Jermaine O’Neal fired another round of volleys in his defense Tuesday to clarify his stance regarding his future with the Indiana Pacers.

Which is, basically, that he wants one.

Continuing to deny the gist of Internet reports out of Los Angeles that he wanted a trade, O’Neal volunteered for an afternoon interview on a local radio station and had the Pacers release a transcript and audio file of comments he made Sunday before a charity basketball game in Los Angeles.

Pacers president Larry Bird, meanwhile, downplayed the impact of O’Neal’s interview with reporters from the Sports Illustrated and ESPN Web sites in which he discussed the possibility of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers or New Jersey Nets.

“He should have come in here and talked about it privately,” Bird said in an interview with WNDE-1260 AM. “But it happens. I’ve been in this league for 27 years and I’ve seen (former teammates) do things like that. You don’t like it to happen, but it happened, and we just have to move forward.”

Bird acknowledged that O’Neal’s comments might make it more difficult to work a trade involving him, but said the Pacers aren’t seeking one at the moment.

Continue reading ‘O’Neal, Bird say they’re on same page’

  • hZm

    Oh my god, whats wrong with Birds face in that picture?

  • billyboy


  • Faith

    Botox gone wrong? It swelled?

  • Rpoc

    “Those guys are doing a great job up there,” he said.

    They sure are. They won’t even spend their MLE this year to save money. Not to worry, that Diener signing should compensate!

    Talk about trying satisfying your needs of winning now JO….

    I know it’s damage control but so obvious!

  • Rpoc

    After listening to that JO interview on the Pacers radio he sounds so much like the old optimistic Kobe!!

    Remember that Kobe telling us to be patient, this is a magical journey, support this team right now blah blah blah? That’s JO in this interview. He’s saying stuff like relax, let us write the story for the season before judging, these group of guys are great even if the roster isn’t built like some other EC teams (good ones), you never know if you win the championship, we really want to win guys etc. etc. etc.

  • foxxy


  • lakerfan81

    Umm doesn’t this sound like Kobe.

    Kobe reportedly said he wanted to be traded. Then he denied it, then he said he did, then he said he didnt then he said he did. Now he is just keeping his mouth shut.

    The fact is, O’neil was caught in a candid moment, spoke his mind but now he has to do damage control.

    Indiana can say that they do not want to trade O’neil all the want but the obvious fact is that they do. WHen you have a player that wants to leave, a team that wants to trade him, and a team that wants him, something usually gets done.

    Indiana is in a really bad situation right now. They are not in a position to contend, nor are they in a position to rebuild because of too many bad contracts (Murphy, Tinsley, Dunleavy). They can not just let O’neil opt out and get nothing in return in return for him. You can say that O’neill will not walk away from all that money but Indiana can not afford to extend his contrct. Its a lose lose situation for them.

    I was thinking about what Larry Bird wants for O’neil. He says he wants Lamar Odom and Bynum. But that move does not make them any better. Right now they will be lucky to get a 7th or 8th seed in a week eastern conference. With line up of Odom at PF instead of O’neil will they be any better? No. Are they going to extend Odom’s contract or resign in him two years when his contract is up? Are they going to use him in a sign and trade? Are they using him as a delayed expiring contract?

    What about what NJ has to offer. Bird wanted Jefferson, Kristic, Williams, filler. Does that make them any better? Maybe a little but they would not be contenders. Why do they want Jefferson’s contract that still have 4 yrs and 50M plus left on it? They already have Granger. Are they going to extend Kristic’s, Granger’s, and Diogu’s contracts in two years while having Jefferson’s? Can they afford to do that?

    I don’t see Indy resigning Odom or extending his contract in two years when they have to extend Granger’s, Diogu’s and Bynum’s. Nor do I see them extending Kristic’s contract. I also do not understand why they would want so many SF if they trade for Jefferson. None of these trades really make sense.

    Bird is not a stupid man, so he has to see what I pointed out earlier. So what does he really want? Is he trying to make a trade that will not completely upset the fans even if the trade does not make sense? Is he trying to stockpile trading assets?

    I think one of the things he is trying to do is not make the fans completely upset. I think trading O’neil for two projects (Bynum, Crittenton) and salary relief will be a hard sell to the fans. A trade that included Odom or Jefferson would be much easier to sell to the fans.

    More importantly though I think Bird wants someone to take back one of their bad contracts. That is why he offered O’neil and Murphy for Odom, Bynum and Brown. They have so many large long contracts that cap relief does not really help them in the near future (in 3 or 4 years it does though). I think that he wants Kupchack to cave in a and take Murphy’s contract so that Mitch can make Kobe happy. NJ could take a contract such as Murphy’s in a deal but then Indy gets Jeffersons contract back in exchange. Not really a good deal for them. Nor would it be a good deal for NJ.

    If Mitch can find a 3rd team to take Murphy’s contract then a deal will happen sooner rather than later. If not, a deal may have to wait a while for someone to give in. My bet would be Bird, since he under more pressure (unless Kobe has another hissy fit).

  • keep24

    Is it me or is Bird starting to look like a ….. well, a bird???

  • Rpoc

    Fugly ass bird.