Shaquille O’Neal is most definitely one of the best NBA big men to ever play the game so he has a right to stake his claim when it comes to comparisons to younger players. Shaq’s colleague Charles Barkley compared the duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to O’Neal and the late, great Kobe Bryant, but the Big Petty silently balked while sipping some tea after Chuck made the statement.
During a broadcast of Inside The NBA, Barkley praised the tandem of Simmons and Embiid as the two stars have pushed the Philadelphia 76ers to the top of the Eastern Conference standings after a win Thursday night (Feb. 25) over the Dallas Mavericks. Barkley compared the pair to Shaq and Kobe, who dominated the league as members of the Los Angeles Lakers, propelling both players to the upper echelon of basketball excellence.
As Barkley that Simmons and Embiid were “Shaq and Kobe like,” O’Neal essentially sat quietly and sipped his drink, a different stance he typically takes against his co-host as the pair usually rib each other while doing their segments.
Lately, Shaq has been critical of the league’s current crop of stars much like Barkley, and it’s fair to say that the era they played in is vastly different from the NBA’s modern makeup.
In true Shaq fashion, O’Neal said that after a conversation with his mother, he’s going to relax some of his strong assessments of players but it wouldn’t go down without a playful jab at the youngsters as O’Neal referred to them as “bums” but with a laugh. However, as evidenced by a new game segment on the show, Shaq has a lot of studying up to do on the names of the current crop of budding stars.
Shaquille O’Neal’s name was trending on social media and NBA Twitter had some things to say. We’ve got those reactions below.