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O'B Answers Some Questions

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Mike Wells has a nice interview with Jim O'Brien running in today's Star. I love the way he lays out his thoughts and plans for the upcoming season. He stays away from fluff so I get the sense he truly believes in his go forward plan. Obviously, the roster situation is unsettled but O'B is planning as if J.O. and everyone else on the current roster will be with the Pacers.

"I've sat down and talked at length with Jermaine and where he sees his career going," O'Brien said from his office Thursday afternoon. "If I'm his coach next year, which I expect to be and want to be, my job and Jermaine's job as leaders is to be on the same page, which I think we will be, and we both need to be examples for the team."

O'Neal, along with Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, are the marquee names being discussed in trade rumors.

O'Neal has said he doesn't want to stay if the Pacers rebuild.

"I know trades are hard to make when you're talking about a big trade involving somebody like Jermaine O'Neal or Kevin Garnett because they are extremely important to the future of your franchise, and you cannot make a mistake, nor will we make a mistake about that," O'Brien said. "I have a sense that the odds are against the fact that Jermaine O'Neal will be traded. It's just reality. . . . With that in mind, I'm playing the odds. I'm planning on coaching him."
O'B is making an effort to develop the foundation for a team bonded by strong relationships, making for better team chemistry. I appreciate the leadership style from the new coach, but as he readily admitted, it will take time to develop that chemistry. It will also take the players showing some maturity and leadership amongst themselves to really make a strong team. Wouldn't it be nice if all of the Pacer players and coaches could have a few months together without court dates, public incidents, disgruntled players, or trade rumors and just focus on basketball? Sounds like a plan.