JO “Would Like to Retire as a Pacer”
No one could ever accuse Jermaine O’Neal of lacking confidence. In his latter years with the Pacers he was always positive, seeing himself just on the brink of returning to the in-the-MVP-discussion form he showcased in 2004. Some thought JO was wearing rose-colored glasses — and indeed, he never did return to form.
More so, 2004 and the subsequent injuries (that he always nobly battled back from it must be noted) and the max salary he continued to receive forever changed how many Indiana fans saw JO. When he was traded to Toronto, it marked an unfortunate end to what had been one of the more dominant — albeit short — stretches by any player to wear a Pacers jersey during the NBA era.
When the trade happened, many were legitimately happy to see him gone. Others just felt it was time for the team and most high-profile face of an era eventually marred by mischief — and worse — to part ways. But there were indeed many who wished he never left the blue and gold at all.
For those fans — and all Pacers fans with long enough memories really — this message Jermaine sent last night through Twitter will hopefully provide a flashback to the better times.
It’s also something that at least this Pacer fan would love to see.
Good luck with the rest of your career, #7. And, more importantly, good luck with everything after that.