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Shaquille O'Neal Has Blunt Message For Ben Simmons

Shaquille O'Neal walks the red carpet.

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Shaquille O'Neal attends 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a significant matchup that lacked two of the games biggest stars.

Ben Simmons hasn't suited up for the 76ers all season long. Meanwhile, LeBron James was forced to miss the contest with a knee injury.

Before the game tipped off, the NBA on TNT crew broke down the play of Joel Embiid. During the segment, former Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal had a very blunt message for Ben Simmons - without using his name.

"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."

This isn't the first time Shaq has voiced his displeasure with Simmons' decision not to play this season.

Will he return at all this season or be traded?