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NBA World Reacts To What Shaquille O'Neal Said Tonight

Shaq speaking into a microphone.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 24: Former Los Angeles Lakers player Shaquille O'Neal speaks after unveiling of his statue at Staples Center March 24, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

On Thursday night, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal had a very harsh message for Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons - all while praising Joel Embiid.

"I stay on big guys because I care about them," Shaq said. "I want them to play a certain way, I want them to play at a certain level. The difference between [Embiid] and his soft partner [Simmons] is, he can take criticism without being a crybaby and he still wants to play."

"Me and Charles, we've been on [Embiid] and we stay on him," Shaq continued. "We told him to his face what he needs to do. He didn't cry, he didn't say 'I want to get traded', he didn't complain about mistreatment. And that's the difference. That's why I like and respect him. The other guy, I don't respect him."

Fans couldn't help but weigh in on Shaq's harsh comments for the former No. 1 overall pick.

"No doubt,

No doubt, @SHAQ has grown into as great a broadcaster as he was a player.

This is what we call unvarnished opinion, delivered expertly and succinctly. https://t.co/VHNcCVF5L9

— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) January 28, 2022

">@SHAQ has grown into as great a broadcaster as he was a player. This is what we call unvarnished opinion, delivered expertly and succinctly," Rich Eisen said.

"Everything Shaq says here is fair," Eagles beat writer Mike Kaye said.

Shaq clearly isn't happy with Simmons' decision not to play this season.