Jermaine O’Neal is pretty much done with Indiana

About the only thing we appreciate more than athletes mouthing off is the reporters who listen to them. They are performing a necessary service and we thank them profusely.

Our fun today comes courtesy of Pacers forward Jermaine O’Neal. Seems he wants out of Indiana and in with the Lakers.

It’s time for me to move on. And the Lakers are the team I want Indiana to trade me to… I can’t be in a rebuilding mode right now. I’m at a point in my career where I can’t wait another five years to contend. I’m not in a position physically to take in five years of losses and downtime.

Hard to argue with O’Neal on the “five years of losses” thing; Trading for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy can do that to a team.

A trade might not be so easy, though.

Larry Bird is a hard man to deal with,” O’Neal said. “He tries to make unfair trades. He wants to gut a team, but the Lakers are trying to get over the hump. I want Indiana to benefit, but with some nice young players and draft picks. I want to make it clear that I don’t want to gut a team that I come to because then it’ll be like I’m in Indiana all over again.

We fully expect to see O’Neal in a Celtics jersey next season.

Adam Landres-Schnur