The saga is over. In the last two weeks, we've gone from "will Jermaine come back" to "Jermaine wants to leave us for the Heat" to today's news: "Jermaine O'Neal to have season-ending surgery." According to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald:
O'Neal tried to work through problem, but he and doctor realized it wouldn't get better w/o surgery.
We've been snake bitten all year with these injuries, but at least now there's some closure. Considering the salary cap situation last off-season and the flexibility we are looking at this summer, Danny hasn't been given enough credit for what he pulled off. It's just unfortunate that the luck of the Irish hasn't been with us. If you told me we'd be two deep at every position with Dooling, Pietrus, Green, Daniels, and Wilcox coming off the bench, I'd easily say that that was the deepest team in the Big Three era.
Specifically to Jermaine O'Neal, he needs to be commended for the work and effort he's put in to try and help this team to Banner # 18. The guy's knees are practically bone-on-bone and he opted not to have surgery on his wrist last summer so that he could contribute this season. It may not be Larry Bird with his back or McHale and his broken foot, but O'Neal was a warrior for this team. Let's hope that whoever takes his roster spot shows as much heart as Jermaine has when we've seen him on the court.