Credit: AFP - Scanpix
Credit AFP - Scanpix

The Ben Simmons saga continues, as it is now clear that there is no repairing the relationship between him and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie  Irving
Position: PG, SG
Age: 29
Height: 191 cm
Weight: 87 kg
Birth place: Melbourne, Australia

Shaquille O'Neal told USA Today that the Simmons situation should have been handled differently and that the Australian playmaker will be a distraction to the 76ers until Simmons is traded.

"I don't understand why Ben is upset. Maybe he felt disrespected when Doc [Rivers] suggested they couldn't win a championship with him. If so, I think Ben and his team should've been a little bit more professional. They should've gone to the office and said, 'Okay, if you don't want us, we don't want to be here. Now let's make a trade'."

"But now that training camp has started, and he's not there? I mentioned to you about coming in every day and answering annoying questions – 'What about Ben? What about Ben? What about Ben?' Now Ben drives a deeper wedge with him and Joel Embiid to say he doesn't want to play with him anymore," Shaq added.

O'Neal has also raised a question, wondering why Simmons feels angry.

"Let's just say they can't get a trade, and he has to come back. Now you have to deal with the egos and rehashing. But my question to Ben is, 'Why are you mad?' "

Shaq also touched on the topic of Kyrie Irving's refusal to get vaccinated. According to the legendary center, Irving's decision is selfish and inexcusable.

"In this line of work, sometimes you have to be selfless. The day I decided it wasn't all about me and it's about us is the day I started winning and really started dominating. I understand the issues and all that. But I took the vaccine because I'm not trying to get my mother sick, or my sister or my brother or people around me."

"I know people say, 'The vaccine came too fast, and is it healthy.' To each his own. But sometimes you have to think about the overall picture, and you have to think about more than yourself. I wouldn't want to be part of a team that couldn't get together and couldn't win a championship because you did this," O'Neal continued.

O'Neal said he would ask for Kyrie to be traded if he was on the Brooklyn Nets roster. He believes the team has an excellent chance to win the NBA championship without him.

"So sometimes you have to look in the mirror and say, 'It ain't about me; it's about other people.' As men, you have to respect a guys' decision. But if I was on the team and I was a guy that had a say on the team, I would say, 'You have to get him out of here; he's a distraction'."

"They have a really good shot to win. With him there, they have an even better shot. But I don't want to come to practice every day having to answer questions about him. I've been through that before, and it's nerve-wracking. We want to come to play and win and focus on what we have to do. We don't want to focus on him not doing this or not doing that,"

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