Isiah Has Supporter In O’Neal

Jermaine O’Neal blames the Knicks’ 7-16 record on the players and not Isiah Thomas, the man responsible for assembling and coaching those players.

“I think the players have to put up a little bit more effort for the coach,” O’Neal told the Indianapolis Star. “They have to figure it out because they have a lot of athletes. Isiah is a great coach, but it’s up to the players to want to win, too. If the players don’t put out the effort they need to put out then it’s going to be a tough road for him.”

O’Neal’s support dates back to the days when Thomas coached him with the Pacers for three years. The two have remained close. In fact, O’Neal’s high school coach and mentor, Knicks assistant coach George Glymph, followed Thomas from Indiana to Knicks.

Thomas has tried on several occasions to acquire the power forward, a former All-Star whose play has declined in recent years.

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