Ep. 48: Jermaine O’Neal

Jermaine O’Neal played eight seasons with the Pacers.

“My love for this city and this organization has not wavered.”

That’s Jermaine O’Neal, the former Pacer who was back in Indianapolis Sunday to be part of the Indiana Pacers’ celebration of the 2000s decades.

O’Neal played for seven teams, but he was at his best in Indianapolis where he finished third in the NBA MVP voting in 2004 in a season he led the team to the conference finals, and he was a six-time NBA All-Star.

“I got a chance to establish myself in a way that I can go anywhere in the country and outside of the country, and be recognized because of the base that the Indiana Pacers family extended to me. Because of the support that this city and this state gave me, that type of stuff, man, you just never forget.”

In franchise history, he ranks fifth in points (9,580), sixth in rebounds (4,933), and first in blocks (1,245). O’Neal, who’s just 38, is now a businessman in Dallas, Texas and he has two kids.

I just want to say a "BIG THANK YOU" to the @pacers for showing me and my family such a great time tonight and doing a incredible job with the All Decade Team celebration. To be considered one of the best to ever put on a pacer uniform is such a huge honor and I'm very thankful for that. I also want to say thank you to the thousands of pacer fans that were in attendance tonight for showing sooooooo much love and appreciation! It was without a doubt heart felt ❤️! From day one you have always made me feel like a second son and tonight wasn't anything short of that 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾! I wish nothing but the best for pacer organization, the city of Indianapolis, and the state of Indiana! You will always have a special place in my heart and my life! #ILookFowardToSpendingMoreTimeHere #PacerForLife!!!!!

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Topics Discussed:

  • Finding his passion in business and being inspired by Magic Johnson
  • Why he didn’t go into sports broadcasting
  • Growing and learning on the job with the Pacers
  • Naming his son Jermaine, his daughter becoming the first O’Neal to attend college and not meeting his dad until he was 30
  • What then Kentucky coach Rick Pitino told him about going directly to the NBA
  • Launching Club 7 in Broad Ripple
  • Plans to work with Myles Turner
  • The Brawl, and plans to produce a documentary on it

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