Jermaine O'Neal has gone from precocious teen, to all-star and now in some people’s eyes he is already washed up at the age of 32.
A once promising career came to a halt after the infamous malice at the palace brawl in 2004, in Detroit. He then suffered a debilitating knee injury which seems he has just fully recovered from.
The Celtics are banking on his full recovery from that injury and an ankle injury apparently that was kept under wraps during last year’s playoffs.
O'Neal was supposed to be Celtic management's big off season move when they signed him to the full mid-level exception. Then the other O'Neal showed up and he became an afterthought with Shaquille O'Neal donning the green next season.
There is still the issue of Kendrick Perkins, who has vowed to come back with a chip on his shoulder. Perkins has also claimed he wanted to be a Celtic for life.
It seems like Jermaine would be lost in the preponderance of big men that the Celtics have assembled. Add to that the young Turkish center, Semeh Erdin, who helped his team reach the World Basketball Championship round. You can see that competition will be fierce once Perkins comes back from his injury.
Off all the centers that the Celtics have, J.O. brings the most versatility; like Kevin Garnett, he has a decent jumper, can defend and run the floor. Jermaine can play two positions and can make for a terrific tandem with K.G. in the front court.
Doc Rivers will enjoy designing offensive schemes to maximize O' Neal's talents in the low post.
There was never a question, that Jermaine had talent, but his effort or lack thereof has been questioned by many of his pundits.
He probably could have stayed with the Heat, but he liked the way the Celtic's put team goals before individual success.
O’Neal has had numerous conversations with Paul Pierce concerning how it felt to finally get a ring after all the near misses that he had experienced.
Boston represents a proven commodity that has been to the mountain top twice; winning banner 17 in the process.
This is something the Miami triumvirate has yet to experience and he wanted to be more than part of a media circus.
Danny Ainge has decided to throw caution to the wind and has made sure that the preseason will be more than a tune up for the players who are not part of the remaining championship core.
Jermaine O’Neal’s salary does not guarantee him a starting position, Shaquille O'Neal and his huge frame will have a lot of say in that matter. It will make for an interesting training camp.