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It would not be an exaggeration to say Ben Simmons now has more haters than made three pointers (5). The seemingly daily roasts continue to burn around Simmons, with the most recent verbal flames coming by way of the Big Aristotle, aka, Shaq.
Shaquille O’Neal does not hold back on his criticism and advice for Ben Simmons work ethic 😱
Do you agree with Shaq? pic.twitter.com/Ln4x7fx30T
— ClutchPoints NBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) September 9, 2021
The Hall of Famer used his own platform, The Big Podcast with Shaq, to criticize the much maligned Simmons: “I have G-14 classification to say what I’m about to say, and so does Charles Barkley (who’s also been critical of Simmons). Ben Simmons, you’re not that good. And then, in this league, do you want to be good or do you want to be great? You’re not great. But if you want to get to that next level, you have to be great. And to be great, you have to work on your game.”
Simmons’ habit of posting his off court indulgences to social media seemed to irk O’Neal: “Don’t be putting pictures on your Instagram of your Ferrari or what actress you’re hanging around with. When you play for a town like Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Miami — a hard-working town — they don’t give a shit about none of that. They want you to come, work hard and play hard.”
Shaq then relentlessly went after Simmons’ lack of confidence: “I was at that Game 6 when that man didn’t even look at the basket. And I know, as a player, the first thing I do is I look in a player’s eyes. That man was out there terrified. Not terrified of playing, but terrified of being fouled and missing free throws. Forget all that.”
To be fair to Simmons, no one was confusing Shaq for Steve Nash when he was at the free throw line. O’Neal finished his playoff career as a .504% shooter from the stripe. But he’s also 7’1, 300 plus pounds, so it seems unlikely that he would’ve been terrified.