In an interview on WEE"s Mut & Merloni show, Celtics center Jermaine O'Neal disputed the rumor that he asked for a buyout to sign with Miami.
"I was a little bitter about it," O'Neal said. "To answer your question, it was totally not true. Me and Danny Ainge never had a conversation about a buyout, we never talked about anything else but the seriousness of my injury."
O'Neal said that a few days after he reinsured his wrist in Dallas on Feb. 20, doctors told him that he had to have surgery to repair what has been described as a chronic degenerative condition in his wrist. O'Neal originally tore ligaments in his wrist last season. The team announced on Monday that O'Neal will have surgery and miss the rest of the season.
"When [the doctor] said that to me, it made me extremely emotional because basketball has been so close to me since I was eight years old," O'Neal said. "For a doctor to say, 'You have to worry about things other things outside of basketball,' that was tough. To hear people talk about a buyout, and everybody's got their opinion about it, and they never heard it from me. They never heard it from Danny. We had a meeting the next day and we both were kind of blown away, because we didn't know where that came from."
O'Neal said he elected to not have surgery after the season because the timetable for recover would have been seven to eight months and could have ended his career.
"I wouldn't have been able to workout during the summer time, which furthermore probably would have ended my career," O'Neal said. "I would have never come into a season out of shape and not worked out during the summer time. This is an injury that has gotten worse now, from last year. It was never a thought abut playing for someone else, it was: Will I ever play again?"
O'Neal also said that he was going to sign with Dallas in the summer of 2010 before the Celtics called him and changed his mind with the goal of winning a championship. "Winning a championship is all I wanted to do," he said. "Not finishing the job to try to go somewhere else was not in my DNA."
He acknowledged that his two-year career with the Celtics has been frustrating due to his injuries, which also included knee surgery last season.
"Nobody ever expects to get injured and for sure nobody wants to be injured. It's been two very tough years," O'Neal said. "Especially coming off last year where I had a knee surgery and had three very tough procedures done in the knee and had to fight back like hell to get back for the end of the regular season and also the playoffs.
"So, basically I worked out through the summer and throughout the lockout and really put myself in a position to have a healthy season. That's really the most disappointing thing about this right now. I signed on to do a job and for the fist time in my career I wasn't able to finish."
For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics. To hear the whole interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain how the Patriots held off the Jets, 17-16, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 12-3 and lock up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Curtis spoke with some nut jobs outside the courtroom.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Jeff Goodman discussed the Rondo trade.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.More from this show
Twas the Saturday before Christmas, Rooke and Scott Cordischi in the house taking your calls, texts tweets and emails (not so much). Listeners sound off on the week's best topics. An annual RI DIV I Tourney, Mr Rondo goes to Dallas and celebrating the plethora of Christmas tunesMore from this show