Jermaine O'Neal has been out of the league for a while, but he will go down as arguably one of greatest power forwards in the 2000s era as well as in Indiana Pacers history.
O'Neal spent his last NBA season with the 2013-14 Golden State Warriors. O'Neal admits that he could have joined last season's championship team at some point during the year, but ultimately decided to pass on it to spend time with his children.
O'Neal says he was a bit heartbroken seeing that he could've joined the team that beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, which could have given the veteran player his first championship ring. However, he got over it fast, as he tells Sports Illustrated.
“Dad, you being home is like you being a champion,” his 15-year-old daughter Asjia wrote in a text to him after the game.
O'Neal says he was glad to hear those words.
“It made me so emotional. When she wrote the text, how much it meant to her, to get that, it cleared everything up. All the emotions I had, missing out on the championship. That did it, and I knew right away that my time was over.”