aceace
07-13-2008, 01:21 PM
Video of JO, taped 7/12/08 tells all.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/video/index.asp?mm_file_id=1213&PLAY_CLIP=Y

Anthem
07-13-2008, 05:25 PM
Video of JO, taped 7/12/08 tells all.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/video/index.asp?mm_file_id=1213&PLAY_CLIP=Y
Yeah, that's a really good interview. I'm sure Bball could find something wrong with it, but it seemed both really upfront and honest, and at the same time very honoring of the Pacers franchise.

Unclebuck
07-14-2008, 10:39 AM
Here is a decent article. The part I put in bold is a little concerning - about making up injuries. Seems to be suggesting it was the knee injury all along and not the other string of injuries that we were told about.


http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9450&print=yes


Jermaine O'Neal has endured some tough times with the Indiana Pacers over the past four years, but he's looking forward to an opportunity to hit the reset button with the Toronto Raptors next season.

"Sometimes you need a fresh start," O'Neal told HOOPSWORLD after a hard workout at Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, the elite training facility for NBA athletes during the offseason. "Obviously, we've been through a lot these last four years with the Indiana Pacers and things didn't pan out the way we wanted them to pan out. So I'm getting this opportunity to start over new. Not only start over new but with a good organization and a really good team, so I'm excited about that."

There's plenty for O'Neal to be excited about, as he joins an up-and-coming Raptors roster that hopes to contend for an Eastern Conference title. Pairing with Chris Bosh in the paint, O'Neal sounded thrilled and rejuvenated with an opportunity to form arguably the most formidable duo of big men in the league. "It can be scary," O'Neal said. "Teams haven't seen that in a while, where you can throw two guys on both boxes who can really set up and shoot the 15-foot jumpshot, post up, and put the ball on the floor. I don't really know who you can double off of because we have three-point shooting on the perimeter, so teams are really going to have to roll their sleeves up."

One of those perimeter players for the Raptors, Anthony Parker, was also putting his time into training at Impact Basketball on Saturday and echoed the same eager sentiment as O'Neal. "His addition to our team brings us what we were missing last year," Parker told HOOPSWORLD. "He brings toughness, a defensive presence in the paint, and he's a great rebounder. All of those things are things we struggled with last year. I'm very excited to have him on the team and the organization and the fans are just really excited for another season."

With Bosh and O'Neal down low, Parker sees the opportunity for himself and others on the outside to really thrive. "Chris makes all of our lives so much easier and then you add another guy like Jermaine O'Neal who is the exact same kind of presence," he said. "He's going to open things up and you've got to honor him and maybe send two people at him, same way with Chris. And that opens things up for guys like me and Jason Kapono on the outside."

Injuries have hampered O'Neal over the past two seasons, but he admitted that the extent of his injury was never fully disclosed to the public. "I don't think people realize that I had played on a torn meniscus for a year and a half and didn't tell anybody," O'Neal told HOOPSWORLD. "We just told teams it was different injuries so they wouldn't know it was my knee and it just really took a toll on me physically and mentally and it turned out getting worse."

After taking the time off, O'Neal said he is rested and healthy enough to make a strong run next season with his new team. Using the summer to train hard, O'Neal feels that he'll be physically and mentally prepared to make a great run. "I knew that in order to get to the level people are used to seeing me play at, I had to take the time off," he said. "Have a great summer and go into the season with a different mental focus and a different physical focus."

His summer training with Impact Basketball has been integral in his eagerness to get physically healthy since he's now mentally healthy. "We're doing some things that I haven't done in my career," he said. "They've taken my blood type and figured out what diet you need to be on. The diet they have me on is a pretty severe diet as far as the things I like to eat – bread and dairy product and so on. These guys, they do everything. It's a full a facility with a lot of different players in the gym, great training, and they hand you off to the next guy. You come in and it's physical therapy, next guy's Joe on the court, and the next guy's JR in the weight room, and then I've got my physical therapist at home. So they've really put together a great team which really helps me and guarantees in my mind that I'm going to come back and come back in a major way next year."

With his future looking so strong, O'Neal was thankful for his past, acknowledging and appreciating the Pacers organization for the way they've treated him over the years. The Pacers saw the talent O'Neal had years ago when he was playing a nominal role with the Portland Trail Blazers, trading for him in the summer of 2000 and watching his career take off as a potential MVP candidate. "It's hard to explain what that organization has been through," O'Neal said. "I know there's a lot of other organizations that have been through some things off the court, but that team has really suffered and suffered in a major way. And that's why I compliment Larry Bird and the Simons, which are our owners, for the job that they did with trading me and also getting something for me and also putting me in a position where I can still compete and show what I can do."

The Pacers and O'Neal had talked about possibly moving him in the past, but both parties decided that it was better for the team to give it another go with him on the roster rather than look to rebuild. That changed this season, though. "It was better for them to make a move," O'Neal said. "Obviously, Mike Dunleavy and Danny Granger had great years and it's the perfect time to make that transition with those two guys coming off the years that they had."

With that decision, O'Neal now has an opportunity to experience the kind of success he hasn't seen since the Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. Although the Raptors figure to be players in the East, O'Neal knows that triumph won't come easily for his new team. "We look good on paper but obviously we got to get that chemistry and we got to get that swagger about ourselves that we're one of the better teams in the league," he said. "As soon as we get that, I think we can be good but the work is still yet to be done."

Already putting in the work at Impact Basketball, O'Neal and Parker are doing their part to help the Toronto Raptors get to the next level.

Reborn and ready to go, Jermaine O'Neal should return to form next season and provide the young Raptors with the veteran presence needed to do just that.

rexnom
07-14-2008, 10:53 AM
Yikes, I'm sure the Raptors are happy to know that JO was seriously injured and not nicked up...

BillS
07-14-2008, 10:59 AM
I think the idea was not to fool the fans but to make sure that other teams didn't focus on JO's knee when he was in the game.

That used to be standard practice.

Also, I seem to recall that once the decision was made for JO to stay out until fully healed we WERE told about the torn meniscus.

Bball
07-14-2008, 11:09 AM
I'm pretty sure what UB posted is the text version of the video clip posted just above. ...except the text version doesn't utilize the parts of the video clip where JO starts talking about dominating again...

-Bball

Unclebuck
07-14-2008, 11:12 AM
I think the idea was not to fool the fans but to make sure that other teams didn't focus on JO's knee when he was in the game.

That used to be standard practice.

Also, I seem to recall that once the decision was made for JO to stay out until fully healed we WERE told about the torn meniscus.

That makes sense, but the only reason I care is if all along it was just the knee that was the problem - and if that is now healed, he might have a healthy season. I don't really believe that, though

QuickRelease
07-14-2008, 11:12 AM
Not exactly.

People are bashing him for his over-inflated ego, saying he is seeing championships "won by his peers" when he is far removed from the Kevin Garnett/Paul Pierce/Dwayne Wade/Tim Duncan/Manu Ginobili level of player.

He is just not anywhere near that good anymore. 5 years ago, yes. Now he is Drew Gooden, with a better resume only if you go back far enough and convince yourself that going back that far is relevant.

I am thrilled that this over-inflated sense of self-importance is so longer our problem to deal with.

:hmm:

JayRedd
07-14-2008, 11:13 AM
Video of JO, taped 7/12/08 tells all.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/video/index.asp?mm_file_id=1213&PLAY_CLIP=Y


That was great. I already miss the guy.

Toronto will be for real, for real if Jermaine can regain form. I still can't believe how much everyone has forget how utterly dominating he was in the first half of 2006-2007. Look at the "Pre-All Star" numbers. 19.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg and 3.0 bpg on 44.6% shooting and near top of the League leaderboard in charges taken with many people in the national media calling him the front-runner for DPOY. It was the best I'd seen him play in years.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3120/splits?year=2006&type=Fielding

BorisD
07-18-2008, 06:15 PM
It's typical JO.


Team, team, team, team.... Give me the ball, I'm going to dominate.

Um, what happened to team?

What JO should have said was, I'm going to try to make my teammates better and fit into a team that is really close to something special.

You can smell fake humble a mile a way.
You know, as a Raptors fan I groaned a bit at that trade (and at JO when he called himself "one of the most efficient power forwards in the game the past 7 years" :rolleyes: ), but I think you're misrepresenting his attitude a lot.

Toronto suffered this past year under an insane, egotistical coach who at one point didn't make eye contact or even talk to our 1st overall pick two years ago because of...a lot of factors that only the Smitch can explain. Bargnani got his PT and spot in the rotation and expectations on the floor jerked around a lot, and Bargnani's play predictably suffered (he started the year looking like a world-beater). And what does JO say, repeatedly? How excited he is with the opportunity to mentor Bargnani, to teach him, to encourage him, and how he thinks he's a great talent. He talked more about Bargnani and how glad he was to be playing with him than he did about Bosh or Calderon. I was so freaking impressed by that I almost cried.

I knew as soon as they got JO that he would make our offense suffer with his own inefficiency, nor would he address our biggest problem (offensive rebounding) in any significant way, but I figured he would help us on the defensive end, and I figure he will. But for no other reason, if his confidence (bravado?) and encouragement gives a new lease on life to Bargnani and he acts as an antidote to the Smitch in that regard, JOw's worth taking the rest of his problems on for.