ESPN: While standing at midcourt Sunday, Jermaine O’Neal is feted by kids in purple-and-gold jerseys, mobbed by media, and wooed by celebrities like Brandy and Snoop Dogg. For the Pacers’ power forward, this is a taste of life as a baller in L.A.
And O’Neal wants more.
He wants to be a Laker.
Speaking at Baron Davis and Paul Pierce’s annual L.A. Stars charity basketball game at USC’s Galen Center, O’Neal says he’d like for Indiana to trade him to L.A.
“It’s time for me to move on,” he said. “And the Lakers are the team I want Indiana to trade me to.”
O’Neal added that he has made his intentions clear to Pacers management over the course of several offseason conversations.
“I love Indiana and the fans and we have a lot of nice young talent,” he said, “but obviously [the Pacers are] in a situation now where they’re rebuilding. I told them I can’t be in a rebuilding mode right now. I’m at a point in my career where I can’t wait another five years to contend. I’m not in a position physically to take in five years of losses and downtime.”