Sportress of Blogitude

Shaq unimpressed with Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid comparison to him and Kobe

Charles Barkley issued one of his infamous hot takes during Thursday night’s edition of “Inside the NBA.” Suffice to say, Shaquille O’Neal was not impressed with Sir Charles’ off-the-cuff remarks.

The NBA on TNT crew were discussing how Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are blossoming this season while leading the Philadelphia 76ers to top-dog status in the Eastern Conference.

That’s when Barkley compared the Sixers’ burgeoning dynamic duo to one of the greatest one-two punches in NBA history: Shaq himself and Kobe Bryant during their championship run with the Los Angeles Lakers.

O’Neal’s nonplussed reaction that included him remaining silent and sipping on his beverage really says it all when it comes to what he thought of Barkley’s comparison.

Embiid and Simmons are without question enjoying outstanding seasons, but it is ridiculously premature to compare them to Shaq and Kobe.

O’Neal routinely gets offended whenever someone attempts to make a comparison to himself and Bryant, so his response, while comical, was hardly a surprise.

Still, the panel discussion came on a night when Simmons and Embiid led the Sixers to an impressive 111-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

After the game, Simmons talked up Embiid during an appearance on “Inside the NBA” amid his teammate’s potential MVP-caliber season.

“I think he’s (Embiid) realizing,” Simmons said. “It takes time. He’s figuring out how dominant he can be. He came into the season in great shape. He’s been taking care of his body and he’s been giving us everything.”

The 76ers (22-11) currently sit a half-game up on the red-hot Brooklyn Nets to hold the top spot in the East. While Simmons and Embiid deserve a lot of credit for their growth and great play this season, Barkley — who was just mocked and ridiculed by his NBA on TNT compatriots last week — actually comparing them to Shaq and Kobe was outrageous.

That being said, such chicanery, banter and shenanigans is exactly why  “Inside the NBA” is far and above the greatest sports studio show ever.