Jermaine O'Neal Most Likely Done with Celtics After 2 Years

Stephen Cho@stephench0Contributor IIIMarch 19, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 04:  Jermaine O'Neal #7 of the Boston Celtics is helped up by Rajon Rondo #9 after O'Neal was pushed out of bounds by Mehmet Okur #13 of the New Jersey Nets on January 4, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

One of the league's best center's at one point, the now penny-worth Jermaine O'Neal, is starting to see the beginning of the end for his career. 

Averaging just 22 minutes a game this year, an unfamiliar situation presents itself to O'Neal, who, one season, averaged 35 minutes a game (he averaged 25 points and nine rebounds that same season.)

Nonetheless, despite knee issues from the previous season and wearing down (turns 34 in October), the six time All-Star started in 24 out of 25 games that he played in this season. 

The most recent game that Jermaine O'Neal saw action in was in a loss against Dallas on February 20th. During that game, O'Neal took a hard fall to the ground, where he hurt an already troubled left wrist.

After thorough examination, the Celitcs released a statement earlier today in which they described the condition of O'Neal's wrist as "chronic degenerative." The condition itself sounds terrifying. Apparently, the Celtics thought so too.

As president Danny Ainge explained, "Jermaine worked hard to get himself in condition to play this season despite his ongoing wrist issues. He played through pain the entire year and gave us all he could, but unfortunately after the fall against Dallas there simply wasn't anything else he could do. We appreciate his contributions to our team over the last two years."

It can be inferred from Ainge's statement that the Celtics have decided to part ways with the big man, leaving a spot on their roster open for a suitable replacement. As for now, Garnett will most likely shift over to the center position, while Brandon Bass, who has been playing exceptional this season, will probably start at power forward. 

O'Neal did a solid job during his time spent in Boston, but seeing him go shouldn't be a reason to grieve for any Celtic fans.

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