BOSTON, MA - MAY 09: Jermaine O'Neal #7 of the Boston Celtics drives past Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 9, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Jermaine O'Neal announced that he plans to return to the Boston Celtics for the final year of his contract in a phone interview with Anthony Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
O'Neal is 32-years-old and played in just 24 regular season games for the Celtics this season, starting in only 10. O'Neal finished the 2010-11 campaign averaging 5.4 points (129 total points) and 3.7 rebounds (88 total).
"I have a lot I can still give to this team," O'Neal told CSNNE.com in a phone interview. (via CSNNE)
O'Neal isn't the only one who thinks he can help the team - Celtics general manager Danny Ainge thinks so too.
"Jermaine gave us a great lift near the end of the season, especially defensively," Ainge said. "And we need him. I think he has a lot more to offer us." (via CSNNE.com)
Jeff Clark, CEO of CelticsBlog, also thinks O'Neal's decision to return to the 17-time NBA champions is a good one.
Sounds like good news to me. I really think that he can help this team a lot next year. We should, however, make sure we have a few backup options for the inevitable injuries that he'll have.
And if he does go down for the count, he's still an expiring contract that could be used in a trade at the deadline. Still, I'd rather have him healthy and helping win basketball games. (via CelticsBlog)
O'Neal has 12,381 points, 6,591 rebounds and 1,659 blocks in 15 NBA seasons.