Jermaine O’Neal is not interested in chasing an NBA championship.
Several contending teams were reportedly interested in O’Neal, who could have sought a trade deadline buyout of his contract with the Phoenix Suns.
“I’m no longer looking to go and try to win a championship. When you don’t fit, it looks like you can’t play,” said O’Neal, who admits to savoring his surroundings a little more. “Basketball justifies a lot for people, but I don’t need that. I have a great family, and that’s my concentration.
“This year I’ve enjoyed going into every arena for some reason. I’ve enjoyed the bus rides, the dinners, the locker room stuff, all of that. Maybe it is the last one.”
O’Neal’s 13-year-old daughter is scheduled to have heart valve surgery on Mar. 5.
O’Neal will leave the Suns to be at his daughter’s side for three days starting on the day of the surgery.
“I don’t know if God is trying to tell me something, because I’ve had to fly back to my family quite a bit this year,” O’Neal said. “My girl just had a balloon put in her chest three days ago. When you’re 17 years into the league, you have to look at that.”