Jermaine O’Neal Explains How He Got Over Missing Out on the Chance to Win a Championship With the Warriors

Jermaine O’Neal very well could have won a title with the Warriors last season.

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Complex Original

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Jermaine O’Neal did a lot of great things during his 18-year NBA career. He averaged 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was named an NBA All-Star six times. And he proved that players could make the jump from high school to the pros and be very successful. The one thing he didn’t do? Win an NBA championship.

That could have happened for him last year. He spent the final season of his career, back in 2013-14, playing with the Warriors and helping guys like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green grow. And according to him, he could have rejoined the team at one point last season. But he ultimately chose not to do it, and in a new Sports Illustrated piece, he talks about how emotional that made him when the Warriors beat the Cavaliers to win the title last summer. He could have won the first ring of his career, but he didn’t because he ultimately decided that spending time with his kids was more important.

So how’d he get over it? As it turns out, it didn’t take him very long. After his 15-year-old daughter Asjia saw how upset he was about not being a part of Golden State’s championship celebration, she grabbed her phone and sent a text to her dad that brought everything back into perspective.

“Dad, you being home is like you being a champion,” she wrote.

Those were the words O’Neal needed to hear.

“It made me so emotional,” he told SI. “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.”

The entire SI article is worth a read. It’s disappointing that O’Neal never won a ring, but it’s pretty clear that he made the right choice when he decided to remain on the sidelines last season.

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[via Sports Illustrated]

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