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


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."

Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown


Stars, studs and duds: Stevens shows confidence in Brown

Jaylen Brown made a costly turnover in the final minute that contributed to Boston’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The fact that he was even in the game at that point speaks to not just his potential, but the level of confidence the rookie has already garnered from the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

Brown, who had nine points on 4-for-7 shooting on Thursday, turned the ball over with less than a minute to play and the Celtics trailing 101-99 at the time.

Moments after the turnover, Chicago’s Dwyane Wade drained a step-back 3-pointer that sealed the Bulls’ victory.

Disappointed with the game’s outcome, Brown acknowledged that it meant a lot to him for Stevens to have enough confidence in him to keep him on the floor down the stretch.

But with that faith comes added pressure for Brown to come through and deliver.

“It means I have to do better and try and execute for my team and earn everything I get,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I don’t want anything given to me just because I’m the number three pick in the draft.”

Stevens was asked about having Brown on the floor in the game’s closing seconds.

“He (Brown) was playing pretty well and I thought we were better off playing small,” Stevens said. “I wanted to keep Jaylen in there. I thought he did a lot of good things tonight.”

“Obviously that play didn’t go his way,” Stevens said.

On the play in question, Brown was matched up with Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic. Brown began to make a move, and eventually spun away from Mirotic and left his feet.

Brown was called for the turnover when he left his feet to make a pass, but didn’t release the ball until after he had landed – a traveling violation.

“I was looking for an outlet,” said Brown in explaining his late-game miscue. “I should have just shot the ball but I was thinking it was a bad shot. I probably should have just shot it. I just saw Mirotic on me, slower feet. Coach (Stevens) told me to drive him so I tried to be aggressive. I should have made a play.”

Brown added, “Just have to come out and execute, and play the game the right way. I want to make coach feel like he has a reason to put me out on the floor.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Thursday night’s game.



Dwyane Wade

The Chicago native gave his family and friends plenty to cheer about on Thursday. In his first game playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls, Wade had 22 points which included a back-breaking 3-pointer with 26 seconds to play that pretty much sealed the Bulls victory. Consider this: He made a total of seven 3-pointers all last season. He had four on Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas

For the second straight game, Thomas tallied 25 points and continued to shoot the ball extremely well. His 25 points on Thursday came on 10-for-15 shooting. He also had four assists and three rebounds.

Jimmy Butler

Butler was among the Chicago players who shot the ball much, much better from 3-point range than they usually do. He finished with a team-high 24 points which included him knocking down four of his six 3-point attempts.



Avery Bradley

Bradley provided a nice offensive complement to Thomas’ high scoring night, finishing with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Bradley also made his presence felt on the boards and as a distributor with six rebounds and five assists.

Nikola Mirotic

He may have lost out on a starting job to Taj Gibson, but Mirotic’s value to the Bulls is clear. Mirotic had 15 points off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 from the field in addition to nine rebounds.



Second-chance points

Boston’s only two games into the season, but second-chance points looks to be an issue with no clear-cut solution. For the second straight game, Boston was outscored by double digits in second-chance points. On Thursday, Chicago had an 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.