NBA Rumors: Will Boston Celtics Center Jermaine O'Neal Retire After 2011 Season?

Brian RoachCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22:  Jermaine O'Neal #7 of the Boston Celtics reacts against the New York Knicks in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  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 Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are the one team that does not need an NBA rumor like this. After losing Shaquille O'Neal to retirement this past offseason and trading away their young starting center in Kendrick Perkins at the trade deadline, Jermaine O'Neal is saying he is thinking about retiring at the end of the 2011-2012 season.

The Celtics also had Rasheed Wallace in the 2009 season, who was a big bust and also retired after his only season with the Celtics. It is like every veteran big man comes to the Celtics to play one year and then they are done.

According to, O'Neal told "that, barring an unexpected change of heart which he says is unlikely, this will be his last season." With mostly role players in the center position over the last couple of seasons it seems as if the Boston Celtics made a big mistake by trading away such a good talent in Kendrick Perkins.

Sure, Perkins was not the best offensive player, but his defense was almost impeccable. Also, he may have had injury issues over his NBA career, but what centers do not have those types of issues? Actually, what NBA players in general do not get some sort of career-threatening injury at some point? The game is so vigorous it makes injuries like that almost inevitable.

This NBA rumor of Jermaine retiring is one that the Celtics need to deal with before the trade deadline in 2012, and if they don't, then the Celtics need to start drafting big men who can help the team out in the future.

Jermaine is one of those players who can produce when healthy, especially on the offensive end. He can put up double-doubles on a nightly basis when on the court, but he has had injury problems over his career. He played only 24 games last season and the last time he played over 70 games was the 2003-2004 season. He played well with the Indiana Pacers, but the wear and tear over his NBA career has really hurt him

If he is healthy, expect the Boston Celtics to fight for the NBA title. If he is out for the most of the season, however, then the Celtics will not make it past the Miami Heat.