'Don't give a sh*t': Shaq's savage truth bomb in Ben Simmons saga

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Ben Simmons was slammed by NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley over his threat to not report to training camp later this month, Pictures: Getty Images
Ben Simmons was slammed by NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley over his threat to not report to training camp later this month, Pictures: Getty Images

NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley have ripped into Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons over his protracted trade saga.

With just over three weeks before NBA teams are due to report for training camp ahead of the 2021/22 season, Simmons has reportedly vowed not to show up if he has not been traded by then.

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The 76ers have struggled to find a suitable trading partner and have since reportedly sought to smooth over the relationship with the Australian star, but Simmons is remaining steadfast.

The 76ers appear increasingly unlikely to move Simmons before the beginning of the season, setting the stage for a downright awkward atmosphere for a team that otherwise holds genuine championship aspirations.

The ongoing saga has drawn the ire of legends O'Neal and Barkley, who both suggested Simmons did not have the kind of track record to demand his way out of Philadelphia, particularly so soon after signing a lucrative contract extension.

“Ben Simmons, you’re not that good,” O'Neal said on his own Big Podcast

“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 town like Philadelphia, Boston, LA, Miami, hard-working towns, they don’t give a s**t about none of that. They want you to come work hard and play hard.”

Simmons has four seasons remaining on a five-year extension he signed prior to the 2020/21 season.

The length of time remaining on the contract reduces the amount of leverage Simmons has to force a trade, while former 76ers great Barkley felt it was indicative of Simmons' attitude.

Ben Simmons, pictured here with Maya Jama and Kendall Jenner.
Ben Simmons has dated Maya Jama (L) and Kendall Jenner (R). Image: Getty

NBA legend's brutal reality check for Ben Simmons amid trade saga

Barkley said Philly fans had every right to be disappointed in Simmons.

Despite the Australian star becoming a three-time All-Star and one of the best defensive players in the league since he was selected first overall in the 2016 draft, clear flaws exist in Simmons' game.

It wasn't so much that Simmons' game is flawed that drew Barkley's ire, it was that there had been next to no improvement on them.

He added that the fact Simmons had not really shown any development in his jump shot was damning.

“I’m disappointed in Ben Simmons,” Barkley said. 

“When you give somebody $US200 million to dribble a stupid basketball, and the only thing you ask him is be better as a player, and their first response is, ‘I don’t wanna play here anymore’, that disappoints me as a player, that disappoints me as a fan.

“They’re not saying, ‘Come over and cut my grass’. They’re saying, ‘Ben, we need you to learn how to shoot the basketball’.”

Ben Simmons has been heavily criticised by various sections of the NBA world over his protracted trade request away from the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ben Simmons has been heavily criticised by various sections of the NBA world over his protracted trade request away from the Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Later in the podcast, O'Neal accused Simmons of being 'terrified' during the NBA playoffs, saying he had seen first hand how the pressure had affected the Aussie star.

“I know as a player, first thing I do is look in the player’s eyes. That man was out there terrified,” O’Neal said. 

“Not terrified of playing, but terrified of being fouled and missing free throws. Forget all that.”

A three-time All-Star, Simmons has started all 275 games he has played in four NBA seasons, all with the 76ers.

He has career averages of 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game.

The 76ers are scheduled to open camp September 28.

Simmons, 25, opted out of representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics - at which they ended long wait for a maiden medal at a major tournament by winning bronze - to work on his game during the NBA off-season.

With AAP

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