Skip to main content

Jermaine O'Neal reveals how Miami Heat's diet program forced him to leave: 'The Oreos looking at me. And I couldn't bruh"

Jermaine O'Neal had to choose between complying with the Miami Heat's strict diet program or enjoy some of his favorite treats such as Oreos
Jermaine O'Neal had to choose between complying with the Miami Heat's strict diet program or enjoy some of his favorite treats such as Oreos

Everything sounded promising indeed, and "J.O." was somehow enticed. However, Miami's strict diet program turned out to be a dilemma for O'Neal, as everybody on the team should only have around "8% body fat."

Nowadays, some old-timers may only remember Jermaine O'Neal as the then phenomenal All-Star big man Indiana loved. We can't blame them as it was during his Pacers days when "J.O." really reached the heights.

However, not all may have noticed it, but O'Neal enjoyed a few more productive seasons after leaving Indiana in 2008, most notably with the Miami Heat.

"J.O." the Miami Heat star

On the heels of his brief spell with the Toronto Raptors, O'Neal joined the Heat in 2009 and quickly became a compelling co-star for Dwyane Wade, consistently making his presence felt on both the offensive and the defensive end.

Though he only played for a total of 61 games for Miami, O'Neal was undeniably efficient, having finished his second season with the team averaging 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Oreos helped Jermaine decide

Heading into his third season with the Heat, O'Neal has earned his spot in the organization. Miami wanted him to stay and become part of a team that will soon be spearheaded by the historic trio of D-Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh.

Everything sounded promising indeed, and "J.O." was somehow enticed. However, Miami's strict diet program turned out to be a dilemma for O'Neal, as everybody on the team should only have around "8% body fat."

Needless to say, a natural power forward like O'Neal was having a hard time complying until a pack of "Oreos" finally set him free.

"Listen, I'm gonna be honest. I'm gonna start with Miami," O'Neal said on Knuckleheads podcast. "They wanted me to re-sign. I knew that Bron and them was coming, and this is the realest thing I could tell y'all: You know they got that 8% body fat, that sh*t is serious. For a big guy, that's heavy lifting."

"I remember going into the pantry at night, looking at the Oreos, the Oreos looking at me. And I couldn't - Bruh, I am in a full battle, daily, on what I ate. And I was like, 'Bruh, I'm 30-plus years old, I can't go through this.' So I was like, 'Bruh, I'm too old to be having a debate whether I want to have an Oreo or not.' Right? I can't do that sh*t. So That's why I left Miami."

O'Neal's story may be hilarious if you really think about it. But on the other hand, it's also a bit unfortunate, knowing that a couple of years after that, O'Neal would've finally copped his first NBA title.

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I'm here and I plan to finish my career here" — when Patrick Ewing left the New York Knicks for the Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing hinted at how things played out with him and the Knicks that prompted him to leave the team in 2000.

michael-jordan-luc-longley-min (1)

Luc Longley on Michael Jordan’s only condition to end the Chicago Bulls’ practice sessions

Luc Longley gave us a peek into Michael Jordan's obsession with competition and winning.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas

“You're not given a real chance” — Isaiah Thomas breaks down 10-day contracts in the NBA

Former Boston Celtics All-Star Isaiah Thomas opens up about the reality of 10-day contracts in the NBA.

Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker

Almost lifers — stars who played their entire career for a single NBA franchise until their last season

As it turns out, all five guys probably would've been better off just retiring as icons of their original teams.

Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade

“Being able to stay out to 5AM and still score 40” — Dwyane Wade on his favorite memory from the 2006 Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade still couldn't help but be elated whenever he looked back at his 2006 run with the Miami Heat.

Sacramento Kings guards Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

“They were both awesome in their way for our team” — Ex-Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard compares Mike Bibby and Jason Williams

Former Sacramento Kings center Scot Pollard was asked to appoint the better point guard between Jason Williams and Mike Bibby.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr

"I was on morphine at the time" — Steve Kerr got his World Championship Gold Medal while in a daze

Steve Kerr's professional basketball career almost ended before it even started.