View Full Version : Jermaine O'Neal wants trade, sees Lakers as best fit

08-06-2007, 11:46 AM
California dreamin'
Jermaine O'Neal wants trade, sees Lakers as best fit
Posted: Monday August 6, 2007 9:04AM; Updated: Monday August 6, 2007 9:30AM

Five-time All-Star Jermaine O'Neal said he would rather be traded than be part of the Pacers' rebuilding efforts.
Mark Cowan/Icon SMI

http://i.cnn.net/si/images/1.gifLOS ANGELES -- If Jermaine O'Neal gets his wish, he will not be playing for the Indiana Pacers next season. If he gets his dream, he will be suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant.

While here Sunday for a charity basketball game hosted by Baron Davis and Paul Pierce, O'Neal said he doesn't want to be a part of a Pacers youth movement and that it would be in his and the team's best interest to part ways.

"I would welcome a trade to the Lakers," said O'Neal, who averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots last season. "Indiana has given me the opportunity to establish myself as a really good player in this league, but they're into rebuilding and going really young, and I'm just not in a position physically to go through another five to six years with a lot of losses and a lot of down time."

The Lakers have tried to acquire O'Neal, 28, several times this offseason, but talks have reportedly stalled over Indiana's insistence that the Lakers' package include both Lamar Odom and 19-year-old center Andrew Bynum. The Lakers' refusal to part with Bynum, the 10th pick in the 2005 draft, cost them a chance at Jason Kidd during last year's trading deadline. The failed trade was the basis of Bryant's infamous videotaped tirade in a shopping center parking lot in which he said the Lakers should have dealt Bynum for Kidd.

"I was ready but you never know in this business," said Kidd, who was also in Los Angeles for the charity game. "Playing with Kobe makes the game easy. He's the most dominant offensive player and he's a competitor, and I love playing with guys who love to compete."

If the Lakers once again fail to deal Bynum for a proven All-Star, Kidd could be the benefactor: O'Neal said he would also welcome a move to the Nets.

"Los Angeles and New Jersey would be my top two teams," O'Neal said. "I think L.A.'s a real possibility and I think New Jersey's a possibility too."

The idea of O'Neal coming to New Jersey quickly put a smile on Kidd's face.

"I think that would be a great addition for us if we had an opportunity to get a guy like Jermaine," Kidd said. "He comes every night to play and he's a great person and a great basketball player. It would be a huge move."

If O'Neal had to choose one destination, however, it would be Los Angeles. He recently sold his home in Westwood after getting an unexpectedly good deal but said that he and his wife were already searching for a new house in Los Angeles and would love to make it a permanent residence.

"I love L.A.," O'Neal said. "I normally train here every summer. The last two summers I haven't trained here because I got hurt, but I love it here. My daughter loves it. My wife loves it. This is one of the prime places that if I were to be traded, I would allow Indiana to trade me here."

The main reason O'Neal would welcome a trade to Los Angeles has little to do with the sunshine and shopping that his wife and daughter enjoy and more to do with playing alongside Bryant, whom he entered the league with in 1996 as the only two high school players selected in that draft.

"We've spoken a couple times this offseason," O'Neal said. "Me and Kobe have been on each other since we were 15, playing AAU basketball, adidas All-American Camp, Nike All-American Camp. It's been a long relationship that we've had. We talked about maybe playing together. ... We just want to make sure that our thought processes are similar and now we're going to let the business handle itself. I mean, we could talk for years, but if [Lakers GM] Mitch Kupchak and [Pacers president] Larry Bird don't decide to make the deal, then it's all talk."

Kobe Bryant has been pushing the Lakers to acquire veteran talent capable of helping the team improve immediately.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

While Bryant has had little to no interaction with his teammates this offseason, he and O'Neal have found a common ground in their respective positions. Both are leading rebuilding squads in the prime of their careers without enough help around them.

"I think Kobe's in a position right now where he understands that he needs some help," O'Neal said. "He needs some help to get to the position where he wants to be. I think he's the best player in the NBA and the world, but obviously no player can do it by himself. He has a nice group around him, but he needs some help and I can give him some support. ... He wants to prove to people that he can get back to the NBA championship, and I'm at a point in my career where I want to prove to people that I can help a team get to the championship."

While some have suggested that O'Neal might not be the player he once was, he said that had more to do with injuries, including a left groin tear and a torn meniscus in his left knee, than diminished skills.

"What people don't realize when they consider my last three years to be 'down years' is that I was physically hurt," said O'Neal, who missed 82 games during that stretch. "I went out and played on knees I needed to take care of. My meniscus, I put that off for two years . I'm 100 percent right now. I really want an opportunity to rejuvenate myself. At 28, I'm going into my prime. The game is slowing down for me, I understand it a lot more, so I'm ready to go out and show people what I could really do."

O'Neal, who admits he hasn't always seen eye-to-eye with the direction Bird has taken the team, has been in constant contact with the Pacers during the offseason. He's spent the majority of his time at home in Indiana and away from the spotlight while his name is bandied about in various trade talks.

"I've had quite a few conversations with the Pacers," he said. "I just wanted to see where the organization's focus was with the team. If they're trying to rebuild, maybe it's better to get younger pieces [in a trade] for me so they could grow with the young guys. I just told them that I can't be in a rebuilding mode right now. I can't go through that. Physically that's going to wear on me too much to do that."

After the charity game, played at USC's Galen Center, O'Neal, who didn't play, smiled and laughed as Lakers fan after Lakers fan, including [B]Snoop Dogg, tried to persuade the five-time All-Star to come to Los Angeles. It's a plea he's heard many times before but one that especially hit home this time as he contemplated the end of his seven-year career in Indiana.

"I tried not to come out here this year. I wanted to stay away from a lot of the talk because it's an emotional time for me to talk about being traded," he said. "I get emotional talking about it because I always told Reggie [Miller] I'd win a championship for him, and for whatever reason we've had some tough times up there [in Indiana]. I thought if I came out here [to Los Angles], it would help persuade me to make the decision that I need to make. My decision is for me to get better as a player, and if things don't work out this year, I have an option in my contract next year and I will opt out and become a free agent."

Link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/arash_markazi/08/06/oneal.trade/index.html)

08-06-2007, 11:52 AM

08-06-2007, 11:53 AM
so many stars on the block.....................

08-06-2007, 12:31 PM
overrated but still strong.

08-06-2007, 02:39 PM
What is so damn special about Bynum?

08-06-2007, 02:42 PM
Pops > Bynum

08-06-2007, 02:55 PM
What is so damn special about Bynum?

He is 7 foot and has a lot of potential.

08-06-2007, 03:06 PM
Bird Addresses Jermaine Trade Talk
August 6, 2007 - 2:06 pm RealGM Staff Report -

Larry Bird has quickly responded to comments made by Jermaine O'Neal (http://www.realgm.com/src_playerfile/454/jermaine_oneal/) seeking a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers (http://lakers.realgm.com/) .

“In response to Jermaine O’Neal’s published comments today regarding a trade, we have stated repeatedly that if we can make our team better through a trade, we will do so," said Bird in a statement.

"Jermaine has become an All-Star player with the Indiana Pacers (http://pacers.realgm.com/) and in any discussions regarding him or any of our other players, the expectations for the franchise and our fans is to receive fair market value in return if a trade is to be considered.

“Jermaine has worked out very hard this summer while rehabilitating his knee after surgery. We believe under Jim O’Brien that our team as a whole and Jermaine as a player can be successful. You never know what will happen, but for now Jermaine is an Indiana (http://pacers.realgm.com/) Pacer."

Link (http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/47505/20070806/bird_addresses_jermaine_trade_talk/)

08-06-2007, 03:20 PM
Hahahha! Good one, MWHR, good one, I needed that. I will make sure to tell all the boys in the board room that one.

08-06-2007, 07:21 PM
Thank you I'm here Monday's and Tuesdays.

08-07-2007, 07:57 AM
Any interest from the Mavs?

08-07-2007, 12:39 PM
I doubt it...but wouldn't mind JO...seems too far fetched

08-07-2007, 01:11 PM
OF COURSE there is no interest from the Mavs.

08-09-2007, 11:11 PM
One crybaby all star is enough on the Lakers for me, I'd have a hard time rooting for them if JO comes on board. Plus the Lakers would have to give up too much to match salaries, I doubt the Pacers would go for Bynum, Kwame and Radman. The Laker would have to deal Bynum and Odom, that's just a bit too much, plus the rumor is the Pacers also want Walton. With Walton and Odom gone there would be no real passer in the triangle, the Lakers would be sunk.

08-10-2007, 12:34 AM
imo, they aren't really floating to begin with

08-10-2007, 09:40 AM
The Lakers were never in the Larry O'Brien race in the first place.