Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal's status for Game 7—possibly the final game of his 18-year career—is uncertain after Glen Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers barreled into his knee during Game 6.
As one would expect, O'Neal isn't happy about it. According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the veteran big man was frank when asked his opinion of the incident:
It's just a dirty play, to be quite honest. I mean I'm not going to go try to dive into somebody's legs—it wasn't a scramble for the ball. I respect people's ability to come out and perform and take care of their family based on their bodies.
Either he has terrible balance as a pro athlete, or that was a dirty play. God don't like ugly.
The collision happened under the basket after O'Neal came up with a loose ball that "Big Baby" was lunging for. Davis' momentum carried him into O'Neal's legs.
Only the 290-pound Davis knows for sure if the incident could have been avoided.
O'Neal has at least one teammate in his corner:
Marreese Speights on Big Baby: "It was a dirty play."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) May 2, 2014
Though he was initially diagnosed with a "knee sprain" after the game, O'Neal is set for an MRI on Friday to determine whether or not he will suit up in the series finale.
The six-time All-Star has averaged seven points and four rebounds against the Clippers after being forced into a more active role with Andrew Bogut sidelined. O'Neal started the series' first three games but has been relegated to a lesser role after Mark Jackson reverted to a smaller lineup for Game 4.
With reserve center Festus Ezeli also out, Hilton Armstrong and Ognjen Kuzmic remain the only healthy 5s on the Warriors roster. If O'Neal is forced to sit out Game 7, though, forwards Harrison Barnes and Marreese Speights will likely be the ones receiving more playing time off the bench.
The 35-year-old O'Neal could be retiring at season's end with no contract in place for next year. In 20 minutes per game this season, he shot 50 percent from the field and posted an above-league-average player efficiency rating of 15.3, per ESPN.com.