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Thread: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

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    Default Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Jermaine O'Neal can't get up like he used to. The Indiana Pacers' 6-foot-11 all-star forward would elevate so high and lift his right arm even higher to release his jumper, making it virtually impossible for an opponent to reject it. But on more than one occasion this season, O'Neal has had that jumper stuffed right back in his face.
    "You never really [saw] that," O'Neal said after the Pacers lost 103-90 to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
    But it happened again in the fourth quarter last night, when Wizards center Brendan Haywood swatted O'Neal's 15-foot shot. O'Neal grabbed the rebound then leaned to the left to shoot a fadeaway that barely grazed the rim. It's been an all-too-familiar image for O'Neal this season: Either a Marcus Camby, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins or Haywood is blocking his shot or he is simply off target.
    O'Neal needed 19 shots to get 17 points last night. He played a season-high 39 minutes and the Pacers (3-5) lost their fifth game in a row. The third-leading scorer on the Pacers - behind Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy?!? - at 13.7 points per game, O'Neal is shooting a career-low 38.3 percent from the floor. His primary problem is an over-reliance on that jump shot. He isn't backing down his opponents in the low block as much, or giving those shakes and shimmies to get them off-balanced.
    O'Neal obviously isn't right.
    As he munched on a plate of chicken fingers and French fries after the game, O'Neal had an ice pack on his surgically repaired left knee (he had offseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus last summer, just like Gilbert Arenas). But from the sullen look that appears surgically placed upon his face, he seems to be weighed down by more than just a bum knee.
    "I'm not really enjoying it right now," O'Neal said. "For one, we're losing."

    Will you trade for me? (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
    O'Neal is having a difficult adjustment to a team that is abandoning the plodding (Arenas used the term, "robotic") style in which he thrived under Rick Carlisle to a new, uptempo approach under new Coach Jim O'Brien. The personnel around O'Neal have changed dramatically, too, over the past few seasons, leaving him to ponder his future with the organization.
    He had the most baffling trade me/don't trade me demand this side of Kobe Bryant last summer and the Pacers made no secrets that they were attempting to move O'Neal. They called about 25 teams to gauge interest in O'Neal before realizing that the league-wide opinion of the only Pacer to be named to six all-star teams had diminished considerably.
    It was just three years ago that O'Neal was in discussion for the league's most valuable player award, finishing third in voting in 2004, after he averaged 20.1 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks to lead the Pacers to 61 wins and the Eastern Conference Finals. But O'Neal has missed 82 games because of injuries and suspensions the past three seasons. His reputation for being brittle, combined with his salary - O'Neal makes $19.7 million this season and is owed more than $44 million the next two - has made him difficult to move.
    Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird has taken O'Neal off the block while the team attempts to see how he fits into O'Brien's new system, but the cloud still lingers.
    "I don't worry about that," O'Neal said of the trade speculation. "It doesn't bother me because I understand the nature of the business. When things go bad, the best player is going to get his name thrown in there.
    "I mean, you got a situation with Kobe Bryant, who is the league's best player. How do you trade him? If they trade a guy like Shaq, everybody is tradable," O'Neal said. "You can't sit down and worry about what a team is thinking. I told [Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh] and those guys this summer . . . 'If y'all choose to move me to another situation, I appreciate what you've done for me. You've given me the opportunity to establish myself. I stand behind their decision.' If I'm traded, I'm traded. That means there is another team that wants me."
    O'Neal, Jeff Foster and Jamaal Tinsley are the only players remaining from that conference final team. And Bird said in a conversation last month that the team still hasn't recovered from the infamous brawl in November 2004. "Just to fight back from that was tough on all of us," Bird said. "We had a team that could compete for a championship, but some players wanted to be traded, some players couldn't play together, and we made a lot of changes. But we're trying to build it back up to an elite. It might take some time, but we feel like we're in that direction."
    Since the brawl, Bird and Walsh have traded Ron Artest for Peja Stojakovic, traded for Al Harrington and packaged him with Stephen Jackson to bring in Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu. "It feels like we did start over," O'Neal said, "but it doesn't feel like we're at that expansion level. I'm willing to grow with those guys. If the team feels like it needs to move me if things aren't going well, that's what it is."
    This summer, the Pacers replaced Carlisle with O'Brien, who has given his team permission to get out on the run. After missing the last four preseason games and the season opener with a hyperextended left knee, O'Neal said he has been forced to "figure things out on the fly." O'Brien has been bringing along slowly O'Neal, playing him shortened minutes, and said he wasn't worried about his star's reduced production. "Jermaine's numbers aren't where they are going to be midseason," O'Brien said.
    O'Neal said he is confident that he won't continue to struggle. "I'm getting there," O'Neal said. "My game is not where I want it to be. My rhythm isn't any where near where I want it to be. My knee isn't where I want it to be. But I feel better every time I step on the court. I don't have any major concerns that I won't be back to the level I want to be.
    "Do I feel down about where I'm at? No," he said. "I feel like it's early in the season."

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/wizar...joying_it.html

  2. #2
    Inspiration Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Sorry, Anthem, but it's true.

    Like I said a while back, JO just isn't a good fit for an up-tempo offense.

    I like JO a lot, but I think his days here are numbered.
    "I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right."

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Sorry, Anthem, but it's true.

    Like I said a while back, JO just isn't a good fit for an up-tempo offense.

    I live JO a lot, but I think his days here are numbered.
    I'm waiting til the end of November before I judge...two more weeks.

    Although I will say this...Ike Diogu cannot come back quick enough.

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    Opps I farted! Smashed_Potato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    JO for Bynum BABYYYYYYYYY
    "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Although we're probably gonna get $.75 on the dollar for him... would anyone else be surprised if JONeal is going to be gone sometime between December 15th and the trade deadline?

    I won't be.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    So, JO isn't a good fit for up tempo.

    He isn't a good fit for a slow-it-down, because he takes too much of a pounding.

    What is he a good fit for?
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by Smashed_Potato View Post
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    JO for Bynum BABYYYYYYYYY
    Even I think that Bynum is off the table for JONeal. Even with JONeal's sub-par play....either due to injury or cuz he doesn't fit into our system.....I'm guessing that Odom would be off the table as well.

    JONeal's trade value is at a pretty low-point right now.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Opps I farted! Smashed_Potato's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I'm pretty sure Odom is on the table for him.
    "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I want them to start running and having fun man. These guys last night don't look interested in playing basketball. I hope I don't get disappointed watchin the Toronto game tomorrow
    R.I.P. Bernic Mac & Isaac Hayes

  10. #10

    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I'm not going to rub it in as a Laker fan here but I was getting trashed on this board for saying that JO's trade value was at its highest during the summer. Right now JO will not sacrifice his body for a team he knows has no shot at a title anytime soon.

    Perhaps the only trade partner that is viable is LA. LA has been looking to unload Kwame and Odom for a long time. I think both of those guys would do VERY well on the Pacer team. What do you guys think?

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by oneofthesedays View Post
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    I'm not going to rub it in as a Laker fan here but I was getting trashed on this board for saying that JO's trade value was at its highest during the summer. Right now JO will not sacrifice his body for a team he knows has no shot at a title anytime soon.

    Perhaps the only trade partner that is viable is LA. LA has been looking to unload Kwame and Odom for a long time. I think both of those guys would do VERY well on the Pacer team. What do you guys think?

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Lakers interest in JO cools down a lot, based on the way he's playing this season. They HAVE to be re-thinking the who 'trading for JO to make Kobe happy' thing. In fact, I bet Kobe is rethinking it, too.

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post
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    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Lakers interest in JO cools down a lot, based on the way he's playing this season. They HAVE to be re-thinking the who 'trading for JO to make Kobe happy' thing. In fact, I bet Kobe is rethinking it, too.
    The best time to strike when the iron was hot was before training camp when Kobe was still in "Trade me to the Bulls" mode and ( assuming that Bynum was anywhere near the trading table ) before there was any certainty that he could contribute in any real manner.

    But Bird decided that we should gamble that this offense would work with the current roster and once again....we came up rolling snake eyes.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Called it.

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    As a Laker fan, I think Odom for JO would be good for BOTH teams. Odom will thrive in your new offense. Question is... what do you get with Odom? Bynum train is LONG GONE. What deals would you guys accept? Odom/Sasha/Evans and a 1st round pick?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Sorry Odom + fille won't get it done ... and you know it!

    Every Laker fan is harping on JO's health while LO himself has missed at least as many games as JO the last seasons.

    The minimal offer is Kwame, Bynum + filler (heck I will even take on Vladrad).
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I would rather have Bynum and scraps with no draft pick. I'm calling it now, Bynum will be better than JO. If you pair him with Granger, Williams, and our first rounder this year, thats a good future.

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    idk whyy, but i find myself feeling sorry fo JO. the time is coming very quickly for the pacers and him to part. i feel the pacers need to just move on and JO deserves to have a chance to win before he hangs it up.

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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpolloloco View Post
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    Sorry Odom + fille won't get it done ... and you know it!

    Every Laker fan is harping on JO's health while LO himself has missed at least as many games as JO the last seasons.

    The minimal offer is Kwame, Bynum + filler (heck I will even take on Vladrad).
    I hate to say it...but even I know that Bynum is off the table. We had more leverage before it was obvious that JONeal was still recovering from injures....we had some leverage before Bynum started showing that he can put up solid #s.....we had some leverage before Odom returned and ( most of all )....we had some leverage before we hit a nice 5 game losing streak.

    Unfortunately, we no longer are in any position to dictate how the trade should go down. I hope we can get as much trade value for JONeal...but at best......I am guessing that we won't get what would be considered a fair trade...but a trade that is based off of JONeal's market value ( which I think is really low right now ).
    Last edited by CableKC; 11-15-2007 at 06:25 PM.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    I hate to say it...but even I know that Bynum is off the table. We had more leverage before it was obvious that JONeal was still recovering from injures....we had some leverage before Bynum started showing that he had some potential...we had some leverage before Odom returned and we had some leverage before we hit a nice 5 game losing streak.

    Unfortunately, we no longer are in any position to dictate how the trade should go down. I hope we can get as much trade value for JONeal...but at best......I am guessing that we won't get what would be considered a fair trade...but a trade that is based off of JONeal's market value ( which I think is really low right now ).
    If you don't trade JO now I get the feeling things are gonna get ugly in Pacer land. Especially if the losses keep coming. JO's value is only going to get lower from here on out. The Lakers and Pacers are the perfect trading partners, we both have players that don't fit our system that would flourish elsewhere. It's time to put your pride aside Pacer fans, if you think Odom+Kwame is bad for JO you ain't seen nothing yet. If you wait till this next offseason to trade him the offers are gonna be way worse.

    There is no way in hell you're getting Bynum either. The Laker FO is dumb, but not that dumb.

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    Inspiration Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    To all the Lakers fans coming out of the woodwork:

    We are NOT trading JO for a package with Odom as the centerpiece. That's garbage, and you know it.

    The end.
    "I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right."

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    Quote Originally Posted by oneofthesedays View Post
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    If you don't trade JO now I get the feeling things are gonna get ugly in Pacer land.
    **** aint been pretty for SOME time now. Aint no secret there.

    And Odom is pointless for us. We have Granger and like 15 other 6'7" SFs. We need a guard or a true big man.
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  22. #22
    Release Psycho T pwee31's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I'm "not really enjoying it" either JO, what should I do?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    So is this trade back on or what?

  24. #24
    Step aside, King James BlueNGold's Avatar
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    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    One thing the Laker trolls need to realize is that the Pacers know that JO is the focus of the other team's defense. That's not the case with LO. JO is also a far better defensive presence in the middle. JO is a talented "big"....and very few of them exist in the league.

    Unless the Pacers think JO's knee is a career ending or significantly limiting injury, he will not be traded for LO...particularly when LO is not the answer at PF. Ike is not that far behind and has the tools to be just as good in his own way.

    To think we would pickup LO for the SF position is laughable. No, not even Bird would make that trade.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Article: O'Neal: "Not Really Enjoying It"

    I'd rather let JO's contract expire or him opting out than taking a deal not including Bynum. At least that would give us more financial flexibility.

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