Veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal returned to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday night, helping his Golden State Warriors earn a 98-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
O’Neal, who joined the Warriors in the offseason, enjoyed the most productive seasons of his 17-year career playing for the Pacers. He spent eight seasons with the Pacers.
“I’m going to be honest, I was just kind of sitting and enjoying the atmosphere,” O’Neal told Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It brought back so many memories to see this arena packed and the crowd going crazy. It literally brought tears to me.”
O’Neal still has a lot of good memories about the city and would to return there in a few months.
“But I am extremely happy for this city. I’m always going to be a part of this city. I’m always going to be considered a Pacer in my blood, whether people want it or not. That’s just how I feel. It was just fantastic to be back here. In my dream scenario, the Golden State Warriors would be playing against the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals.”
This season, O’Neal is averaging 7.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.