On one hand, Simmons has every right to be mad at Doc Rivers for throwing him under the bus after their loss in the playoffs. On the other, all the criticism he’s gotten is fair, as he has refused to work on his flaws since he entered the league.
Moreover, Simmons’ mental strength and character have been questioned lately. His desire to force a trade out of Philadelphia only shows a reluctance to embrace criticism and try to become a better player.
Shaq On Ben Simmons: Do You Want To Be Remembered?
That’s why in a recent appearance in Sirius XM NBA Radio, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal was brutally honest on his situation, offering him some friendly advice and explaining why people are so hard on him:
(Transcript via Fadeaway World)
“In certain cities like Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Miami, Dallas, we know what hard work is. And we know what being fearless is. We can see when a person has a guy 6'1 on him and he drives under the basket to kick it out to another guy when you should have dunked it, that's not what we want. We just want you to work on your game. He's getting a lot of criticism, and it's warranted. All the great players did... It's part of the business.
One thing my father taught me, he said "OK, a lot of these people are talking about you, but is your criticism warranted?" In this case it is. He needs to say this, "Do I want to be a good player or a great player". Look, you're making $30 million, and you got all your Ferraris and your Lamborghinis. That's a great life, but do you want to be remembered? Do you want to go down in history? Do you want the great Frank Isola to talk about you like you're one of the greatest things since sliced bread? How do you want to be remembered? Once he can look in the mirror and answer that, his problems will go away.”
Simmons is a former first-overall pick with the talent to become a generational player but he has refused to take advice or try and work on the few flaws in his game. That careless attitude has ignited the fire within Sixers fans, as they believe he just doesn’t care.
Hopefully, he and the team will be able to work things out and run it back. He’s too good to give up on, but he also has to know that people will hold him accountable if he doesn’t show up when it matters the most.
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