OAKLAND — Look into the eyes of Jermaine O’Neal after his game-saving block, and the stare says everything.
O’Neal did not gesture after stuffing Chandler Parsons. Nor did he shout immediately after the play. He just looked into seemingly into the crowd, soaking up the moment.
This hasn’t been O’Neal’s easiest year. He came to Golden State in hopes of competing for a championship. Wrist surgery sidetracked his season for weeks, and he could only say so much as a leader while not on the court himself.
Look at O’Neal now, and what you saw was a 35-year-old playing 37 minutes and grabbing 10 rebounds on the second night of a back-to-back in place of an injured Andrew Bogut.
“At this point in my career, it’s about trying to get some wins,” O’Neal said.
“I get paid to do my job, and I don’t look at it any other way.”
This one meant more, with the 18-year veteran getting a chance to start against All-Star Dwight Howard and getting the best of him on defense. Stephen Curry said O’Neal in fact let others around him know he’d be ready for the challenge, and O’Neal was true to his word.
“That was one of our better wins of the year based on how we won,” O’Neal said.