The Inside the NBA crew is rarely afraid to give their unfiltered opinions about the NBA, and that at times can get them in some hot water with the league’s stars.
Shaq and Charles Barkley in particular have found themselves in tiffs with various players around the league, most famously Chuck and Draymond Green, who have gone from feuding to co-workers who heap praise on each other. Shaq’s most frequent punching bags have been big men, as the Hall of Famer is quick to offer his critiques of the center position and demand that the big fellas around the league dominate in the way he did.
On Thursday, Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers played in the early game on TNT and after an interview with Embiid by Allie LaForce, Shaq decided to take some time to compliment the big man for always taking that criticism in stride and using it to fuel his fire to be better and dominate. In doing so, Shaq took aim at Ben Simmons, who he refused to mention by name, simply calling him “the other guy” and ripping him for being a “crybaby” and sitting out the season amid a trade request rather than taking the critiques from last postseason and letting them motivate him to improve his game this summer.
Shaq just destroyed Ben Simmons after talking about Embiid’s dominance. pic.twitter.com/O1AfZzApys
— Did The Sixers Win? (@DidTheSixersWin) January 28, 2022
The entire situation in Philadelphia has always been exasperated by the very different personalities of the bombastic Embiid and much quieter Simmons, and this case it’s no different. Not everyone takes criticism the same way, and Embiid’s incredibly blunt and vocal style of leadership sits in stark contrast to Simmons, who seems to not exactly enjoy such a spotlight — particularly when it comes to highlighting his mistakes.
Embiid himself has seemingly taken it on himself to try and prove that he wasn’t singling out Simmons last year, regularly calling out his teammates as they sit next to him at pressers for not shooting enough or not being aggressive enough — and then making a point to praise them when they follow through.
Simmons, even when not playing, manages to be a lightning rod for takes, and it’s safe to say Shaq is not a fan right now.