NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal isn’t pulling any Bioreports Newses … literally … with his assessment of Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons following Simmons’ rough performance in Game 7 on Sunday.
O’Neal ripped into Simmons, criticizing the guard’s hesitancy to shoot the ball in a big game. O’Neal later said that if he was Simmons’ teammate, O’Neal “would have knocked his ass out” in the locker room.
Those are harsh words from O’Neal, though not unexpected. Prior to the contest, O’Neal challenged Simmons to be aggressive in Game 7. Simmons scored just 5 points in a 103-96 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 7. He attempted just four shots during the contest.
Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers critical of Ben Simmons
O’Neal had the harshest reaction to Simmons’ struggles, but he was far from the only person to criticize Simmons after Game 7. Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t know if Simmons could be a point guard on a championship team.
Center Joel Embiid was more direct, seemingly blaming Simmons for the loss. Embiid called out Simmons’ passivity and struggles from the free-throw line during the loss.
Those comments have opened the door for Simmons to be traded during the offseason. If his head coach and best teammate can’t support Simmons, it’s probably time for him to go.
O’Neal’s may have taken things too far with his comments about wanting to fight Simmons, but O’Neal wasn’t alone in his frustration.
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