NBA Playoffs 2011: Boston Celtics' Jermaine O'Neal Will Regret 'His Decision'

Benny VargasAnalyst IApril 29, 2011

One of the many subplots entering this highly anticipated Heat-Celtics showdown is that of what role Jermaine O'Neal will play.

You know J.O., the fan sucker-punching, playoff performance-choking, LeBron cheap shot-delivering, no-ring-having bum. If not, let's refresh your memory.

Last season, O'Neal helped kill Miami's chances of beating Boston by shooting an abysmal 9-for-44 for the series. The Heat can only hope that he serves up an encore performance of that stink fest.

Many credit his pitiful play in that series as the reason Miami showed little to no interest in him this offseason. Despite what many perceived to be a mutual parting, O'Neal continues to insist that Miami wanted him back.

“I knew what they were trying to do the whole time,” he said before Boston's practice yesterday. “We had the conversation at the start, and when it was brought to my attention, I had to make a decision on what I wanted to do. I told them what I wanted to do, and I moved on.”

Seriously, Jermaine, you moved on? It's much more likely that Miami chose to invest its money on Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller. In retrospect, Miami would have been better off spending that cash on J.O., but it wasn't your choice. Pat Riley offered you crumbs because you hadn't earned a bite, let alone a slice of the "Championship Pie" he was preparing.

Asked at Celtics practice if he wanted to play with the new-look Heat, O’Neal shook his head no.

“I’m not into that,” he said.

Yeah, that's obvious. Why would you be into repaying a team that gave you over $40 million for 13 points and six boards a game in about a season and a half of work?

Why would you be into playing more minutes and perhaps be a key cog as a starter in Miami when you can go to Boston and start the season third on the depth chart?

Lastly, why would you be into being a part of what can go down as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history? Oh, and not to mention, the team that's about to eliminate you from the playoffs.