IndyStar: The more I’ve investigated Jermainegate, the more complicated it seems. Which means it’s probably a good time to just let it go.
It does, however, provide an interesting look at how things often in the age of modern communications, and is as much a media story as it is a Jermaine O’Neal story.
Did O’Neal say he wanted to be traded from the Indiana Pacers when he talked with reporters for the Sports Illustrated and ESPN websites on Sunday? Was he misquoted, or quoted out of context? Has he been in a face-saving, damage control mode since his return to Indianapolis, or is he sincere about his desire to play with the Pacers next season? Is there a Rosemary Woods-like 18-minute gap in the audio file the Pacers released Tuesday upon O’Neal’s request? (There’s the inevitable Watergate reference, by the way.)
O’Neal was sufficiently angered by the reports that he has waged a one-man media campaign since then. He talked with Bob Kravitz and me on Monday. He wasn’t particularly happy with the stories that ran in Tuesday’s paper, and called me that afternoon to re-emphasize his stance. He later appeared on WNDE’s afternoon sports show, The Drive with JMV, to state his case. Most notably, he got the Pacers to release an audio file, complete with written transcript, of a large portion of his interview in L.A.