It Was Always "When" Not "If" With Jermaine O'Neal

Some players are simply destined to end their career on an injury. Now, he hasn't made any announcements about retirement or anything, but I can't see him returning to play another full season. Maybe he'll make an appearance late next year like P.J. Brown or what Rasheed Wallace is trying to do now. But then again, full seasons weren't really on the agenda much for Jermaine lately anyway.

Green Street " The inevitable end for Jermaine O’Neal with the Celtics

In his year and a half with the Celtics, Jermaine O’Neal played just 49 games and was on the court for only 1,001 minutes. He missed most of the 2010-11 season with a knee injury and on Monday, the team announced that he was going to have surgery to take care of a chronic degenerative wrist condition. O’Neal had wrist issues for years and they became worse after he took a fall in Dallas while trying to take a charge.

Yikes, when you put it that way... I guess some quick math would reveal that Jermaine pulled in nearly $12K per minute played in Boston. So it is hard to feel too sorry for him. With that said (and not to get holier than thou or anything) I never got the personal criticisms some fans levied on him.

By all accounts he was a nice guy that worked his tail off trying to get rehabbed from his various injuries. He played hurt and occasionally even played well (of note in last year's playoffs). His role was drastically changed from what it was earlier in his career and it sounds like his career was probably (finally) ended by giving up his brittle body in one of the many charges he took in Doc's defense.

So blame Danny Ainge for signing him if you must (but also consider the alternatives and understand it was a calculated gamble that didn't work out as well as we'd hoped), but cut the player some slack and give him his due for his best efforts.

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