Recently Ben Simmons sat down with his former teammate JJ Redick for a rare in-depth interview. Among the things discussed was the criticism he received from Shaquille O’Neal.
The Nets point guard said that the NBA legend is hating on him. O’Neal addressed Simmons’ comments on The Big Podcast, saying that as an NBA player one must accept the fact that there will be criticism. Also, he pointed out the fact that the player opened up about his mental problems just now and that Shaq did not see any signs of that himself.
“First of all, these young players you need to understand Shaquille O’Neal don’t need to hate on you,” the four-time NBA champion said. “Everything you’re doing I’d have done it a hundred times over.
“First of all, if you play at 9.30 and we come on at 10 and we say something, it’s just what we see. The mental thing ain’t come out until everybody start bashing you, then you let people know you have mental health problems.
“And if you go back, Donzel is a witness he’s a producer on the show, I think I ever did it one the show. I did on you I told the world, I said ‘He did DM me he told me he’s going through some problems,’ and I said I was going to back up and then I told him in the DM ‘Okay, the reason why people don’t know what’s going on because you ain’t talking.’
“But as far as what I saw and I speak on what I know, I know how to get to that next level. He knows that and yes, you can be my brother, but I ain’t gonna always sugarcoat things, I’m gonna tell you the real. I ain’t never sugarcoat. I want you to get to the level, to the level, to the level. But you can’t say I’m hating because all the stuff you’re doing it because you saw me do it… If you’re greater, you can’t be a hater.”