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“When you leave people room to speculate, everybody gonna make their own speculation” - Shaquille O'Neal says 3-time All-Star should call him if he said anything hurtful

Shaquille O'Neal reacts after being introduced as part of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during the 2022 All-Star Game on Feb. 20 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Shaquille O'Neal reacts after being introduced as part of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during the 2022 All-Star Game on Feb. 20 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Christopher Eluemuno

Shaquille O'Neal has always said whatever is saddled in his mind, but he has also been one to step on the brakes before things get out of control. The Hall of Famer has grown as a person over the years, having been an active and trained media personality.

The four-time NBA champion has always been on the lookout for a career shift into journalism. In 2009, while still playing, Shaq attended the Sportscaster U. training camp affiliated with Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. There, he learned journalism and prepared himself for the transition into broadcasting.

In July 2011, the former LA Lakers center moved to television, analyzing the game for TNT alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and best friend Charles Barkley. In his 11 years on air, O'Neal has talked about everything within the basketball community. His union with the guys on the famous show has seen viewership numbers skyrocket, with resounding interest being shown to their coverage.

"If I said something that was hurtful, maybe he should call me.”@SHAQ opens up about his comments toward Ben Simmons https://t.co/JTUm7X00dS

In a Bleacher Report interview with Taylor Rooks, O'Neal responded to a comment suggesting he owes Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons an apology. He said that the 25-year old ought to contact him if he has said anything hurtful towards him. He said it is the only way to avoid speculation, because the absence of communication breeds speculation.

“When you leave people room to speculate, everybody gonna make their own speculation," O'Neal said. "If I said something that was hurtful, then maybe he should call me and say, 'You said this.' I'm intelligent enough to stop time and say, 'OK, when did I say it? You know what? That wasn't right. My bad, big homie,' but right now we just going on speculation."

Doc Holiday believes Shaquille O'Neal owes Ben Simmons an apology, Simmons endorses it

Shaquille O'Neal poses for a photo with the car of Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on Oct. 24 in Austin, Texas.
Shaquille O'Neal poses for a photo with the car of Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on Oct. 24 in Austin, Texas.

On May 5, Doc Holiday used a video clip to call out Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Stephen A. Smith, Reggie Miller, Shannon Sharpe, Skip Bayless and Kendrick Perkins on Twitter. The owner and host of "The Doc Holiday Show" said that the analysts owe the Brooklyn Nets star an apology.

Simmons never played for the team after being acquired in February. He said he had back surgery earlier this month.

Analysts have spoken many times about Simmons' refusal to play for the Philadelphia 76ers. They also discussed his ultimate return to the court with the Nets and the speculations surrounding him. While the conversation about the three-time All-Star is not new, Holiday insisted that the sports commentators need to apologize to Simmons.

His basis for the demand was that Simmons was diagnosed with a back injury and has undergone surgery. Holiday believes the analysts, including O'Neal, have made fun of Simmons despite the underlying issues that kept him from playing.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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