Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jermaine O'Neal says all the right things.

C/O ESPN Boston

On the uncertainty surrounding his return 
"Is coming off of surgery to finish a job really pressure?" O'Neal asked after the Celtics' win over the 76ers Tuesday. "A state in Indiana really [jumped] on my back to see if I could carry a team and I didn't really see that as pressure. It's all a challenge. If you see it as pressure then you're not built for it." 

On his decision to have in-season surgery 
"The difference is in this league, the people who are in it for the wrong reason, would have laid down," said O'Neal. "They would have laid down, said, 'OK, I had knee surgery, my year's over.' I fought it. I fought it before the surgery. I didn't want to do it. I was out there on one leg basically, fighting the swelling, because I'm prideful. I'm prideful and I'm dedicated to the job that has been given to me. I've never been one to take the easy way out." 

On his role with the Celtics 
"It's whatever the team needs," said O'Neal. "I'm not in a position in my life, in my career any more, where it's about numbers. I gave that up when I decided to leave Indiana. I felt like it was about winning a championship. It wasn't about money, it wasn't about All-Star games, [or] anything [else]. Some guys sit in this situation and say, 'Alright, I'm going to go for the numbers every night, to see what I can get out of it.' You can get all the numbers, then you look at it, and you ask yourself, 15, 16 years later, 'What did I really get out of it?... All these years, I've accomplished a lot of things in my career and it doesn't really matter. This is what matters; the champagne, confetti, tears. That's what matters to me. I'm not about to let [anything], surgery, anything, take away, at least that opportunity." 

I, for one, have been pleased with what Jermaine has done in his time back. He looks to be comfortable in his body and he appears to be in good shape. I said it before and I'll say it again: nobody knows what Jermaine has gone through this season. I'm sure he was in excruciating pain but still wanted to contribute. Luckily for us, he had the surgery and committed to rehabbing. He's now in a position where he can stay on the floor (fingers crossed) and be a contributor. It's time to stop complaining about all the time he's missed and how old he is, and commit to the pieces the Celtics have to work with going in to the postseason. I think he's done a good job meshing with the starting unit, and has also helped  the bench to develop more of a flow. His return has put Krystic with the second unit, and has allowed Glen Davis and Jeff Green to play in their natural positons. We'll see what JO can do in a big game situation tonight, matched up with the ever pesky Joakim Noah. 

1 comment:

  1. Good for Jermaine. He can talk the talk and now he just needs to keep walking the walk and it will work out.