Jermaine O'Neal loves LA

While Kobe takes a vow of silence the likes of which has not been seen since this guy, Jermaine O’Neal continues to tell everyone who will listen (in this case SI.com) about his dream job, playing Center for your 2007-2008 Los Angeles Lakers. In LA for a charity basketball game O’Neal said:

"I would welcome a trade to the Lakers. Indiana has given me the opportunity to establish myself as a really good player in this league, but they're into rebuilding and going really young, and I'm just not in a position physically to go through another five to six years with a lot of losses and a lot of down time."

Pacer’s GM, the legendary Larry Bird responded quickly, but he said just about nothing. His canned GM response was:

“In response to Jermaine O’Neal’s published comments today regarding a trade, we have stated repeatedly that if we can make our team better through a trade, we will do so. Jermaine has become an All-Star player with the Indiana Pacers and in any discussions regarding him or any of our other players, the expectations for the franchise and our fans is to receive fair market value in return if a trade is to be considered. Jermaine has worked out very hard this summer while rehabilitating his knee after surgery. We believe under Jim O’Brien that our team as a whole and Jermaine as a player can be successful. You never know what will happen, but for now Jermaine is an Indiana Pacer.”

What insight! Not that we were expecting Larry Legend to throw his hands up in frustration, publicly give out his cell phone number for anyone interested and go on Larry King to invite NBA, NBDL, CBA and Euro-League GMs to put in early bids for his highly talented, and oft-injured, forward.

Bottom line on the rumors: They mean nothing unless Mitch Kup-cake stops being a lamb and decides to give some direction to this wayward Lakers roster. The last time I checked the Pacers had Travis Deiner and Jamaal Tinsley at point guard – neither of whom are world beaters by any means. Would the Pacers be interested in a talented and athletic, yet somewhat turnover-prone, rookie point guard with solid potential such as Jarvis Crittenden? We know that they’re already enthralled with the kid from Piscataway, New Jersey. It’s time for Kup-cake to play “let’s make a deal” and come out on the winning end for the first time during his ill-fated tenure as Lakers GM. Time for Kup-cake to exorcise the demons of GM Jerry West and put his stamp on this Lakers team.

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