There is no player more criticized over the last few months than Ben Simmons. Simmons has been under fire in recent months because of his poor performances in the playoffs, and what has been perceived as his general indifference to it.
Simmons had a very rough time during the 2021 NBA playoffs and was one of the biggest factors in the 76ers crashing out in the second round despite being the first seed in the Eastern Conference.
All the goodwill that Simmons built up during the regular season with his All-Star and All-Defensive accolades was wiped away by his bad performances, especially against the Atlanta Hawks.
On top of that, Simmons has maintained radio silence during the offseason, not saying anything at this time to defend himself or apologize for the way he has been playing. More than his performances, it is the fact that he is coming across as indifferent to his bad performances.
One person who is also frustrated with Simmons' general performances and behavior is Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq spoke to Stephen A. Smith about Simmons' trade request and how he has been behaving.
He noted that Simmons needs to understand that he is behaving like a much better player than he actually is. On top of that, he also demanded that Simmons dedicate himself to improving rather than taking in more leisurely activities.
“When I work out, I work out hard. I’m not like some players from Philadelphia that don’t work on their game. I always work on my game.”
“I’m just playing… I have a lot of thoughts. But I know we are blessed to do what we do. Whether you like it or not, you have responsibility... When you and me had our first debate, our first arguments, you told me that you said ‘Shaq, you’re pretty good but in order to be great you got to work on your gamed get to the next level’. And what did I do after that, I said okay, you’re you’ve been criticizing me, you’ve been doing your job, because I wasn’t doing my job. I didn’t want to fight you and punch you in your face, we had a conversation man-to-man… you’re a good player, I’m not knocking that. But you ain’t great yet and to be great, you gotta work on your game… You got to work on your game man, don’t be sending out Tweets with you and your little actress girlfriend riding in your Ferrari. I don’t want to see that, I want to see you win a championship for Philadelphia.”
Some fans have pointed out that Simmons not posting workout videos is because he has done this in the past, yet fans have still raised questions about his commitment to the sport when his performances take a dip.