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Jermaine O’Neal forgets the internet exists, recycles ridiculous excuses

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) July 18, 2012 Celtics News, News 11 Comments

Jermaine O’Neal is still trying to play basketball.  And despite what we saw in Boston over the past couple of years, he swears he can still be productive.

Ok.  Fine.  I’m not going to get on any player who still wants to play the game for a living.  It’s a beautiful game… the locker room is a lot of fun because you get to act like a kid… the relationships you build with some teammates last a lifetime.  I get it.  The allure of it all is intoxicating.  It’s a hard drug to kick.

So bon voyage, Jermaine.  I’ll be happy to forget your two forgettable years if you are.

Oh wait, you’re not?

“Well you have to go somewhere where you really fit,” O’Neal said. “That’s just how it is. I had a fantastic time in Boston, an unbelievable sports town, fans and organization. But it wasn’t necessarily the best fit basketball wise. Your comfort level is everything. Sometimes when you’re asked not to worry about some of the stronger parts of your game, which is scoring, and only [focus on] defense, that’s difficult to do.

“I’m not stupid, I don’t think I can go for 20 every night anymore, but I do believe I can go for 20 on any given night. It’s just about finding a position whether it’s coming off the bench or starting, whether its 15 minutes or 30 minutes, whatever the coaches ask you to do it’s just about having the opportunity to be yourself. I just want to get to the level that I know I’m physically right.

Not the right fit…
Not the right fit…

Where have I heard that before?

I knew what [the Heat] were trying to do, and I could have re-signed back with those guys,” he said Wednesday after passing his physical with the Celtics. “But it comes down to fit. It comes down to personalities and style of play, and I thought Boston has all that for me. It came down to winning now, and not worrying about chemistry.”

Same old excuses.  What did he think… we’d forget that he said that?

So it was a good fit then, but it’s not a good fit now, huh, Jermaine?

I’m pretty sure Doc didn’t lie to him and say “oh yeah, we’re looking for 10 shots a game out of you and double-digit scoring.”  Jermaine knew the situation.  He was never going to be asked to score much for Boston.  The Celtics were a defensive juggernaut who were happy to win games 90-85 and let Pierce, Allen and Garnett do most of scoring work.  O’Neal was always going to be a 5th option on this team.

A defensive-minded, rebounding center has always been what the Celtics wanted in this system, and it’s what they continue to look for.  So enough of the ridiculous excuses, Jermaine.

Here’s the thing… and you’ll have to go back to the original HoopsWorld link to see the video:  Jermaine wasn’t even asked about Boston.  He could have let it go.  He wasn’t asked about the fit.  He wasn’t asked if he got the ball enough.  None of that.  So the “I was taken out of context” thing goes out the window because he wasn’t responding to a specific question.  Jermaine O’Neal, in talking about his future, offered up that Boston wasn’t the right fit for him.  He pulled that nugget out to say without saying “it’s not my fault.”

He could have simply said “I’m looking forward to my next opportunity, wherever that is.  I feel healthy, and I feel like I can contribute to a championship.”  Instead, he made a contradictory excuse.  What exactly, does “whatever the coaches ask you to do it’s just about having the opportunity to be yourself” mean, anyway?

“I’ll do whatever you ask of me, as long as whatever you ask of me is something I’m comfortable doing.”

That’s just total B. S.  And if I can see it, I’m sure teams can see it.  And maybe he’ll go somewhere for the minimum, but I’d caution them all to really think hard about it.  Because if you ask him to score, he’ll leave you later saying it wasn’t a good fit because he’s not a scorer anymore and he can’t handle that kind of load.  He’ll have an excuse ready to go for anything.  And to be honest, right now, it’s the most reliable part of his game.

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  • Chuck

    I recall a comment Jermaine made to the media when he was asked about struggling offensively. He said we shouldn’t worry about his offense and focus on his defense. Hmm…

  • Quest

    How about his wrist injury. He had to retire because he had to think of his long term health and being able to pick up his kids.

  • Romeo

    How about telling yourself that you couldn’t produce cuz u didn’t play???

  • Lee in Oregon

    What happened to that 1-day contract with the Pacers so you could retire in the same city where you made all your headlines ?(for punching a fat drunk square in the face).

  • KY Celts fan

    what a douche.

  • http://jtshoopsblog.blogspot.com JT’s Hoops Blog

    JO just needs to retire and walk away from the game. he is starting to embarrass himself.

  • Ramon

    Just add him to the list of Celtics players who were good someplace else and sucked here

    • Mikey

      He sucked before he got to the Celts. He was garbage after he left Indy…Toronto was bad (wasn’t the right fit). Went to the Heat, Celts held 21pts total in 5 games in the playoffs, shot .205 from the field, .429 from the stripe. Danny decides to give him the full mid-level…at least Fat Shaq took vet’s minimum

  • Tom

    I remember both season, JO saying all the right things.
    He’s very good at saying the right things, like : I’ll do anything for the team. Whatever Doc wants me to do, I’ll do it.

    And he never backs it up. All talk that dude.

    • kg215

      Yup, he said all those things and then tried to hold off surgery even though the team recommended it. Also an article said Jermaine wouldn’t even respond to communications in the offseason and the team had to send someone to visit him.

  • zippittyay

    I’m so much happier we signed the second guy in that picture.