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    Default Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2012...TS04/121228041

    Jermaine O誰eal spent eight seasons playing for the Indiana Pacers. He made the playoffs six times in those eight seasons. He was selected to five All-Star Games and was a Most Valuable Player candidate one year.

    That was more than four years ago.

    But when he does retire, which could be any year now for the 34-year-old veteran, he wants to retire as a Pacer.

    O誰eal was back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday as a backup center with the Phoenix Suns.

    的 would be honored if the organization would allow me to (retire with them), the city allowed me to do that, O誰eal said. 的 can go anywhere in the world and people recognize me from my Pacers days. My heart and soul is here, and if I can get an opportunity to retire as a Pacer that would be fantastic.

    The only thing O誰eal didn稚 ?accomplish during his time with the Pacers was win an NBA title.

    The Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004 where they lost to the Detroit Pistons.

    O誰eal was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2008.

    After stops with the Raptors, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, O誰eal signed with the Suns during the offseason.

    He said he doesn稚 know how many more years he plans to play, but the days of signing with title-contending teams are behind him.

    的知 taking it year to year, baby, O誰eal said. 的知 not going to chase a championship, that痴 the reason why I signed here. I just want to go somewhere and have fun. The spirit here is great, we池e not where we want to be with the record. It痴 a great atmosphere and makes you feel young all over again.

    Young sidelined
    The Pacers were short a player on the wing for the second straight game.

    Swingman Sam Young missed Friday痴 game with the flu. It痴 uncertain if he値l play tonight against the Hawks in Atlanta.

    The Pacers couldn稚 turn to rookie Orlando Johnson as the fourth wing because he was in Fort Wayne with the Mad Ants, Indiana痴 D-League affiliate.

    Vogel elected to go with a three-man wing rotation of Paul George, Lance Stephenson and Gerald Green, who missed last weekend痴 game at New Orleans with a sprained ankle.

    Working on things
    The postponement of Wednesday痴 game against the Chicago Bulls gave the Pacers five days in between games and three practice days.

    The extra day allowed the Pacers to work on their zone offense ?because the Suns used it and the Hawks will likely play some tonight.

    添ou always worry about guys staying sharp and having a little rust, but we haven稚 had a prolonged sequence where we haven稚 been playing, Vogel said.

    Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053 .

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by BornReady View Post
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    http://www.indystar.com/article/2012...TS04/121228041

    I can go anywhere in the world and people recognize me from my Pacers days.
    How true do you think it is that O'Neal is recognizable around the world? Maybe to basketball fans in the U.S., but around the world? I think maybe he is taking a bit of liberty with that.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    How true do you think it is that O'Neal is recognizable around the world? Maybe to basketball fans in the U.S., but around the world? I think maybe he is taking a bit of liberty with that.
    I think maybe you're splitting a few hairs.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by aamcguy View Post
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    I think maybe you're splitting a few hairs.
    I don't know. Maybe it is the way I worded it. Let me put it this way. How many NBA players, other than the very top tier guys, would be recognized if they walked down a street in London, or Berlin or Moscow or wherever? The same question could be asked as how many people in Europe, Asia or wherever would recognize the names of players, other than the top tier players?

    That is the question I was trying to get to. Is it an exaggeration to believe that the majority of NBA players would be known by sight or name in other countries?

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom White View Post
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    I don't know. Maybe it is the way I worded it. Let me put it this way. How many NBA players, other than the very top tier guys, would be recognized if they walked down a street in London, or Berlin or Moscow or wherever? The same question could be asked as how many people in Europe, Asia or wherever would recognize the names of players, other than the top tier players?

    That is the question I was trying to get to. Is it an exaggeration to believe that the majority of NBA players would be known by sight or name in other countries?
    At one point he was one of those top tier players though. You're right that only basketball fans will know him, but in the US you would have to be a sports fan to know who the top tier guys are still. He's kind of an odd looking guy, and he's a 250 pound 7 foot man lol. If they were ever NBA fans they would recognize him.

    That said, you and I are both just speculating. I'd have to believe that since he mentions being recognized around the world, it is because he has in fact been recognized around the world. He's very wealthy, and you'd have to think he travels in the offseason.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by aamcguy View Post
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    I'd have to believe that since he mentions being recognized around the world, it is because he has in fact been recognized around the world.
    Big JO fan here, but consider the source. He also said he was going to dominate.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Obviously the FO doesnt want him as he has been a cheap FA and he isn't here. It's all about him as always, thinking of himself after basketball. Pacers is his only chance and he has been saying this for like 2-3 yrs. now. I'm tired of hearing the same BS. As bad as the brawl and Ron and Jack doing their thing. The one thing I will never forget is JO at 6'11" cold cockin that dude on the floor. Yea, I know, he had the right, but seriously, he didn't have to turn into ALI. That will always be with me. I personally will never ever be a Pacers fan if JO gets his Jersey hung...just not good.

    I don't hate JO, I actually like to see him back the last 2 yrs. And maybe he could've changed the way people see him as. Make up for his bad contract and all, if you will. Just don't see it happening, the ship has sailed.
    .

    Frank Vogel says "Killer instinct, start strong, build a lead and then step on their throats."

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    Arrow Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacer Fan View Post
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    Obviously the FO doesnt want him as he has been a cheap FA and he isn't here. It's all about him as always, thinking of himself after basketball. Pacers is his only chance and he has been saying this for like 2-3 yrs. now. I'm tired of hearing the same BS. As bad as the brawl and Ron and Jack doing their thing. The one thing I will never forget is JO at 6'11" cold cockin that dude on the floor. Yea, I know, he had the right, but seriously, he didn't have to turn into ALI. That will always be with me. I personally will never ever be a Pacers fan if JO gets his Jersey hung...just not good.

    I don't hate JO, I actually like to see him back the last 2 yrs. And maybe he could've changed the way people see him as. Make up for his bad contract and all, if you will. Just don't see it happening, the ship has sailed.
    i saw NOTHING wrong with what he did then, and saw nothing wrong with it now.

    Lord forbid turtle had a knife or gun when he ran on the court that night....

    you enter the playing field (in any sport) you are fair game.... Simple solution if you dont like it. Stay the **** off the court and in your seat

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacer Fan View Post
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    Obviously the FO doesnt want him as he has been a cheap FA and he isn't here.
    Could be. But I'll suggest that JO to the Pacers didn't happen (yet) because of a combo of 2 things: 1) we actually had money to spend for a long term backup C, so we were looking at more expensive options (i.e. Mahinmi at 4 years $16m). And 2) prior to this season, JO looked done. He's having a nice comeback season though, maybe due to Phoenix's miracle medical staff.

    Next year when we're looking to fill the bench (seems doubtful that we'd re-sign both THans and Pendy), you'd think we'd give JO another look. He's cheap, he wants to be here, and he'll have proven that he still has some gas left in the tank.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    Could be. But I'll suggest that JO to the Pacers didn't happen (yet) because of a combo of 2 things: 1) we actually had money to spend for a long term backup C, so we were looking at more expensive options (i.e. Mahinmi at 4 years $16m). And 2) prior to this season, JO looked done. He's having a nice comeback season though, maybe due to Phoenix's miracle medical staff.

    Next year when we're looking to fill the bench (seems doubtful that we'd re-sign both THans and Pendy), you'd think we'd give JO another look. He's cheap, he wants to be here, and he'll have proven that he still has some gas left in the tank.

    #3 As long as Bird was in the FO JO was never going to be a Pacer again.

    IIRC, Walsh had a good relationship with JO, so maybe there is a possibility of JO being able to come back next season. It can't be overlooked JO would be cheap, an experienced vet, productive if he's healthy, and was a fan favorite who still has supporters.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    I don't even mean this as a negative (or positive), but you have to think that a big portion of JO being recognized as a Pacer also includes the Brawl. Of all the images of the Pacers from that era that people around the world saw a lot of, #1 has to be replays of the brawl. Ron, Jack and JO are definitely linked to the Pacers through those images foremost.

    I'm happy he identifies with the Pacers and pleased (if true) to hear that he purposely avoid title chasing to just sign someplace that would make him happy. But of Ron, JO and Jack, JO has had the fewest moments of fame post-brawl to help make people forget it. Jack has had some bad moments since then, but he's also had the GSW upset and a nice run with Charlotte for one year. Ron, nuts as he continues to be, has had glory moments with the Lakers. JO has just mostly been in the background since Indy.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    I'd love to have him back here off our bench. PHX is spinning it's wheels right now, wonder if they would part with JO/Dudley for some cap space, Green, and a pick.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Can't believe I'm saying this, but I would love if the Pacers brought him back at the deadline this year. Yes, I loathe his sort of egotistical "I'll dominate again" persona, but it would be cool to see him finnish in a Pacers uni. Maybe even a bit of closure for what could of been. And he looked good last night (I hated when he blocked Hibby). I would only be concerned that JO can only stay healthy in PHX.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    If JO comes back here for a few playoff runs, does his jersey get retired?

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    If JO comes back here for a few playoff runs, does his jersey get retired?
    JO was one of my favorites. I have his bobble head. There is no way his jersey gets retired.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNGold View Post
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    JO was one of my favorites. I have his bobble head. There is no way his jersey gets retired.
    This was a very Stephen A Smith like put down.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    If JO comes back here for a few playoff runs, does his jersey get retired?
    No.

    We've clearly set a very strict standard for retiring jerseys given that Reggie is the only NBA Pacer with a retired jersey. Smits, Jackson, and D. Davis were far more popular figures than J.O. ever was. I realize JO's six all-star appearances dwarf the combined two that those three had here (1 each for Smits and Davis), but those three guys were vital cogs on teams that went on deep playoff runs and even made the NBA Finals. We really only had one great season with JO, 03-04. We were eliminated in the first round four times (01, 02, 03, 06) and missed the playoffs twice (07, 08). We did make it to the second round in 05, but that year was obviously marred by the brawl. Plus it was Reggie and Stephen Jackson who were really carrying that team down the stretch. JO was hurt in early March and didn't come back until the very end of the season. The Dale Davis addition helped a lot too.

    JO was a very good player, but he didn't do enough to warrant having his uni hang with Reggie and the ABA greats, IMHO.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 12-29-2012 at 12:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    No.

    We've clearly set a very strict standard for retiring jerseys given that Reggie is the only NBA Pacer with a retired jersey. Smits, Jackson, and D. Davis were far more popular figures than J.O. ever was. I realize JO's six all-star appearances dwarf the combined two that those three had here (1 each for Smits and Davis), but those three guys were vital cogs on teams that went on deep playoff runs and even made the NBA Finals. We really only had one great season with JO, 03-04. We were eliminated in the first round four times (01, 02, 03, 06) and missed the playoffs twice (07, 08). We did make it to the second round in 05, but that year was obviously marred by the brawl. Plus it was Reggie and Stephen Jackson who were really carrying that team down the stretch. JO was hurt in early March and didn't come back until the very end of the season. The Dale Davis addition helped a lot too.

    JO was a very good player, but he didn't do enough to warrant having his uni hang with Reggie and the ABA greats, IMHO.
    I know this is the answer, but that 3rd in MVP voting year and the fact that he was the most popular athlete in the state for awhile makes me think.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    I know this is the answer, but that 3rd in MVP voting year and the fact that he was the most popular athlete in the state for awhile makes me think.
    Not to split hairs, but I don't think he was ever the most popular athlete in the state. The year he finished third in MVP voting (03-04) was also the year that the Colts took a giant leap forward by winning their first playoff games of the Manning era, eventually losing to the Pats in the AFC Title game. Manning was co-MVP that year with McNair. By that point, Manning was in his sixth season in the NFL and had firmly established himself as one of the game's greats, not to mention the fact that he was marketing gold. I don't think there was ever a point where JO was more popular than Manning. JO's tenure here coincided with the golden Manning years.

    EDIT: I will say that in 03-04, JO was definitely on track to having a career here that would warrant a jersey retirement. But everything unfortunately went drastically downhill after that season.
    Last edited by Sollozzo; 12-29-2012 at 12:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Never blamed JO for the brawl at all, but yes, he's one of the poster boys for it. In fact, JO is unique in that he is both a Brawler and a JailBlazer. Spending half of the time in a suit the last few years of his Pacer tenure, JO is also known as a very much overpaid player along the same lines as Elton Brand. These are the things the rest of the world sees.

    The reality is, even with all that talent, the JO era teams didn't accomplish much. They didn't have good chemistry. They lost in the 1st round 4 times, lost in the 2nd round once and lost in the ECF once. They didn't even make it to the playoffs his last two years as a Pacer, right in his prime. Great player for a few years, but these are his real accomplishments and they pale in comparison to the notoriety he got with the brawl.
    LeWade are going down.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    JO was an NBA All Star more than any other Pacer so guessing casual fans would know him from that. I'd love to see JO back as a Pacer as an active player' In my opinion his #7 should be retired when he is done playing weither he ever plays as a Pacer again or not.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    I love Jermaine as a player and he's still one of my favorites. I'd be happy if he got to finish his career here as a Pacer and it seems it'd really give him peace of heart as well if he were able to. He's actually being fairly productive for Phoenix all things considered, and I certainly wouldn't be opposed to having that off our bench.

    But yea, I don't think he's good enough to have his jersey retired, unless we do get him him, and he carries us to win.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    I don't know about retiring his jersey #, but I don't see why it would be too unreasonable to allow him to sign a one day contract and retire as a Pacer when he eventually calls it quits.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    Quote Originally Posted by PR07 View Post
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    I don't know about retiring his jersey #, but I don't see why it would be too unreasonable to allow him to sign a one day contract and retire as a Pacer when he eventually calls it quits.

    How often does that even happen in the NBA? Seems like its more of an NFL thing, if I'm not mistaken.

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    Default Re: Pacers notebook: Jermaine O'Neal is a Pacer at heart

    I would suspect that the casual fan thinks mainly of the brawl and all the other crap from that Pacer era, not what they did on the court. That team, lead by JO, drove the casual fan off the cliff. I'm not so sure you really want that staring down from above.

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