Tuesday, August 07, 2007

J. O'Neal a Laker or Pacer?

The latest back and forth word of mouth from Jermaine O'Neal on wanting to be a Laker and wanting to be a Pacer.

From Seattletimes.com:

"INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal has discounted Internet reports that he wants to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

"My preference is to play here and win here," O'Neal said in a telephone interview after returning from Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, attempting to deflate a brewing controversy that had brought clarifying statements from Pacers president Larry Bird and O'Neal's agent, Arn Tellem.

O'Neal appeared at — but did not play in — a charity basketball game Sunday hosted by league players Baron Davis and Paul Pierce. He talked with reporters from the Sports Illustrated and ESPN Web sites.

Both accounts quoted O'Neal expressing a desire to be traded to the Lakers.

"It's time for me to move on," O'Neal was quoted as saying in the ESPN story. "And the Lakers are the team I want Indiana to trade me to."

O'Neal added that the Pacers are "obviously" in a rebuilding mode, and he did not want to "take in five years of losses and downtime." He added that he also would favor a trade to New Jersey.

Bird issued a statement, repeating his claim O'Neal would be traded only if he brings "fair market value."

Tellem, in an e-mail to The Associated Press, denied that O'Neal wants out of Indiana.

"He hasn't requested a trade to the Lakers," Tellem wrote. "Any reports to the contrary are inaccurate."

O'Neal, 28, said he believes the Pacers can reach the playoffs next season with their current roster."

This looks alot like what Kobe Bryant was doing in Los Angeles, except Kobe never really mentioned wanting to go to Indiana..The latter of the reports, with O'Neal wanting to remain a Pacer seem accurate, but also think of the whole KG situation "not going to Boston" and then "BAM!" KG's a Celtic...In closing, it's great that O'Neal thinks they can reach the playoffs, but then what? O'Neal might be a deja vu situation of KG, after several years of disappointing playoff runs..

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