Breaking Silence over Mental Health Saga, Ben Simmons Torches Shaquille O’Neal: “You Ain’t Reached Out Once and Said Like, Hey, You OK? Like What’s Going On?”

Published 09/24/2022, 2:42 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal attends AOL Build to discuss his collaboration with Toys For Tots at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons finally opened up on his struggles last season, as he went on The Old Man and Three Podcast. He gave insightful details about his entire situation, his mental health struggles, and what he wants to do going forward. He even called out NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal who has been highly critical of Simmons.

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The majority of the NBA Media have been on Simmons, but maybe Shaq and his crew have been the hardest. This all started after the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 NBA playoffs. And Simmons suffered an injury in the offseason. The Australian hooper was also dealing with mental health issues.

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And then he held out against playing for the Sixers. Simmons was eventually traded to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden. But his issues didn’t stop there. He was still recovering from his injury and was unable to play for them. And he was reprimanded for that by the media and fans alike.

Ben Simmons calls out Shaquille O’Neal on his comments

Shaq has been really hard on Simmons. He was disappointed with Simmons for not playing to his full potential in the Hawks series. And then with him holding out with the Sixers. Furthermore, he criticized Simmons for not showing up to work. Then when it was reported that Simmons will return in the 2022 playoffs and he ended up not playing, Shaq again excoriated Simmons.

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Shaq even revealed that he had a talk with Simmons about his issue, especially since both of them went to LSU. But Simmons opened up on what actually happened in JJ Reddick’s podcast. In other words, the 26-year-old star called out Shaq for being dismissive of his personal struggles. Simmons called out the Lakers legend and Charles Barkley for their rhetoric on his personal issues. And he also concluded that they shouldn’t use their platform to support things like this.

“If you’re my LSU brother you would’ve reached out by now and it’s been months since I’ve been dealing with this. You ain’t reached out once and said like, ‘hey, you OK? Like, what’s going on,” Simmons said during the podcast.

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Do you Shaq is justified in his criticisms of Ben Simmons? Or was it too personal? Let us know in the comments.

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Vishwesha Kumar

1059 articles

Vishwesha Kumar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Holder of a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Vishwesha has been writing content for about 3 years now. He has been following the NBA for nearly 10 years, since first starting off in the year 2012.

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