Jermaine O’Neal reportedly confronted Blake Griffin after game

Jermaine-ONeal-Blake-GriffinThe Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors have quickly developed a hatred for one another. There seems to be an incident every time the two teams get together, and Wednesday night was no exception. Early in the fourth quarter of LA’s 111-98 victory, Jermaine O’Neal was assessed a technical foul for saying something to Blake Griffin as he walked to the bench. The exchange continued after the final whistle.

According to Brad Turner of the LA Times, O’Neal confronted Griffin in the hallway after the game and the two briefly stood face to face.

“Why you want to walk up on me?” Griffin reportedly asked O’Neal. “Leave that (stuff) on the court.”

O’Neal responded that he is a “monster” off the court and the exchange ended. Griffin had no interest in talking about what happened when reporters asked him about it.

Nah,” he said. “That’s between me and him.”

Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com said the confrontation was blown out of proportion.

Remember, these are the same two teams who refuse to even hold chapel together before games. NBA fans should be crossing their fingers that the Clippers and Warriors meet in the playoffs.

Jermaine O’Neal unavailable for Warriors because of passport issue

Jermaine O'NealThe Golden State Warriors will be without backup center Jermaine O’Neal for Sunday’s game in Toronto because of a passport issue.

According to Warriors coach Mark Jackson, O’Neal’s passport is either lost or missing, so he was unable to enter Canada, Raptors reporter Holly MacKenzie says. The issue wasn’t discovered until Saturday, the day before the team’s game, according to Warriors beat reporter Diamond Leung.

O’Neal averages nearly 21 minutes per game for the Dubs and has actually been a factor in the last handful of games.

Two weeks ago he made a game-saving block against the Houston Rockets and posed like a champ after his victory:

Though a player having a passport issue seems menial and silly, it actually is a common thing in sports. Two years ago a Cavaliers player missed a game against the Raptors because of a passport problem. Ryan Dempster had the same thing and missed a start against the Blue Jays.

Jermaine O’Neal denies having altercation with Suns GM

jermaine onealJermaine O’Neal responded via his Twitter account Tuesday to deny a report that said he had a heated altercation with Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks on Monday.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski cited a source in reporting that O’Neal and Blanks engaged in a “blistering, expletive-laced confrontation in the coach’s office.”

Here is exactly what Wojnarowski reported:

The confrontation happened after interim coach Lindsey Hunter’s first practice and unfolded within earshot of several Suns players in the locker room, sources said. Initially, O’Neal had expressed disappointment that his veteran stature hadn’t dictated the front office turning to him for counsel in the recent coaching change, a league source told Y! Sports. When O’Neal kept challenging Blanks, the discussion started to become an argument and ultimately a screaming match.

The Suns and Alvin Gentry parted ways on Friday, and Hunter was later named as the interim head coach.

O’Neal, who is 34 and in his 17th season season in the league, called the report “false.” Here’s what he wrote on Twitter:

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LeBron James and Jermaine O’Neal Mix it Up After Flagrant Foul

LeBron James and Jermaine O’Neal got into it momentarily in Miami Sunday after a hard foul issued by O’Neal. Rather than take a charge, O’Neal decided that laying a shoulder into LeBron would be a good idea. Check out the video of Jermaine’s body check on LeBron:

What’s the lesson to be learned? Don’t stand in the tracks when a train’s coming through. Oh yeah, and Jeff Van Gundy actually made plenty of sense issuing his commentary. Like he said, throwing the ball back was a natural reaction for LeBron even if it resulted in a technical foul. Jermaine got a flagrant 1 foul and both Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce were assessed technicals as well.

The skirmish between the squads reflects the game’s intensity and it’s another sign that the playoffs are nearing. Like I said two months ago, Boston going 3-0 against Miami in the regular season didn’t matter. The Heat proved they’re a serious contender for the title.

Breaking Down America’s 50 Highest-Earning Athletes

Sports Illustrated has released its seventh annual “Fortunate 50″ list, which gives us a sense of the type of money American athletes made last year based on salary, winnings, endorsements and appearance fees.  Despite the epic downfall of his image, Tiger Woods remained at the top of the list with nearly $30 million to spare.  Phil Mickelson held strong at No. 2 on the list and can probably thank Tiger’s demise for any extra cash that may have been thrown his way over the past year.   Here are a few aspects of the list that stuck out to me:

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Want an idea of how much money can be made in boxing?  Mayweather, who may or may not be ducking Manny Pacquiao, checked in at No. 3 on the list after not being ranked in 2009.  While most of the top athletes on the list rake in a ton in endorsements, Mayweather made only $250,000 in endorsement deals and the rest — $60 million — in salary and winnings.  A bout with Shane Mosley alone earned him $40 million.

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Jermaine O’Neal Expects to be Traded

There was a time when Jermaine O’Neal was a relevant name. He was one of the top big men in the league going 20 and 10 with regularity. Now, not so much. He’s had lots of knee injuries and really hasn’t done much in the last few years, with the Pacers following suit. Now O’Neal sees the team going in a different direction, and as he told The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio Thursday, he thinks he’ll be traded:

“I really believe if it comes down to them totally rebuilding, I believe that they will move me. That’s pretty much the consensus thought I got from the ownership and management before I left Indianapolis. I don’t think it’s going to come down to a situation where we got to go back and forth, back and forth for me to be moved on, because they’ve just totally rehauled the team. I think if they’re going to rehaul the team, then they will move me, and move me to another team that has a chance of winning a championship. That was one thing that was said to me and really pleased me before I left Indianapolis.”

When O’Neal refers to Indianapolis, he’s talking about a pre-draft meeting with ownership and management. What I did like about O’Neal’s interview is that he made it clear he’s not trying to push his way out of Indianapolis; he says he owes a lot to the organization and knows he has two more years left on his deal. But there you go, that’s at least one big name out there on the blocks, so you can start firing off trade rumors now that involve him. Funny, wasn’t it around this time last year we were talking about him going to the Lakers, possibly for Bynum? My, how things change.

Is Jermaine O’Neal as Good as Gone?

Jim O’Brien was hired as the newest coach of the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. O’Brien says he wouldn’t have taken the job if he didn’t feel that the Pacers would be a playoff team next year. That’s great and all from the Rick Pitino protege, but let me say one thing — you’re not making the playoffs next year. Last year’s trade with Golden State buried the Pacers. And from the sounds of things, the Jermaine O’Neal ship is about ready to set-sail. Check out O’Brien’s response to Erik Kuselias’ question about what the franchise should do with Jermaine O’Neal, as heard on Mike and Mike in the Morning:

I’m not sure there’s a great answer for that. I think Jermaine O’Neal is a force. He is a great defensive player — shot blocker, and very difficult guy to handle down in the low post. We know we have a very, very strong All-Star, and I’m approaching this as if he’s going to be on our basketball team. Now if he’s not, certainly Larry Bird is not going to trade Jermaine O’Neal without getting quality player or quality players back for him. So whoever Larry decides is going to be on our basketball team is who I’m going to try and get in in the playoffs next year.

When it comes to making the final decision, that’s Larry’s. I’m confident that when it comes to Jermaine O’Neal, they’ll do the right thing.”

Well, if you asked for my opinion based on that answer, I’d say O’Neal is as good as gone. LA possibly? They don’t have much to offer. We’ve been hearing Jermaine O’Neal’s name in trade rumors forever, and he hasn’t been traded yet. Must suck to be him. But O’Brien’s lukewarm answer makes me think Jermaine will finally be out of Indiana before long.