Here's an interesting interview with Jerome on why he signed with the Celtics. Here's the Heat related quotes:
"The choice to come to Boston was difficult to make but easy to live with. Knowing the intentions to build a star-studded team in Miami, O’Neal could have stayed with the Heat this offseason.
But the Celtics had players who had been through similar things as O’Neal.
"I look at Paul Pierce,’’ he said. "I know he understands being on a good team to being in a terrible situation to being good again. So I’m sure he can vouch for what I’m saying, how valuable your time is when you’re there. That was the situation. I went from being at a really high point to being at a very low point.’’
The Celtics also had a championship-proven formula built around unselfishness. The Heat, O’Neal said, are still untested. How Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade will coexist is unknown. The Celtics have made two Finals appearances while balancing three superstars and allowing Rajon Rondo to emerge as an All-Star as well.
"There’s no ego, and it’s hard to find no egos,’’ O’Neal said. "As good as individual players are, especially when I look at a situation like Miami, none of those guys had to really deal with sacrificing.
"That’s what made Boston more intriguing for me and a situation I thought would be better for me. These guys [in Miami] are all really good individual guys that are used to shooting 20 times a night just last year. These are all young guys.
"So no matter what you say or how you say it, they’re going to still want the credit. But I know the Boston Celtics aren’t about that.’’
After 14 years in the NBA, he has experienced the highs the league has to offer. He’s after the feeling Pierce had two years ago.
"That’s self-validation,’’ O’Neal said. "That helps me think, ‘OK, you know what, Jermaine, everything you went through, every good moment, every bad moment, every issue that basketball has caused, strife it’s caused to your family, to your friendships, to your relationships, to your business, whatever it may be, this validates going through that.’
"That’s how I see it.’’