With the Brooklyn Nets trailing 3-0 in their first-round series against the Boston Celtics, it was expected that Simmons would return for game 4, with his team’s season on the line. However, after taking the court for practice on Saturday, the former first-overall pick apparently woke up with a sore back on Sunday. As a result, he’s decided to sit out Monday’s game at the Barclays Center.
We’ve already seen the likes of Reggie Miller, Kendrick Perkins and Stephen A. Smith ridicule Simmons for his decision sit out the Nets’ do-or-die game.
They aren’t the only ones calling out the Nets guard, though. Shaq and Charles Barkley took things one step further during last night’s NBA on TNT broadcast, calling Simmons’ decision to sit a “punk move.”
Shaq even offered Simmons some IcyHot for his back, while Charles pointed out how Simmons’ teammates must be questioning whether he really wants to play basketball at this stage of his career.
Having played in the league for a combined 35 seasons, both Shaq and Barkley are probably two of the more qualified individuals to speak on this situation. As Shaq said, it’s hard to believe that Simmons could have returned on Saturday, but now that the team lost Game 3, he’s no longer fit for a return on Monday.
“I think you should step up to the challenge and try to help your team win,” Shaq told Ernie, Kenny and Charles. “But nope. He went with the punk move. ‘Oh, I’m not gonna play. My back hurts.’ But we all know what that is. Ballers know what that is. Everybody else could be like, ‘Oh, he’s not ready,’ but us guys that lived this life, we know exactly what you’re doing buddy.”
If Ben Simmons wasn’t already the most hated player in the NBA, he is now.
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