O'Neal: 'I never spoke to Ainge about a buy-out'

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O'Neal: 'I never spoke to Ainge about a buy-out'

ATLANTA Jermaine O'Neal has made the decision to have season-ending wrist surgery and will meet with doctors on Wednesday to figure out which specific surgical procedure will be performed.

But as far as calling it quits on his career, O'Neal isn't quite ready to go that far yet.

"If this is my last ride in the NBA - I'm not sure it is yet - it would be from a collection of things," O'Neal told CSNNE.com in a phone interview on Tuesday. "It's more about the quality of life, being able to operate as a father, being able to run around with my kids. When they need me, not necessarily being crippled.

"I've had ankle surgery, I've had (left) knee surgeries, I'm about to have wrist surgery. I don't think people understand just how severe my wrist is. People don't know I completely tore the ligament in my wrist last year when I did it. Took the cortisone shot, but didn't realize how bad my wrist was getting."

At some point - possibly this week - O'Neal will need to have bone fusion surgery which would in effect, end his playing career.

"I'm dealing with a situation where I'm going to have to make a decision on when I have that, then yeah, I'm done," O'Neal said. "That's ultimately what I will need. There are a couple other surgeries that I could have ... that would give me a chance to play again, if that's what I choose to do this summer."

In a wide-ranging interview with CSNNE.com, O'Neal touched on several topics which included the rumors that he wanted a buy-out to go play for the Miami Heat - the team he played for prior to joining the Celtics.

"That's something that needs to be cleared up," he said. "I never asked Danny. I never spoke to Danny - quote me on this - about a buy-out. Danny has never spoken to me about a buy-out. Our conversation has always been strictly with (team trainer) Ed Lacerte and our doctors about my health and my ability to come back. "

O'Neal added, "He said to the media that we were going to have a conversation, and we both had the same question for each other, 'where does this stuff come from?' My concern and his concern was my ability to get back on the court. And if I couldn't, then I couldn't. He has supported me in such a way that ... me and my family appreciate that."

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

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Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good.