Advertise with us

Enjoying this blog? Check out the rest of the Sports Channel Subscribe to this Feed

NBA Obsessed - NBA Basketball News

Jermaine O’Neal of promise unfulfilled

by james on October 20th, 2007

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

Visit my companion blog on the NFL at Squibkick.com

Hey you, sort of star, will you play with me?

Jermaine O’Neal  (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jermaine was under the tutelage of Rasheed Wallace when he played on the Portland Trailblazers, at the beginning of the Jailblazer time period. During those 4 years he barely played and barely scored, but everyone knew he would be a good one. Jermaine was drafted straight out of High School. The next 7 years with the Pacers established Jermaine as a rare 20 - 10 man as he averaged close to 20 points and 10 rebounds.

There is still a bitter taste in O’Neal’s mouth, because he never won a title. Some of those teams with Reggie Miller were pretty good teams, but always ran into someone like the Pistons and were stopped. The Pistons had Rasheed and he had the uncanny knack of shutting down Jermaine at all the right times.

Eventually, Reggie left and then there was Ron Artest and the Malice at the Palace with the Pistons. From there it has been all down hill.

So, just like Kobe, and just like Gilbert Arenas, Jermaine wants to win. He wants to be surrounded by some better players.

Last year the team finally got fed up with Rick Carlisle and his deliberate style of play. It is not that Rick can’t coach, it is more like Rick likes to control every second often calling every single play from the bench. After a while, NBA teams tend to tune him out and that happened to the Pacers last year.

Jermaine asked Larry Bird to get him better players.

Pacers GM Larry Bird wanted Marcus Williams, but the Nets wouldn’t part with the young point guard as part of a package with Richard Jefferson and Nenad Krstic. Bird wanted Andrew Bynum, but the Lakers were willing only to give back Lamar Odom.

So nothing happened and O’Neal seethed through summer. There was a strange episode with reporters in Los Angeles where his words about wanting out of town, he still says, “were edited way out of context.” The Pacers hired Jim O’Brien, and he kept hearing about running the ball and shooting three-pointers and wondered how that was building around him in the middle. He watched the Pacers sign a Lithuanian League MVP, Kareem Rush, and an Orlando bench-warmer, Travis Diener, and wondered who are these guys? source

Let’s see Rush and Diener. Uhh, a Championship that will not deliver. Come on, Larry. Jermaine needs players.

Jermaine O’Neal, known as the other O’Neal, is taking it well.

Give O’Neal this: He isn’t pouting. For now, he’s trying hard to make this work. Maybe it’ll never work here. People have the Pacers pegged as a lottery team, but O’Neal, 29, is trying his best to play the part of the franchise player. This offense, he tells you, will work for him. No longer are the Pacers asking him to grind in the low post every possession because, as he said, “That’s hard on your body over an 82-game season.” O’Brien wants to use O’Neal’s ability to pass the ball, wants to spread the defense with those shooters, and get him the ball in different spots.

So maybe Jermaine gets to show off more skills this year and make himself more attractive for a trade or if he walks away. His contract will allow it. Right now he is thinking he is a Pacer.

“People are going to talk (about me leaving) because No. 1, I do have an opt (out) in my contract, and people think I’ll opt out next year if the team isn’t doing well,” he said. “But I don’t believe we will be struggling, because of our philosophy and the type of coaching we have this year.

“It is a possibility that I’m going to be traded but … I told the guys that this is where I’m at, where I want to be, and I’m going to play hard every night.”

Jermaine is not acting like Kobe (a jerk), but the objective is the same. Jermaine O’Neal wants to show his skills on the highest stage around, the NBA Championship.

NBA Basketball Fan Question Will the Pacers deal Jermaine?

Visit my companion blog on the NFL at Squibkick.com

As always, any NBA Basketball related comments are welcome.

More blogs about basketball.
Technorati Blog Finder

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

POSTED IN: Detroit Pistons, Gilbert Arenas, Indiana Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Basketball, New Jersey Nets, Player Movement, Rasheed Wallace, Washington Wizards

2 opinions for Jermaine O’Neal of promise unfulfilled

  • Steve
    Feb 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    He was great from 01 until 2005, but he’s not a very good player any more. He used to be unstoppable in the lowpost and the doubleteams that were sprung on him were deadly because of the weapons around him that he would pass to and they would score every time off the open look…… now he has no weapons around him, isnt as good in the lowpost because of injuries, doesnt go into the lowpost as much, and cant run the floor any more either like he did in 01,02, and 03 under Isiah….. his athleticism is gone because of his knee injury, it may come back because he is only 28 years old, but it also might not come back…….. the guy we saw average 20.5 ppg and 10.4 rpg on 49% field goals with 2.6 blocks a night may never be seen again…… the dominant 20/10 7footer that finished 3rd for the mvp balloting, made 2nd team all-nba, was an allstar starting power forward that we saw while leading his team to an NBA best 61 wins and a trip to the conference finals may never be seen again…. the defensive juggernaut bigman that finished top 5 for defensive player of the year and shut down the pick and roll and shut down the paint while leading the league in blocks may never be seen again….. the athletic 7footer that finished with authority off pick and roll’s in 04 while dominating with his back-to-basket game in the lowpost and face-up game and mid-range game to the tune of 24.7 points per game that we saw running the floor like a deer and slamming it down may never be seen again……..

    THAT IS A SHAME, only 28 years old. I hope its not the case, but it probably is.

  • james
    Feb 17, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Watched Rasheed Wallace shut him down in the playoffs two years in a row.

    Jermaine needs a new team to play for.

Have an opinion? Leave a comment: