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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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10 Years of Ainge: The O'neal's

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.



ESPN BOSTON

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

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7 Comments

Reply paul
8:02 AM on June 7, 2013 
To me, this was one of Danny's most brilliant moves ever. The combination of Shaq and Jermaine was nothing short of brilliant. The two of them covered for Perkins brilliantly. Jermaine was paid too much, but Shaq's contract made up for it. By the time both went wobbly, Perk was back. He wasn't the player he had been, as many have pointed out ad nauseum, but he was still Perkins, and he stepped right in. Then Danny went crazy, or more likely the owners forced his hand, and The Trade happened. It was one of the most bogus moves in the history of the NBA, and the hype machine had to go into overdrive trying to justify it. THEY ARE STILL TRYING TO JUSTIFY IT!! Sure. Wreck your team chemistry, tear the heart out of your team defense, which is the key to your team's success, all on the verge of a playoff season in which you are probable favorites, and when in doubt, just call it "bold".

But as bad as The Trade was, the original moves, in which Danny brought us Jermaine and Shaq to stand in for Perk for half a year, were brilliant. And how can we ever forget the magic we saw when Shaq was joined to the Big Four, and bonded with Rajon Rondo. Shaq still loves Rondo! How many points would he have scored in his prime had he been on a team with Rondo?
Reply rcraig617
10:53 AM on June 7, 2013 
I still believe if we had shaq healthy that year we would've beat the heat I still remember us killing them on opening and rondo just dropping dimes to shaq the whole first month of that season rondo was averaging like 15 assists a game that first month.
Reply Greg
12:20 PM on June 7, 2013 
I think the signing of Jermaine was pricy as everyone says the price was too high.
Reply jlil89
2:49 PM on June 7, 2013 
Why we think small ball is the answer is beyond me. I don't want to play like the stupid heat. Get Rondo a big man and then we DOMINATE. Rondo did it with Shaq when he was freaking 39. I can only dream of a Cousins, Monroe, or a Hibbert playing alongside Rondo. #9 really is unstoppable with a 7 footer that has some semblance of basketball skills.
Reply C'slife
6:20 PM on June 7, 2013 
jlil89 says...
Why we think small ball is the answer is beyond me. I don't want to play like the stupid heat. Get Rondo a big man and then we DOMINATE. Rondo did it with Shaq when he was freaking 39. I can only dream of a Cousins, Monroe, or a Hibbert playing alongside Rondo. #9 really is unstoppable with a 7 footer that has some semblance of basketball skills.


I really liked the thought of Howard a few years ago. But his attitude for the game sucks. Hes a circus I don't want in Boston. Cousins needs to get act together as well. I think that's possible.
Reply paul
9:18 PM on June 7, 2013 
Rondo plus big man with a nose for the inside = history
Reply paul
9:19 PM on June 7, 2013 
Greg says...
I think the signing of Jermaine was pricy as everyone says the price was too high.


But you really have to consider Shaq and Jermaine together.