By Art Beitchman
Soon after the 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers last night 105- 87, winning their 13th game out of tier last 16, best in the NBA, TNT basketball analyst Shaq O’Neal lowered the boom on missing Sixer Ben Simmons for being a crybaby, not being able to take criticism and move on.
It was an epic takedown of an NBA player and right on the money.
Shaq equally praised Joel Embiid for taking a bigger roll on his dominant play the last 20 games, leading the team within 2 games of the Eastern Conference lead without an All-Star point guard sitting out this season.
When and if they make a move with Simmons is anyone’s guess, but the 76ers have picked up the slack in his absence.
Here’s what Shaq said:
“[Embiid’s] doing what he’s supposed to do. He’s dominating. We/I stay on big guys because I care about them. 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 is he can take criticism without being a crybaby, and he still wants to play. Because me and Charles, we’ve been on him. We told him to his face what he needed to do. He didn’t cry. He didn’t say I want to be traded. He didn’t complain about mistreatment, and that’s the difference. That’s why I like and respect him.
“The other guy [Simmons], I don’t respect. I mean, think about it, you’re missing a whole season because they asked your coach a question, “Can they win without you?” And your coach gave a funny answer. That should tell you that you need to get in the summer time and work on your game. You don’t think I haven’t been criticized by you guys and Stephen A. [Smith]? You don’t think I’ve been criticized by the New York and L.A. media? Great players get criticized, but great players also step up to the criticism and perform. So this other guy? I don’t respect him. I would get rid of him.”