Photo: Brooklyn Nets/Twitter

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal took a dig at Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons, criticizing his sporadic appearances on the court despite his hefty earnings.

During an episode of The Big Podcast, co-host Adam Lefkoe questioned Shaq about NBA players worth buying tickets to watch, prompting a humorous response from the basketball legend.

Shaq humorously remarked, “Ben Simmons, because I’d wanna learn how you can make $80 million and play 55 games. Teach me. Teach me how you can f*cking play 55 games in three seasons, and get $30 million, $40 million, and get another $40 million just by saying your back hurt. Get some f*cking icy hot, man up.”

O’Neal’s comments referenced Simmons’ limited game time over the past three seasons and his substantial earnings despite his absence from the court.

As a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons faced scrutiny for his prolonged absence from games, citing various reasons including injury and personal issues.

Simmons’ trade to the Nets during the 2021-22 season did not immediately resolve his playing time issues, as he continued to miss games.

In his debut season with the Nets, Simmons managed to play just 42 games due to ongoing back problems, further fueling criticism regarding his durability and commitment to the game.

This season, Simmons’ playing time was further restricted to 15 games due to health concerns, culminating in a premature end to his campaign following a surgical procedure.