Shaquille O’Neal has never been shy about criticizing today’s crop of NBA stars. Just ask Ben Simmons, who felt Shaq’s wrath after the Hall of Fame center roasted the 76ers star during a recent episode of Inside the NBA.
While speaking on The Big Podcast with Shaq, O’Neal said Ben Simmons DM’d him to voice his frustration after Shaq called him a “crybaby” on national television.
“I stay on big guys because I care about them,” Shaq said on TNT. “I want them to play a certain way. I want them to play at a certain level. The difference between [Embiid] and his soft partner [Simmons] is, he can take criticism without being a crybaby, and he still wants to play.”
According to Shaq, that’s when Simmons reached out.
“He’s acting like a baby. He kind of got in my DM and said some things and I said some things back. I can’t [reveal what he said]. I can’t do that. All I said is ‘You’re leaving your man out there and you need to play.’ That’s all I said,” Shaq explained in his podcast. “Then he said some things but I’m not going to elaborate on what he said because that’s not cool. He’s probably mad. He’s mad because I’m his LSU brother, and I am. I’m still his brother.”
Ben Simmons has yet to play for the Sixers this season. The saga between him and Philadelphia has been ongoing ever since the playoffs last season when Simmons’ notable poor play yielded heavy scrutiny. He’s since been at odds with his team and coaching staff all year, and there’s no telling when the rift might end,
Either way, it’s clear that Simmons’ time in Philadelphia has come to an end, and with the trade deadline fast approaching, it will be interesting to see where the All-Star might land, or if his season is lost entirely.
Listen to the rest of The Big podcast with Shaq down below.