Jermaine O`Neal steps up for WarriorsPosted by Inside Hoops
Here’s the Bay Area News Group via the San Jose Mercury News on veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal stepping up for the Golden State Warriors Tuesday:
There is Denzel Washington’s speech in “Remember the Titans” and Gene Hackman’s talk to his squad in “Hoosiers.”
And then there’s the postgame oration Jermaine O’Neal gave Tuesday after his improbable performance to lift the Warriors to a much-needed 102-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
“I keep telling these guys that trials and tribulations will build character for a true championship team,” O’Neal said. “It may not look good all the time, but we keep fighting, we keep fighting. It doesn’t matter who’s on the court in a Warriors uniform, we always feel like we have enough. Hopefully these lessons we’re learning early, all the injuries … is teaching us a lesson. I truly believe at the end of the year, we’re going to be rewarded for these lessons that we’ve learned.”
Leave it to the 35-year-old, 18th-year veteran to lift the Warriors when they needed it most. The Warriors were without Andrew Bogut, suspended for a game for his role in the altercation with Portland on Saturday. Swingman Andre Iguodala (strained left hamstring) didn’t make the trip. But O’Neal, a former All-Star turned backup center, pulled off a timely throwback performance.
He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in his first game back after missing the previous four. He was out with a bruised right knee and strained right groin. O’Neal revealed Tuesday that he also had a sore wrist and a viral infection that left him barely able to speak Sunday.