Hmm, this makes things interesting. Mike Wells brings the goods after interviewing Jermaine O'Neal about his frustrating knee injury. J.O. has no plans to deal with the status quo on his knee and labor through the season.
"That's really the prime option for me," O'Neal said Sunday afternoon, of sitting out the rest of the season. "We're going to rehab now like it was the summer, with an extensive rehab. If that consists of a month or the rest of the season, I need to take the necessary steps to not come back on something that's not really healthy.
"That's the thing we have been saying. It's OK, but it really hasn't really been OK."
Without a response from Larry Joe Legend or O'B, we don't know if this is all news to the Pacers. I must say, hearing reports of J.O.'s name in trade talks with the Nets was surprising. Having heard LJL say that center, power forward, and point guard are the key positions NBA teams need secure, bringing in Carter with four more years on his contract didn't make sense. If wing players are the easiest type of player to find, why lay out so much of the cap on the position. I guess you could always turn around and move Carter, but it is a moot point now. These comments from J.O. ought to snuff out any further trade talks this year.
Check out the full Q&A with J.O. and you can tell he's not in a good place. He's fighting for his health, his basketball career, and his reputation on the court.
A: If I continue to play, it can not only be detrimental to me getting back to the level I'm used to playing or beyond that. The four, five, six years I have left in my career, (it) could really affect that. . . . (Playing at) 60 percent may be causing me to shorten my career and beyond that.
It could have a major effect on my health. From all the painkillers, the injections, being able to walk. I walk with a limp now at 29 years old because the knee is so irritated in so many different areas.
It's something that we feel like, if I totally rehab, it can get better. Playing is something I obviously want to do, but it's not in the cards right now. It's frustrating.
I'm sure there will be more to come once we hear what the rest of the Pacers think of this plan.