Report: O'Neal wasn't 'right fit' in Boston


Report: O'Neal wasn't 'right fit' in Boston

LAS VEGAS -- Three months after being waived by the Celtics following season-ending wrist surgery, Jermaine ONeal was working toward the next phase in his basketball career at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

After contemplating retirement at points, the big man is eyeing his 17th NBA season. But before ONea, 33, moves forward, he looked back on his two seasons in Boston, years that he believes could have gone better for him.

Well since I was asked not to score too much last year, I still feel like I have a lot left, he told HOOPSWORLD.

While on the Celtics, O'Neal appeared in a total of 49 games as he struggled with various injuries. A scorer for the majority of his career, he was asked to focus on defense, the foundation of the Celtics system. He averaged 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season.

ONeal spoke to HOOPSWORLD about his time with the Celtics:

Well you have to go somewhere where you really fit, ONeal said. Thats just how it is. I had a fantastic time in Boston, an unbelievable sports town, fans and organization. But it wasnt necessarily the best fit basketball wise. Your comfort level is everything. Sometimes when youreasked not to worry about some of the stronger parts of your game, which is scoring, and only focus on defense, thats difficult to do.Im not stupid, I dont think I can go for 20 every night anymore, but I do believe I can go for 20 on any given night. Its just about finding a position whether its coming off the bench or starting, whether its 15 minutes or 30 minutes, whatever the coaches ask you to do its just about having the opportunity to be yourself. I just want to get to the level that I know Im physically right.Once that happens, basketball doesnt change, ONeal added. They say its like tying yourshoes. You keep the same routine. The basic techniques stay the same. You dont jump as high or run as fast anymore, but the basic technique stays the same. This process has been a very tedious process. I came in this summer with a blank canvas not worrying about anything Ive done before. Its about getting back to the bare techniques of running, jumping and training. Im back to doing squats, lunges, resistance and speed work. Its probably one of those things you have to see to believe. I do them every day, five or six hour days.

Amid talks the Lakers were interested in ONeal, the team's general manager Mitch
Kupchak and head coach Mike Brown were in attendance to watch his workout.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.


And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”