Shaquille O’Neal Addresses Recent Comments About Mental Health And Ben Simmons

Published 02/15/2022, 10:18 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 23: Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal attends the unveiling of the Shaq Courts at the Doolittle Complex donated by Icy Hot and the Shaquille O’Neal Foundation in partnership with the city of Las Vegas on October 23, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Icy Hot)

After a long time behind the curtains, Ben Simmons came out to the media to speak. The Brooklyn Nets’ new arrival spoke about his reason to leave the Philadelphia 76ers and covered some other topics as well. However, in all this, he highlighted the mental issues he faced during his time off this season. In response, Shaquille O’Neal gave the star a bitter truth.

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During his press conference, Simmons told the media his mental health wasn’t pertaining to just the trade, He had to deal with some things as a person. While the All-Star didn’t go into the details, it caught the attention of Shaq. The Hall of Famer center spoke about the difference between mental health and mental fortitude.

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Alongside this, the four-time World Champion also said that Simmons needs to learn how to persevere through criticism.

Shaquille O’Neal gives Simmons some advice

Shaq has been really active since the talks around Simmons started after his failure in the playoffs last season. The Big Diesel even called him soft for not playing due to mental health. However, he has always wanted to see the All-Star guard succeed. Hence, he wants Simmons to learn a few things. So when he spoke about the whole Simmons situation, it all came down to perseverance rather than mental health for Shaq.

He said: “As a Superstar, as a professional NBA player, we don’t always get our way. The problem started when Doc made the comment, he was upset, backlash, and then the mental health thing came in. There’s a difference between mental health and mental fortitude. You know, I am not comparing him to me, but you don’t think I have heard we can’t win with Shaq?”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 09: Shaquille O’Neal attends the WBC heavyweight title fight between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder at T-Mobile Arena on October 09, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Shaquille O’Neal made it clear that he believes Simmons needs to become a mentally strong player. He followed by saying that he was really happy for him since he will finally be in action. However, he did voice his concern over the possibility of something similar happening again. Shaq’s complaint has always been with Simmons not being mentally strong.

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Coming from someone who was constantly targeted, Shaq knows what he is talking about. Ben Simmons needs to learn how to face criticism rather than take it as an insult.

ISs Ben Simmons prone to another incident?

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The main issue with the incident between Simmons and the Sixers rose from him, passing up an open dunk in the playoffs. While that was the output, he received a lot of backlash for it. But what did not sit well with many other players was the way he reacted.

While most would go back to the lab and look to improve, Simmons totally shut down. He refused to play for the Sixers and even took the hit of fines to stay away from the game. This unwillingness to improve can surely be a cause of concern for the Nets as they keep their championship aspirations this season.

May 26, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) reacts after dunking the ball against the Washington Wizards during the first quarter of game two in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the history Simmon has, the Nets will need him to work hard and develop his game. Moreover, the former Sixers star needs to work on his mental toughness as it isn’t the last time he will hear criticism over his game.

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Now that he will take on the floor soon, do you think we will see improvements in his game? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

1555 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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