|Posted by shawn cassidy on June 7, 2013 at 5:30 AM|
The Celtics were just coming off a NBA Finals loss to the Lakers in a hard fought 7 game series. The Celtics lost their starting center Kendrick Perkins in game six, and the C's would have probably won with Perk in the paint in game seven. Anyways, the Celtics wouldn't have Perk until late January or sometime in February of the following year. Danny had to look for big men, and just not because of Perk, but just for depth in case of a rematch with the Lakers, which never happened. He also had to deal with the retirement of their back up center Rasheed Wallace.
Danny looked to Jermaine O'neal as his fist big off season signing besides resigning Paul that summer, and ensuring Doc's return.
While the team did not disclose the terms, O'Neal is inked for two seasons and will receive the full midlevel exception of about $5.76 million this year.
"When the opportunity arose for me to join an organization like the Celtics, I could not refuse," said the 6-foot-11, 255-pound center. "I cannot wait to get to Boston and start to practice with the rest of the team in pursuit of a championship."
O'Neal says he's hungry for a ring and knows the Big Three and the remaining core from the 2008 title team are hungry for another, so that's why he chose Boston over other suitors.
"We're very excited to have him here," said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. "He brings a great deal of leadership and knowledge."
I understand Danny's thoughts on this signing. I don't mind it, but I do mind the amount of money and responsibility that they gave Jermaine. They expected too much out of this guy who was injury prone and lazy later in his career, and he never lived up to the contract. Jermaine was pegged the starting center until Perk got back, but that thought changed when Danny was able to sign Shaq for a reasonable contract for the veteran minimum. Shaq as expected stole the starting gig. For the first two to three months of the season Shaq was great. Rondo and Shaq had something special that I won't forget. Shaq never recovered after his multiple injuries in February.
The numbers indeed show just how good Shaq was. Not only did Boston boast a 27-9 record (.750 winning percentage) with him as a starter alongside the "big four," but the Celtics produced glossy ratings on both sides of the ball. Shaq played two games in the Miami series, but never impacted the C's again.
Jermaine O'neal in two seasons with Boston played 49 games out of a possible 148 games. He averaged a little above 5 points and 4 boards per game. He wasn't able to stay on the court long at all as well. He was able to play 20 minutes most nights. He was not worth the contract. Danny had the right intentions, and it was a gamble on both O'neals. But it didn't work out. I was good with Shaq's tenure in Boston. He was 39 and we got the best of him in his final year. Jermaine was 32 on the other hand, and he came into camp out of shape, and unprepared. If Danny could do it over again. He would have passed on Jermaine, or offered him half of the mid-level.
Categories: 10 Years of Ainge