Monday, September 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  26 responses

Jermaine O’Neal: ‘I Wasn’t Doing Enough to Earn My Money’

J.O. claims that he hadn’t realized just how much bank he was making over the last few years, but admits that it was a tad much for the amount of production he was putting out. The Boston Globe reports: “Early on, it was easy for O’Neal to believe the golden faucet would never stop running. He had a max deal. He had Nike ad campaigns crafted around him. He was making All-Star teams and All-NBA teams. ‘It was sweet,’ he said. At the same time, the Pacers were a force, even if their average age was just 26. They won 61 games in 2003-04, and if they hadn’t lost to the Pistons in the conference finals, they would have reached the NBA Finals essentially without even glancing at the instruction manual. ‘It’s funny, because we were so high on everything,’ O’Neal said. ‘We were all young. We had just come off having the best record in the league and we basically ran through the league not having that much experience. So the next year, we went into camp saying we were going to win it all this year.’ The Pacers had given O’Neal a seven-year, $126 million contract — both a blessing and a bull’s-eye — but he had no problem being the face of the franchise. In fact, he said he was practically oblivious to how handsome his checks were. ‘I didn’t even realize until this summer that over the last seven years I was one of the top three paid players in the entire NBA,’ O’Neal said. ‘I never knew that. I never looked at that money as being pressure. To be honest, towards the last two or three years, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to earn my money. I’m very critical of myself.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    No sh*t. Every other night getting 2 rebounds a game really made it worth the Heat’s while.

  • The Philosopher

    One of the biggest clowns in NBA History.

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to Dwayne “Pearl” Washington.

  • MTLien

    Overrated…Nuff said

  • JoeMaMa

    I love that guys who come out AFTER THE FACT and say they didn’t go hard enough….usually count my Raptors as the/a team they did that for. Sigh.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/09/jermaine-oneal-i-wasn%E2%80%99t-doing-enough-to-earn-my-money/ zz

    he ain’t overrated. you should watch him play in his prime. now, of course he isn’t the player he used to be but in his prime he was a beast.

  • AT33

    Over the last few years he hasn’t even earned the league minimum! I’m not blaming him though, blame the clowns who gave him so much money.

  • Ryan D

    2003-2004? That was over 6 years ago!

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Good for him for coming out and saying it.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Eboy. Think of it as, Jermaine O’Neals contract eventually bringing you LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Sure his 2 pts / 2 rpg numbers were woeful. BUT those two words again. Le. Bron.

  • GGG

    So reward those who do…I can think of a number of charities….

  • rich

    if u think about it u can actually thank the shaq trade for this. they traded him for marion, then marion for j.o and then signed lebron. all hail pat reily

  • http://thosefishtacosarethetits.blogspot.com Boston_Blogg3r

    I’m thinking he should trade his 2-year, mid-level deal for Shaq’s 2-year minimum deal.

  • Darius (Eastern Michigan’s Future)

    so know that he knows this what is he goin do about it?

  • LA Huey

    Wanna cut a fat check to charity at least? I’m mostly on the players side when CBA talks come up but I hope something gets done about how much money can be guaranteed in a contract. It sours the fan experience when you have a bum eating so much cap space.

  • T-Money

    i remember vividly JO saying after every bad game in TO that it “would never happen again” and “that he was done playing around”… until the next beatdown.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    man i hate it when teams sign their star players to 6 and 7 year deals when they are already gettin kinda old.. the last 2 years or so of the contract the team is always regrettin it

  • http://www.dontevenreply.com total scrotal implosion

    Before he had all those knee problems, he earned it

  • Yesse

    I really agree and im happy he sees it. Hope he can step it up.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He didn’t say he wasn’t going hard.
    Remember, dude probably has no cartilage left in his knees by now.
    He never deserved that big a deal, he wasn’t that good, but I don’t think he was a quitter or a slacker. Just overpaid.
    Probably like many of you.

  • PapaBearATL

    Most of us do just barely enough to not get fired and our employers pay just enough to not quit. Maybe he earned and got injured or maybe he got it and lost heart. At least he sees what others have been seeing for a while. A lotta stars stay gassed up long after their talent is gone…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    At least he realizes it and isn’t asking for more than he’s earning now. And it wasn’t HIS fault, either.

  • http://screwjams.tumblr.com cramzy

    I wouldn’t say JO was just dogging it. He had some really bad injuries. He deserved it when he got it. He was the man on a contender. That’s why these deal lengths have to be discussed this summer.

  • D

    Ever since his knee bent the wrong way , he hasn’t been the same

  • ClydeSays

    Not that I feel bad for the guy, but injuries really messed with his career. He’s got alot of miles on those wheels, being a HS draftee. I’d also argue he DID know exactly what he was getting paid and how it stacked up against the rest of the League (C’mon now, Jermaine. Your agent probably reminded you every time you talked to him…) He never seemed like a team leader and maybe the pressure was too much for him. He’ll be fine as a rebounder/defender for the C’s…

  • The Philosopher

    They BRAGGIN’!!
    (Tupac Shakur)