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Shaq / Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers is facing major criticism from some NBA icons following his performance in the Eastern Conference second-round playoff series on Sunday.
According to reports, the former No. 1 overall pick “passed up an open dunk under the basket with 3 minutes, 29 seconds to play” against the Atlanta Hawks. He was even taken out of the game late in Game 7. In the end, the Philadelphia 76ers’ were eliminated and Atlanta is headed to the Eastern Conference finals.
Shaquille O’Neal wasted no time in calling out Simmons for not playing well.
“If he was in my locker room I would have knocked his ass out. I don’t want to hear that, get out of my face with that,” O’Neal said during the post-game show on TNT. Check out the clip below.
Prior to game 7, O’Neal urged the Aussie point guard to “man up” and stop “messing around.”
“Ben, you went to LSU. Man up, man. Man up. Stop messing around. Come on, now. You know better than that,” Shaq said. Watch the clip below.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Simmons said following Game 6, via Sports Illustrated. “I look forward to every game. This is gonna be special because we’re at home. Obviously, we’re gonna have our fans there and their energy on top, so it’s gonna be great. I’m looking forward to it.”
He also admitted that he has to go hard with practicing this summer.“The first thing I’m going to do is clear my mind and get my mental right. You got to be mentally tough. You can’t take games for granted. Especially in the playoffs. Every game matters. Every possession matters,” he said.