“I was really stubborn, and Rick is like the most honest guy I’ve ever met. You know what? He’s also one of the craziest guys,” O’Neal said when asked about his time with Carlisle in Dallas. “Just me being able to see him every day just grinding, man.”

“Rick Pitino teams coached” is a phrase that has been used by many basketball players, coaches, and fans. It was first said by Rick Carlisle, who credits the success of his NBA career to the work ethic and honesty of Rick Pitino. Read more in detail here: rick pitino teams coached.

When Jermaine O’Neal entered the NBA right out of high school in 1996, there were many doubts. He finally responded after eighteen years and 13,309 points.

When it came to making the transition from high school to the NBA, O’Neal reportedly praised a pair of outstanding coaches with assisting him.

Rick Carlisle provided some much-needed assistance to Jermaine O’Neal in Portland.


Jermaine-ONeal-1024x678 The Indiana Pacers’ Jermaine O’Neal warms up before a game against the Washington Wizards at the MCI Center in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2003. Getty Images/G Fiume

Early in his NBA career, O’Neal had several days when he questioned himself. After a brilliant high school career in South Carolina, the Portland Trail Blazers selected O’Neal with the 17th choice in the 1996 NBA Draft. In Portland, things did not go as planned.

Other players, such as Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant, were able to make the transition from high school to the NBA and get significant playing time. He was damaged psychologically by his lack of playing time. O’Neal’s situation deteriorated to the point that he no longer attends games.

On the Knuckleheads Podcast this week, O’Neal noted, “I remember Rick Carlisle being on the initial staff my rookie year.” “He was assigned to me to ensure that I was in good health.”

“I felt pressure from the outside about not participating, so I became so sad and depressed about not playing,” O’Neal stated on the Knuckleheads Podcast this week. “I stopped attending to games when Kobe and KG were playing.” So Rick Carlisle showed up to the home and performed a fantastic job.

“I recall refusing to allow him inside the home. I’m talking to him through the door, so put the chain on it.”

Carlisle assisted O’Neal in regaining his composure and altering his mind process.

“Then I realized it took Gary Trent and Kenny Anderson and all those people,” O’Neal remembered, “and I said, bro listen.” “This league isn’t interested in you.” It’s time for you to get your act together. I immediately thought to myself, “OK, I need to adjust my mind process before I am kicked out of the league as quickly as I got in.”

O’Neal attributes his success with the Indiana Pacers to his failures in Portland.

“I realized I wouldn’t have been as successful in Indianapolis if I hadn’t gone through what I did in Portland,” he added.

O’Neal recalls a discussion with Rick Pitino that gave him the courage to enter the NBA right away.

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The Blazers were where O’Neal spent the first four years of his NBA career. He played 11.5 minutes and scored 3.9 points per game. Before the 2000-01 season, he was dealt to the Pacers in exchange for Dale Davis. If given the opportunity, O’Neal demonstrated what he’s capable of.

The 6-foot-11 power forward/center made his first of six NBA All-Star appearances in only his second season with the Pacers. He scored 19.0 points and grabbed 10.5 rebounds, demonstrating that he belongs in the NBA.

He was regarded as the best player in the country when he graduated from high school. He was still unsure about taking the risk. Those suspicions intensified after four years of ineffectiveness with the Blazers. O’Neal recalled speaking with Rick Pitino, the legendary college basketball coach, who assured him that he was making the right decision.

“In a gym full of NBA scouts and college coaches, I hyperextended my knee,” O’Neal stated. “I met with Rick Pitino, who is one of my favorite coaches. If I had gone to school, I would have most likely gone to Kentucky.

“I recall sitting with him and my mother in the living room. ‘Son, we’re going to be fine with you, and we’re going to be good without you,’ he said, and I like that. “Knowing what I know about you, I believe you should become pro,” he remarked afterwards.

“That pushed me a little.”

O’Neal was a three-time All-NBA selection throughout his 18 years in the league. He averaged 18.6 points and 9.6 rebounds in eight seasons with the Pacers.

He owes it to a few of Ricks to make it all happen.

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