Jermaine O'Neal's still talking

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Jermaine O'Neal's still talking

Here are three things you can count on every NBA offseason:

1. GMs will make stupid decisions.

Check. (In the Knicks case, we can also include owners)

2. Kevin Garnett will disappear.

Check. (Unless you count his I'm more than happy and I'm excited to be back!" press release, which definitely wasn't made up by someone on the Celtics PR staff.)

3. Jermaine ONeal will talk out of his ass.

And now . . . Check.

I had a fantastic time in Boston, with the city, the fans were phenomenal, the organization was phenomenal, I just dont know if the playing situation was right to be quite honest, JO told the Globe yesterday. The hardest thing for me was to not be able to do some of the things I have been quite comfortable doing all my life. I accepted the challenge. I accepted the role. I didnt want 10 shots a game, but it was hard to be told not to worry about scoring."

How much should we still care about Jermaine ONeal?

Ive asked myself this question a few times today.

On one hand, this quote is so infuriating. Honestly, Im starting to worry about JO. Forget signing with the Lakers, the guy needs an intervention. Jermaine. Listen. We all brought you here because were concerned . . . These things youre saying to the media . . . its just so obvious that something isnt right . . . you're out of your mind . . . Jermaine, please! . . . (starts shaking him) . . . let us help you!

But seriously, what's ONeal trying to get across in this interview? Is he saying that a few more touches might have made the difference in him missing 99 of a possible 148 games? How does that make sense? Thats like a blacked out drunk driver slamming his car into a telephone pole and then blaming the crash on a faulty headlight.

But what makes the whole thing even more frustrating is that you know there are people out there who will still fall for his shtick. The same way Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers fell for it in 2010. The same way we all did at some point during his two years in town. There are GMs who will become fascinated by his size and All-Star resume, who will buy into his sweet nothings and give him another chance.

Again, I'm not sure why that should bother anyone in Boston. He's not our problem anymore. We should let him go to the Lakers and drive them as crazy as he did us.

But after two years of dealing with his song-and-dance, the sound of the Jermaine O'Neal BS Machine is still like nails on a chalk board. As much as I don't want to care, it still drives me nuts.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup