shaquille o'neal

Shaq compares Embiid-Simmons duo to a young Penny-Shaq, calls Sixers 'must-see TV'

Shaq compares Embiid-Simmons duo to a young Penny-Shaq, calls Sixers 'must-see TV'

The Philadelphia 76ers had a rare contest on national television last night, which is a bit of a blessing and a curse. Sixers fans miss out on the great calls of Marc Zumoff and have to deal with the ramblings of Reggie Miller during game action, but we're also treated to Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, and Shaquille O'Neal giving their zany takes during breaks.

We didn't get a ton of Sir Charles' views last night but Shaq weighed in with a very interesting comparison for the Sixers' young studs.

"Chuck said it at the beginning of this year, I didn't believe him," Shaq said. "But the Philadelphia 76ers are must-see TV right now. I'm looking at the chemistry of Simmons and Embiid, it reminds me of a young Penny and a young Shaq."

If anyone would know, it's Mr. O'Neal.

But Shaq isn't the first to make the comparisons to those old Magic teams. Markieff Morris of the Washington Wizard said similar things after going up against the Sixers a couple of weeks back.

"I think Embiid and Ben Simmons can be like Penny and Shaq," Morris said.

"Dominance is the thing I'm talking about more than the game. Of course, they've got different games but the dominance is being shown by both of them," he said.

I think both Morris and Shaq are right. It's more about the duo's dominance and chemistry than the actual style of play. Shaq was more brute force whereas Joel has some handle and finesse with "soccer feet" as Brett Brown likes to say.

The young duo are still trying to find ways to put it all together. Despite having impressive individual performances last night, they couldn't out-duel a relatively weak Lakers team

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Sir Charles and Shaq made things personal last night and it was fantastic

Shaq always has the trump card -- and by that we mean championship rings -- to throw in Charles Barkley's face. But with that said, Sir Charles is probably a much better trash talker and therefore has a superior mouth to defend himself with and throw barbs back in Shaq's direction.

The mouthy duo got into it a bit last night and it teetered between fun and lighthearted and a little personal.

Shaq attacks Chuck for only playing in one NBA Finals and therefore not really knowing what he was talking about. Charles claps back at Shaq for having ridden Kobe and Dwyane Wade's coattails. 

During an NBA playoffs that has been mostly boring, at least these two can still entertain us.

Shaquille O'Neal on Ben Simmons: 'He's a LeBron-type player'

Shaquille O'Neal on Ben Simmons: 'He's a LeBron-type player'

Shaquille O’Neal was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the best to have ever played the game. He has solidified his place in basketball history, and now he is eyeing the next generation of potential stars in the incoming rookie class. 

“I don’t know all of them, but I know my guy’s going to be pretty good, Ben Simmons,” O’Neal said last week in Springfield, Mass.

O’Neal said he has paid attention to only the top two picks, Simmons and Brandon Ingram. He got to know Simmons’ game before he was drafted by the Sixers when Simmons attended his alma mater, LSU. 

O’Neal recognized Simmons’ multidimensional skillset, from scoring to ball handling to rebounding, which sets him apart as a 6-foot-10 point-forward. Even though Simmons played just one season in college, that was enough time for O’Neal to draw comparisons between him and one of the most talented in the NBA. 

"He's a LeBron-type player," O'Neal said. "What I mean by that, LeBron does a nice job of making everybody else around him better — passing the ball, doing the small things — and Ben is that type of player."

O’Neal and Simmons had different college careers en route to becoming number one picks. Over three years, O'Neal averaged 21.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, won numerous personal accolades and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament each season. 

Simmons came to LSU with high expectations. But in spite of his 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, the team underperformed and missed the tournament. He also was not eligible for the Wooden Award. 

O’Neal defended Simmons’ collegiate performance and expects improvements from the 20-year-old in the NBA. 

"He took a lot of flack, especially at LSU with not really taking over games," O'Neal said. "But he's young. He'll get to that.”

Simmons will be a centerpiece of the Sixers system this season. He brings intangibles, versatility and a basketball IQ that is already beyond his years. 

“When it comes to other aspects of the game, he's very, very intelligent,” O’Neal said. “He plays the game very well."