DALLAS – If his Instagram account can be believed, Jermaine O’Neal won’t be playing basketball for the Dallas Mavericks or any other team any time soon.
The Mavs were hoping the 6-11 O’Neal, who lives in Southlake, could revive his 18-career and help them solve some of their rounding issues. But from the sound of his Instagram account, O’Neal’s NBA career may be over.
The caption on O’Neal’s Instagram account read -- in all capital letters -- "God has a great plan for your life. He is directing your steps. In his perfect timing. Everything will turn out right.’’
That was followed by this not-so-subtle message from O’Neal.
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"For the people that knows me know that I'm not a huge social media guy but I do use it when I need to express my feelings about something or about certain parts of my life. So saying that, I want to first thank every family member, friend, and fan that has showed me sooooo much love and support the last 7 weeks thru my process of trying to see if I could get thru a very difficult period of getting my mind and body in shape in a very short period of time.
"I also want to thank all the teams that have showed so much interest and patients with me thru this process. When I decided in late December to look at the option on playing again I knew it was probably going to be one of my greatest challenges considering that I hadn't done any basketball training in the previous 5 months.
"But I was fully committed to taking on the challenge by investing a lot of time to traveling abroad to get the process started and dedicating my life to training multiple times a day for 7 weeks. Ive learned a lot thru this process from a physical set back, to reconnecting with something that I loved for such a big part of my life, to being incredibly sore everyday but still pushing forward, but most importantly feeling if I was doing the right thing by my family by trying to go back to playing basketball and sacrificing more of their time with me. So as you can imagine it was a very emotional time lol.
"But the best part of this process was walking out of the gym after every workout knowing that I could still play the game after 18 long years and hearing the teams that seen me workout all agreeing with that statement. Every team that wanted me to sign are all championship contending teams and in order to except their offer i need to be 100% ready to go physically and mentally from the time that I sign that contract with no room for error beyond that point.
"I don't feel like I'm at that position now with just 7 weeks of training and I'm not comfortable making that commitment at this point. The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I'm a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life.’’
In a second statement on his Instagram account, O’Neal wrote:
"I'm not sure if there will ever be another time or not for me and basketball but what I do know at this moment is the time isn't right for me to play now.
"But just know I gave everything I had these last 7 weeks and I greatly appreciate each and every one of you guys for the positive words of encouragement thru my process......"