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Shaq slams Ben Simmons for missing Nets’ Game 4: ‘Punk move’

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Shaquille O’Neal isn’t buying Ben Simmons’ excuse.

The Basketball Hall of Famer went off on Simmons after the All-Star guard was ruled out for Monday’s Game 4 against the Celtics with back soreness.

“In the hood we call this a punk move,” Shaq said Sunday during “Inside the NBA” on TNT.

“You know, when things are going good, ‘Oh yeah I’m going to play in Game 4.’ Now that [the Nets] lost, ‘My back hurts.’ Well, if your back hurts, get some Icy Hot. I’ll send it to you,” said O’Neal, who counts the pain-treatment product among his many endorsements.

“We call this a punk move. Listen, if you’re not ready to play, you’d get more respect from the people if you just say, ‘I’m not ready to play’ and don’t say nothing else. Don’t be shooting and saying, ‘I’m coming back.’ … If you’re not going to play, don’t say you’re going to play. I think you should play.

“I think you should step up to the challenge and help your team win. But no, the punk move… we all know what that is,” O’Neal continued. “Ballers know what that it… Guys that live this life, we know exactly what you’re doing buddy.”

O’Neal also said he agreed with Reggie Miller, who went off on Simmons in a tweet after the Nets guard was ruled out for Game 4.

“Cmon MAN!!!” Miller tweeted Sunday. “Out for Game 4 when it was rumored you were going to make your debut. This dude has ZERO competitive [fire] .. As small a chance as the Nets have to come back in this series, you still have KD and Kyrie, all you need is to win ONE game and take it from there.. #ManUp.”

Ben Simmons won’t play for the Nets in Game 4 against the Celtics.
Corey Sipkin
Shaq discussing Ben Simmons on "Inside the NBA" on Sunday.
Shaq discussing Ben Simmons on “Inside the NBA” on Sunday.
TNT

O’Neal’s latest criticism of Simmons came after he called him a “crybaby” in February, and said he doesn’t “respect” him while discussing Australian star on “Inside the NBA” on TNT. O’Neal added that Simmons was mad about his comments at the time and confronted him in a message on Instagram.

ESPN reported Sunday that Simmons had woken up with back soreness from a herniated disc he’s been dealing with since he was with the Sixers. That came 10 days after Simmons was reportedly pain-free amid ramping up to make his debut with the Nets.

Last month, Nets coach Steve Nash said Simmons had an epidural shot “to accelerate his recovery.”

Simmons has not played a single game this season after he asked for a trade out of Philadelphia in the offseason during a summer holdout with the team. The Sixers traded Simmons at the trade deadline in as part of a package for James Harden.

The Nets will try and avoid a sweep Monday night in Brooklyn as the Celtics are up 3-0 in the first round NBA playoff series.




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