Barkley said he was disappointed in Simmons taking an $AUD270 million ($US200m) contract from the Sixers, while reportedly requesting a trade, as he hit out at the 25-year-old for sulking just because he needs to improve his shooting — a weakness that was smashed in the 76ers’ playoffs loss to Atlanta last season.
“I’m disappointed in Ben Simmons,” Barkley said. “When you give somebody $US200 million to dribble a stupid basketball, and the only thing you ask him is be better as a player, and their first response is, ‘I don’t wanna play here anymore’, that disappoints me as a player, that disappoints me as a fan.
“They’re not saying, ‘Come over and cut my grass’. They’re saying, ‘Ben, we need you to learn how to shoot the basketball’.”
O’Neal also took aim, dragging Simmons’ social media activity and personal life into things.
“Ben Simmons, you’re not that good,” he said. “In this league, do you want to be good? Or do you want to be great? You’re not great. But if you want to get to that next level, you have to be great, and to be great, you have to work on your game.
“Don’t be putting pictures up on your Instagram of your Ferrari or what actress you’re hanging around with. When you play for a town like Philadelphia, Boston, LA, Miami, hard-working towns, they don’t give a s**t about none of that. They want you to come work hard and play hard.”
Barkley being critical of Simmons asking out of Philadelphia? Really? After Barkley couldn't get them to .500 or the playoffs in his prime, so he asked for a trade out of there? And Shaq commenting on Simmons not wanting it enough? Shaq probably had the most success while putting the least amount of comparative effort in than any player in NBA history. And LA and Miami are "hard-working" blue collar type towns are they?
Simmons deserves criticism, but it really is getting ridiculous.