Paul Pierce hangs out with Jermaine O'Neal during their offseasons in Los Angeles. Comments by Pierce in the Boston Globe try to put J.O.'s feelings about his situation into context. See, Pierce was just like J.O. up until a few weeks ago. He was a "superstar" player surrounded by developing talent, just longing to play for a winner. Now, he's surrounded by other "superstar" talent and feels he has a great shot at a championship. Since J.O. was hanging around while all of this went down, it could natuarally make him anxious about the situation with the Pacers.
"People have got to understand for a ballplayer that's been playing so many years, made a lot of money, it's about winning a championship after so many years. That's the way Jermaine feels. He's felt the same way I've felt for the last couple years. He wants to be on a team that can win a championship.
"I feel for guys like him that are not getting the guys around them so they can at least have a shot at winning championships. He knows what that feels like. He's had a taste of being in the Eastern Conference finals. He knows what it tastes like to be that close, as do I."
And for the record, J.O. was on his way to leading the Pacers on just such a playoff path last year until injuries caught up with him. If J.O. can stay healthy this year, hopefully he'll ignore Pierce's lament and help the Pacers shock the East.