Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Jermaine O’Neal? Are the Celtics really this desperate?

Posted by Bill Koch on July 8, 2010

Jermaine O'Neal

Add Jermaine O’Neal to the list of players on the Boston Celtics who are pushing the 17th hole at the least.

The former Miami, Toronto and Indiana forward, who pulled a disappearing act against Kendrick Perkins in the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, will gobble up all of Boston’s $5 million-plus mid-level exception. He joins Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett on the AARP crew that Danny Ainge insisted would never be assembled.

O’Neal’s 14 points and seven rebounds during the regular season last year were just fine, but the 2010-11 edition of the Celtics are going to be less interested in the 82-game grind than the group last year who loafed its way to a 27-27 finish. The postseason is all that this bunch of aging, creaky corpses will care about and O’Neal did next to nothing in the paint to help Dwyane Wade and Co. while they were suffering through a 4-1 destruction at Boston’s hands. O’Neal was also a playoff failure in Indiana, and that was when his right shoulder actually had full range of motion and both of his knees didn’t need to be insured by Lloyd’s of London. Chalk this one up as another misguided attempt by Ainge to hold onto the past and wake us up when his nursing home disguised as an NBA locker room fails again in the late spring.

Oh, and in case anybody forgot — this is why most of you likely remember O’Neal’s name:

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