Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, appearing on Shaq’s “Big Podcast,” took turns mowing him down in light of reports Simmons wants out of Philadelphia.
Barkley said he was disappointed in Simmons taking a $200 million contract from the Sixers, while reportedly requesting a trade.
“They’re not saying, ‘Come over and cut my grass,’ they’re saying ‘Ben, we need you to learn how to shoot the basketball,” said Barkley, who also ripped the 76ers point guard last week.
“Ben Simmons, you’re not that good,” Shaq said. “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.
“Don’t be putting pictures up on your Instagram of your Ferrari or what actress you’re hanging around with. When you play for a down like Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Miami, hard-working town, they don’t give a s–t about none of that. They want you to come work hard and play hard.”
Ben Simmons and Kendall Jenner step out for Valentine’s Day 2019 in New York City. Jenner confirmed their romance, but keeps it generally private. (Getty)
In July, it was reported that Simmons bought a Los Angeles-area mansion for $17.5 million, shortly after he was spotted in London with rumored girlfriend and British media personality, Maya Jama. Simmons previously dated Kendall Jenner.
Later in the podcast segment, Shaq said he was at Game 6 of the playoff series between the Sixers and Hawks in which Simmons notoriously refused to shoot.
“I know as a player, first thing I do is look in the 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,” O’Neal said.
While Shaq was not exactly known for his free-throw shooting during his Hall of Fame career, even he was better than the paltry 34 percent Simmons shot during the postseason.
Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal speaks at a press conference in McDonough, Ga., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, after being named Henry County Sheriff’s Office Director of Community Relations by Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Simmons, represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, has been the subject of growing trade rumors since the moment his dismal postseason ended. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that Simmons doesn’t see it as his responsibility to make the task of unloading him any easier for the Sixers.
“One of the messages that Ben has sent back towards Philly is that it’s not his job to fix his trade value,” Windhorst said. “It’s not his job to correct his trade value or raise his trade value. That is not something that is on the menu for him and so, with that out there, I don’t think he’s interested in coming in and trying to change the situation.”