Home » ‘Man up’: Shaquille O’Neal brutally tears Aussie ‘crybaby’ apart

‘Man up’: Shaquille O’Neal brutally tears Aussie ‘crybaby’ apart

Shaquille O’Neal told Ben Simmons to “man up” after the Nets announced earlier this month that the three-time All-Star guard wouldn’t play again this season due to surgery to address a lingering back issue.

During the latest installment of his show, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the Hall of Fame center didn’t hold back while discussing Simmons’ injury and contract situation in Brooklyn.

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“Who are the NBA players that you would legitimately buy a ticket for to go watch because you find them entertaining,” co-host Adam Lefkoe asked to which O’Neal said, “Ben Simmons.”

“Because I would want to learn how you can make $80 million and play 55 games. Teach me. Teach me how you could play 55 games in three seasons and get $30 million, $40 million and get another $40 million just by saying your back hurt. Get some f–king Icy Hot. Man up.”

O’Neal, who has been the face of Icy Hot for more than 20 years, seemed serious while Lefkoe and Jamal Crawford, a former NBA player-turned-TNT analyst who was a guest on the show, cringed and laughed.

Simmons was limited to just 15 games this season, including a stretch of 38 consecutive missed games at one point because of back issues, among other minor injuries.

He underwent a microscopic partial discectomy to alleviate the nerve impingement in his lower back, the Nets announced on March 14.

You can watch Shaq’s attack on Simmons in the video above

Simmons, who has one year and about $40 million (AU$61m) remaining on his contract, is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp next season, the team said.

The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Simmons has played in just 57 games since the Nets acquired him in a blockbuster trade with Philadelphia for James Harden at the deadline during the 2021-22 season.

The 27-year-old had a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a small fragment of a herniated disc after the season 2021-22 season ended.

He then played in just 42 games before being shut down during the 2022-23 due to a nerve impingement in his lower back.

Simmons averaged 6.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 15 games played this season.

O’Neal has been critical of the point guard on a few occasions.

He called Simmons a “crybaby” and “soft” after his standoff with the Sixers before he was dealt to the Nets.

Brooklyn (28-45) is in the No. 11 spot in the Eastern Conference and would be out of the playoff race if the postseason started Friday.

– This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission

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