Home News Shaq has a message for oft-injured Nets star Ben Simmons: ‘Get some...

Shaq has a message for oft-injured Nets star Ben Simmons: ‘Get some … Icy Hot. Man up!’

Shaquille O’Neal thinks Ben Simmons has one of the sweetest gigs in the NBA.

On Wednesday’s episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the four-time champion and NBA Hall of Famer was asked by co-host Adam Lefkoe which players in the league he’d buy a ticket to see.

And O’Neal chose Simmons because of the 27-year-olds uncanny ability to keep securing major pay days despite barely playing because of injury.

“I would want to learn how you could make $80 million and play 55 games,” O’Neal said.

The Nets shut Simmons down for the season on March 7 because of a pinched nerve in his lower back. He had appeared in just 15 games this season.

Simmons missed 38 straight games from Nov. 8-Jan. 27 because of the same issue and averaged 6.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists in his limited appearances. The three-time All-Star underwent a successful microscopic partial discectomy on March 14 and is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp in the fall.

While Simmons’ injuries are out of his control, that does not change the fact that he has played in just 57 total games since being acquired by the Nets three years ago and has made $78 million over that span. He is owed a guaranteed $40.3 million on an expiring contract next season and there is no telling if his back issues have truly run their course.

It was Simmons’ second surgery since being traded to Brooklyn in 2022. He has spent a lot of time on the sidelines despite being paid so handsomely, and since he’s on an expiring deal, more money could be heading his way soon — especially if he is finally blessed with a clean bill of health.

O’Neal ultimately told Lefkoe that Nikola Jokic was his preferred player to watch, but jokingly said that he wants to learn Simmons’ ways while pleading for him to play through his pain more often.

“Teach me,” O’Neal said. “Teach me how you could play 55 games in three seasons and get $30 million, $40 million, and get another $40 million just by saying your back hurt. Get some f–king Icy Hot, man up.”


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