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WEEI » This Just In » O'Neal on D&H: No signing without Doc, Ray
Thu, 07/15/2010 - 11:41am  

O'Neal on D&H: No signing without Doc, Ray

New Celtic Jermaine O'Neal joined the Dale & Holley show Thursday morning and said he was excited about his new opportunity in Boston. "Coming down the stretch of my career, I can't think of a better way to end it than with a championship ring," he said.

 

O'Neal said his decision to sign with the C's wasn't about money. Despite being on some talented Pacers teams early in his career, O'Neal has yet to participate in a championship celebration, and this is his primary goal. "That's something I haven't been able to experience in my career," he said. "I talked it over with my family. ... We wanted to put ourselves in the best situation to win next year. [This is] a team that plays together, plays hard, the organization has the passion, the city has the passion."

 

O'Neal confirmed that it was Rajon Rondo who did the best selling job for Boston despite the fact that they aren't close friends. "I usually don't answer numbers I don't know," O'Neal said. "I just happened to answer the number that day. He really sold it. ... What he said really was what I was looking for. It was more about what they expected to do this upcoming season, and what was expected from me."

 

Had Doc Rivers and Ray Allen not returned to Boston, O'Neal said he would not have signed. Of Rivers, O'Neal said: "He has a presence with players. ... If he wouldn't have come back it wouldn't have been an option."

 

O'Neal said his most recent team, the Heat, will have a good season now that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have joined Dwyane Wade, but, "It's going to be a process for those guys" as they learn to play with each other. Added O'Neal: "One thing I've learned over the years is basically a team is going to beat out talent." O'Neal said he's impressed with how the Celtics share responsibilities on the floor, saying: "They play selfless."

 

O'Neal said he's hoping to have dinner with Rasheed Wallace Thursday night and push him to end his retirement plans and come back for one more year. "He's one of my favorite people in the world," O'Neal said.

 

To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.




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