JO was interviewed by a local Indy news station and he clarified his comments. Make sure to check out the entire article:
WTHR: First, it seemed as though Jermaine O’Neal wanted to be traded to the Lakers. The Pacers forward told Sports Illustrated that he doesn’t want to be part of the Pacers’ “youth movement.”
O’Neal said he wasn’t physically ready to “go through another five to six years with a lot of losses and lot of down time.”
The 28-year-old O’Neal spoke with Sports Illustrated while in Los Angeles for a charity basketball game. But back in Indianapolis Monday afternoon, he clarified his statements on the issue.
The big question: Did O’Neal tell Sports Illustrated that he wanted a trade from Indiana?
“No, I didn’t tell him I wanted a trade. The article didn’t say I wanted a trade. Obviously you go out west, there’s been a lot of talk about me going out west, especially in LA, you get a lot of questions about that. I still stand pretty firm on what I’ve been saying the entire summer. I’m a Pacer right now until the Pacers decide to trade me,” O’Neal said in an exclusive interview with Eyewitness Sports shortly after arriving back to Indianapolis from the west coast.
“Would I welcome a trade to LA? Yes, I would welcome a trade to LA for multiple reasons because one, I’m familiar with the area and two, I’m really familiar with Kobe Bryant. We’ve known each other since I was like thirteen, and three, they’re not a team that’s too far away.”