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Jermaine O'Neal Clarifies Comments for the Locals...Kind Of

WTHR tracked down J.O. to respond to the SI story earlier today. J.O. claims it wasn't like it sounded, although it sounds pretty similar.

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."
So, J.O. didn't specifically say he WANTED to be traded, only that he'd WELCOME a trade. Sounds like semantics to me, which Henry Wofford challenged him on. J.O. didn't clarify further, just pinning it back on the media for twisting words around.

The one place Wofford dropped the ball was by not asking about the opt out clause. Yes, he's a Pacer, he'll be a good soldier if not traded. But, did in the SI article, J.O. said if things don't improve, he'll opt out. If his threshold for opting out is low, then he should move on now and the semantics of his current trade desires don't matter.