Archive for August 1st, 2009

Jermaine O’Neal working hard

jermaine o'neal workouts

Talented veteran Miami Heat big-man Jermaine O’Neal has been more known for injury than anything else these past few years. But he’s been working hard to change that. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports (via blog):

O’Neal, who has been a regular in the weight room and on the court at AmericanAirlines Arena the past two months, showing up about four times a week, is poised to take the next step, with eight weeks of work planned with noted Chicago trainer Tim Grover. Yes, the same Tim Grover who last summer so reinvigorated Dwyane Wade.

While appearances can be deceiving, O’Neal has impressed those in the weight room with his physique and appearance. Granted, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll ever be able to again explode off both knees.

It’s safe to say O’Neal will not ever return to being the player he once was, but there’s definite room for improvement over the level of his play the past few seasons, so good news that he’s working hard to make it happen.

lamar odom almost re-joined miami heat

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ira Winderman) reports: In an emotional, candid and introspective radio interview Friday, Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom revealed that he, indeed, stood on the verge of returning to South Florida as a free agent this week and insisted that he never attempted to use the Miami Heat as leverage. “I was really close,” Odom told ESPN-760 host Evan Cohen. “I weighed and I balanced every option. I did it 50 times, 60 times.” … “It was a tough decision,” he told the West Palm Beach station. “It was hard. Pat, Micky and Dwyane, I love those guys. Micky is an incredible owner. Of course, D-Wade is my friend. Pat? I don’t know what Pat is to me; he’s a little bit more special to me than just a coach. I look up to him tremendously. “It was hard.” … That, Odom said, made it difficult for him to inform Riley and Wade of his Thursday decision. “It was tough,” he said. “I sent them a text and let them know how appreciative I was, and I’ll probably get to speak to them face to face when I get down to Miami at the end of the month and I get set in my home and just relax and take some time out and reflect.”

OKC Thunder sign Kevin Ollie

OKC Thunder sign Kevin Ollie

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed free agent guard Kevin Ollie to a contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. We’ll post contract details later today, here.

“We are excited to welcome Kevin Ollie to Oklahoma City,” Presti said. “He brings experience, leadership and professionalism to our team as we continue to develop our roster on and off the floor.”

Ollie, 36, has appeared in 637 NBA games over 12 seasons, averaging 3.8 points, 2.3 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per contest with Dallas, Orlando, Sacramento, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Chicago, Indiana, Milwaukee, Seattle, Cleveland and Minnesota. Last season, the 6-2 guard, averaged 4.0 points 2.3 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 17.0 minutes in 50 games (21 starts) with the Timberwolves.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Ollie is inexpensive, veteran point guard depth. He can teach Russell Westbrook some tricks of the trade.

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