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Shaquille O'Neal On Ben Simmons: "There’s A Difference Between Mental Health And Mental Fortitude."

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons forced his way out of Philadelphia in a blaze of controversy. After a series of questionable comments from Doc Rivers and Joel Embiid (following the 2021 playoffs), Ben detached himself from the organization and put millions on the line to never play for them again.

Now that he's in Brooklyn, the whole situation has finally reached a conclusion -- but it doesn't mean folks have forgotten all the drama he caused in his efforts to escape.

On 'Inside the NBA,' Shaquille O'Neal became another one to share his thoughts on the Simmons saga, sending the following message about mental fortitude and strength:

“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?” You dont think I'v heard 'Shaq's not worth $120M?' You don't think I heard 'don't throw it to Shaq, D-Wade, you shoot?' I've heard it all and what makes us great is we learn how to persevere around all of that.

Not gonna get into the mental health thing because I was in L.A. yesterday and I've seen real mental health. How many homeless people out there and you just talk to them and like they have problems that we don't know about. I wish him well, I wish him the best, but that is when the problem started. It just started as a petty situation and then you throw the mentla health thing in. And I'm happy for him. But the question is, if this problem arises againm what are you going to do? You don't think I get emails and posts and death threats? I done heard it all. I got booed before. I just wish if this situation ever comes around that he has a tough enough mental fortutude to be able to get through it."

At one point, Ben Simmons cited mental health issues as the reason for his absence from the team, suggesting that he may have been dealing with some issues off the court as the drama unfolded between him and the Sixers.

Still, it's hard to deny that all the noise from the fans and some of the words of his own teammates got to his head.

Hopefully, going forward, he gets better at handling adversity and remains firm in spite of any criticism he might face.

He finally looks happy and confident again in New York City, which is a good sign of the things to come.