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Jermaine O’Neal goes to Germany for medical treatment, readies for free agency

Jun 14, 2013, 3:54 PM EDT

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns Getty Images

After playing just 24 and 25 games for the Celtics the previous two seasons, the injury-prone Jermaine O’Neal signed with the Suns and their seemingly magical training staff.

Well, O’Neal played 55 games in Phoenix, and he looked relative spry while on the court. For a player who averaged just 57 games per season in his career and was 34 and in his 17th season, 55 games is pretty remarkable.

Now, O’Neal seems ready ready to leave the nest in searcher of greener NBA pastures, but first he stopped off in Germany to meet with Dr. Peter Wehling, noted for developing Regenokine, the treatment Kobe Bryant used:

He also doesn’t sound like someone intent on returning to the Suns (hat tip: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld):

The obvious first guess for O’Neal’s destination is Miami. As the Eastern Conference Finals showed, the Heat could use another defensive big man, and the Pacers aren’t going away.

O’Neal played for the Heat just before LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed as free agents, and at the time, O’Neal wasn’t on board and signed with Boston. Via Chris Forsberg of ESPN:

“I knew what [the Heat] were trying to do, and I could have re-signed back with those guys,” he said Wednesday after passing his physical with the Celtics. “But it comes down to fit. It comes down to personalities and style of play, and I thought Boston has all that for me. It came down to winning now, and not worrying about chemistry.”

O’Neal’s best chance to win now will likely come from the Heat, but is he over the fit issue? He’s likely healthy enough that he’ll have the option of Miami or other suitors, so we’ll probably find out.

  1. johnlink00 - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Hopefully Bill Simmons doesn’t try and report on this story, or ESPN will suspend him…

    • americasdream12 - Jun 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      My best bet is Oneil would like to go back home to Indiana but I can’t see the Pacers even giving him a chance at this time. Indiana could use some bench depth but Jermaine has been fragile to say the least and the Pacers do have some young big men coming up. Sorry Jermaine you are not what Indiana most needs, a point guard and a shooting guard. See you in the playoffs if you go to Miami.

  2. jcmeyer10 - Jun 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Couldn’t have put a picture of Rashad Lewis up for a few minutes just for fun?

  3. supremekingz - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Remember when Lebron threw the ball at him when he tried to knock Bron Bron down on that fast break?

    I wonder if they’d overlook that to sign him…

  4. adoombray - Jun 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Arguably the best player on a Suns team that had no mojo last season. Gortat was their best player after Nash and Hill left, and Jermaine took his job. I wish him luck, he was the only guy besides Scola who didn’t quit on that team after Gentry was fired

  5. gostlcards5 - Jun 14, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    JO was a good player for the Pacers, sans the brawl. Let Psycho-T go via free agency (which I think he is due to be), and bring JO back to come off the bench. I think he’d be a good role-playing scorer on the cheap.

  6. badintent - Jun 15, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    Not sure if Miami would rather stick with Birdman (he plays all games) vs. some guy that is brittle .
    Wonder if Kobe gets referrals fees from the doc.

  7. bengzki - Jun 15, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    I still remember when my fantasy team consists of Jermaine O’neal at PF and Big Ben at C, the days of the Detroit versus Indiana, lots of defense and big boys game.

    Still wish him well wherever he goes.

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