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-   -   O'Neal Seeks Championship in Toronto (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f5/oneal-seeks-championship-toronto-2538.html)

Dr. J. Naismith 07-05-2008 10:49 AM

O'Neal Seeks Championship in Toronto
 
WOW .... still a little far fetched at this point, but Jermaine is certainly saying all the right things now. I love his optimism. :clapping:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Associated Press
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen provided the blueprint for what Jermaine O'Neal hopes to accomplish as a Toronto Raptor.

O'Neal, a six-time All-Star who has said he's being traded from the Indiana Pacers to Toronto, said he watched as Garnett and Allen sacrificed personal statistics to win their first championships after being traded to Boston last summer. By taking the same approach, O'Neal hopes to shake the drama that followed him as a Pacer and win his first ring.

"I think you've got to be able to do whatever you need to do to make the team successful," O'Neal told the AP in a telephone interview, admitting he was a bit jealous of the Boston stars. "I watched Kevin and watched Paul (Pierce) and watched Ray win a championship, and it's probably the most emotional I've ever been watching a game in my career. I felt the burden being lifted off their shoulders."

O'Neal still carries the burden of having a solid individual career that lacks the ultimate team accomplishment. He was third in the MVP balloting in 2003-04, when he averaged 20.1 points, 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. He averaged a career-high 24.3 points per game in 2004-05, then averaged 20.1 and 19.4 points the next two seasons.

Critics say O'Neal is too old to return to top form. He'll be 30 before the season starts, and he's missed 122 regular-season games the past four years, mostly due to injuries.

O'Neal hears the doubters, and hopes to prove them wrong.

"If I dominate and do things I'm supposed to do, and it's at an All-Star level - that's what matters," he said. "Get in the locker room, get guys ready, bring an emotional presence, a defensive presence that I'm supposed to bring. If I can bring those things and the bitterness that I have right now - because I am bitter - I know where I need to get back to, I know who I am. I know I'm focused on this."

O'Neal is excited about playing next to Chris Bosh, an All-Star forward who averaged 22.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season. He likes point guard Jose Calderon, a pass-first court general who emerged last season.

Mostly, he's looking forward to playing for a contender in front of loud, loyal fans, things he had as a Pacer before the November 2004 brawl between Indiana players and Detroit Pistons fans. In the fallout, most of the key elements to the team - Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and now O'Neal - were sent elsewhere.

Off-the-court problems involving other Pacers further tarnished the team's image, and the once popular franchise ended last season with the lowest attendance in the league.

"The support just wasn't there," O'Neal said. "As a player, you want that stuff to be there, and rightfully so, it shouldn't have been there. The negativity should have been there, the perception should have been there because we didn't give ourselves a chance to look any differently."

The Pacers had an NBA-best 61-21 record in 2003-04, the year before the brawl. The past two seasons, they failed to make the playoffs.

"That probably was the hardest part for me, to go from talking about what we need to do to win a championship to coming into a situation where we're talking about what we need to do to make the playoffs," he said. "It's hard to watch some of my peers win championships every year."

Though he missed 53 games in the past two seasons to injury, O'Neal was popular with Pacers fans when he could play. He was third in fan balloting for the franchise's 40-year anniversary team, trailing only Reggie Miller and Mel Daniels.

He hopes fans don't forget his better days.

"Hopefully, at the end of the day, I can one day be looked at as one of the all-time greats to play for the Pacers."

O'Neal said he thinks the Pacers did well with trade, which brings them point guard T.J. Ford and center Rasho Nesterovic and the rights to the No. 17 overall draft pick, center Roy Hibbert of Georgetown.

His departure leaves Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, both coming off career years, as Indiana's new leaders.

"Those guys understand now how to carry a team," O'Neal said.

For O'Neal, however, this time is about a fresh start.

"I'm going to be back next year, and whatever happens, hopefully it makes the city of Toronto and the country of Canada really happy," he said.

Source - Click here

Aar_Canada 07-05-2008 11:02 AM

Yay, I can't wait for our championship.:face4:

Major 07-05-2008 11:09 AM

Inspiring words, but jut don't go missing 50 games this season. :suspicious:

Apollo 07-05-2008 11:21 AM

I don't care how many games he misses as long as he's healthy for the playoffs.

Major 07-05-2008 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Apollo (Post 41313)
I don't care how many games he misses as long as he's healthy for the playoffs.

Okay but without him we may not even make the playoffs. Think about it. If last year we just squeezed into 6th with TJ and Rasho. It'll be a lot harder to make it without them AND Jermaine.

Nah but he won't miss anymore than 10 games this season is my prediction.

Raptorman 07-05-2008 11:51 AM

Talk is cheap. Make me a believer from your actions on the floor.

EazyBalla 07-05-2008 12:00 PM

I don't think we are as close to a championship as he thinks we are, but I like optimism. I don't think he is too old and as far as his injuries are concerned, he even admitted to him sitting in a suit when he was healthy last season. He said the Pacers didn't care if he played or not. But we are missing a piece and we have got some of expiring contracts - Joey, Hump, Parker (don''t trade). The first step is to get past the first round.

Apollo 07-05-2008 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 41317)
Okay but without him we may not even make the playoffs. Think about it. If last year we just squeezed into 6th with TJ and Rasho. It'll be a lot harder to make it without them AND Jermaine.

Nah but he won't miss anymore than 10 games this season is my prediction.

Actually the team played better without TJ and TJ didn't play that much. I'm not worried at all. They're making the playoffs and Jermaine needs to be playing at that point.

Gurk 07-05-2008 12:47 PM

i love his optimism and next year i dont think the raps will win a championship but if they can do it ill be so happy
cant wait till next season starts!!!!

jeffb 07-05-2008 01:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aar_canada (Post 41309)
yay, I Can't Wait For Our Championship.:face4:


>>> 2011<<<

jeffb 07-05-2008 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 41311)
Inspiring words, but jut don't go missing 50 games this season. :suspicious:

If i said that i'd have 3 people on my ass right now telling me to give it a rest.In fact from what i was told i'm the only one here thinking about the possiblity of injury woes again for O'neal.:suspicious:

moremilk 07-05-2008 02:30 PM

of course there is that possibility - but that applies to any team. Amare Stoudemire has missed even more games than O'Neal, and he had multiple severe knee injuries, injuries that only a few years ago were considered career ending ... O'Neal risk of injury is not higher than most other big men in the league - he's coming after a long period of recovery and he will no longer be asked to do everything on the court, which will put less strain on his body (plus he'll play fewer minutes too).

Joshz 07-05-2008 03:21 PM

Fundamentally speaking, Bosh and O'Neil should be healthier next season, Bosh wont have to play 5, or be the main help defender, O'Neil wont have to be the number one option on the offensive side of the ball, but knowing there history, and the fact that Bosh is playing for U.S.A has me worried about major court issues...Bargnani may still need to have that breakout season were all waiting for :S

Major 07-05-2008 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshz (Post 41362)
Fundamentally speaking, Bosh and O'Neil should be healthier next season, Bosh wont have to play 5, or be the main help defender, O'Neil wont have to be the number one option on the offensive side of the ball, but knowing there history, and the fact that Bosh is playing for U.S.A has me worried about major court issues...Bargnani may still need to have that breakout season were all waiting for :S

I said it before and I'll say it again Bargnani WILL have a breakout season!!







Oh and JO and CB4 together with pwn. Period.

jeffb 07-05-2008 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshz (Post 41362)
Fundamentally speaking, Bosh and O'Neil should be healthier next season, Bosh wont have to play 5, or be the main help defender, O'Neil wont have to be the number one option on the offensive side of the ball, but knowing there history, and the fact that Bosh is playing for U.S.A has me worried about major court issues...Bargnani may still need to have that breakout season were all waiting for :S


Bargnani needs to play alot better and break out next season. Bosh i believe will have a 70GP season,JO could have anywhere from 50-70GP (Who knows)He sounds determined (Crosses fingers). So IMO alot of it is in Bargnani's hands.

Major 07-05-2008 06:40 PM

Why would it be in Bargnani's hands of all forwards? Bosh will miss at most 10 games this season. Jermaine, well, who really knows? Regardless Bosh will still be there. I can see why Bargs is in this though seeing as Rasho is gone but I think it'll all be okay. Bargs will have a breakout season, and I'm looking at something like 15 ppg/4.5 rebs.

the_ raps_analyst 07-05-2008 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Major (Post 41381)
Why would it be in Bargnani's hands of all forwards? Bosh will miss at most 10 games this season. Jermaine, well, who really knows? Regardless Bosh will still be there. I can see why Bargs is in this though seeing as Rasho is gone but I think it'll all be okay. Bargs will have a breakout season, and I'm looking at something like 15 ppg/4.5 rebs.

he will probably have like 6rpg or 5.5

Gurk 07-05-2008 07:12 PM

no way i am predicting bargs with a breakout season averaging 12 pts and 3.5 rbs

Major 07-05-2008 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gurkang (Post 41388)
no way i am predicting bargs with a breakout season averaging 12 pts and 3.5 rbs

Why not?

Since he was drafted things started off slow for him. Now it's going to be his 3rd year, he's 22. He's just nervous being the first Euro selected #1 overall and all. Give him some time. And that time will end in the 08/09 season where he will have a breakout year.

Gurk 07-05-2008 07:24 PM

i meant to say no way(to what the raps analyst said)(then i said) i am predicting bargs to have a breakout year averaging 12 pts and 3.5 rbs

i might have phrased it wrong the first time


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