NBA legend Shakeel O’Neill has been slammed for making inflammatory remarks about Australian Ben Simmons, questioning the severity of his back injury and keeping him out of the game.
Speaking to Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, O’Neill – who has been a vocal critic of Simmons in terms of his blockbuster trades since the 76ers – said he would not back down from his verdict until he heard from the Net Guard.
“When you give people space to guess, they’re going to guess their own,” he said.
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“If I say something that hurts, he might call me and say, ‘Hey, you said that.’ I’m smart enough to stop and say, ‘OK, when did I say that?’ And then I say, ‘You know, it wasn’t right.’
O’Neill said Simmons’ herniated disc, a combination of theory and information from the post-surgery and recovery period, provided his comments.
“Right now, we’re just speculating – and some information, because I’ve got some guys where he is. So I know a lot and I’m watching a lot. But he didn’t say why he wasn’t playing,” he said. .
After trading on the net in February, Simmons sat through the rest of the 2021-2022 season with back complaints. He had a successful microdissection procedure earlier this month, shortly after the Celtics lost to the Nets in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
O’Neill was outraged by Simmons’ absence in April, when he was expected to return to the three-time All-Star Net-Celtic series.
“We call it a punk move in the hood,” O’Neill said during an edition of Inside the NBA on TNT.
“You know, when things go well, ‘Oh yeah I’m going to play in Game 4.’ Now that [the Nets] Lost, ‘My back hurts.’ Okay, if your back hurts, get some ice hot. I will send it to you (as a supporter).
“Listen, if you’re not ready to play, if you just say, ‘I’m not ready to play’ and nothing else, you’ll get more respect from people. Don’t shoot and say, ‘I’m coming back.’ যদি If you do not go to play, do not say you are going to play.I think you should play.
“I think you should move on to the challenge and help your team win. But no, punk move … we all know what it is.
“Guys know what it is … friends who live this life, we know exactly what you’re doing, friend.”
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