O'Neal defended his comments and addressed Harden's apparent response Thursday during an appearance on ESPN's "First Take."
"All that talk about 'we should be uplifting brothers' and all that - I uplift my brothers by telling them the truth," the Hall of Famer and NBA on TNT analyst said. "I'm not a yes man, OK? You ain't show up yet, so you gotta win a championship."
O'Neal added that he wishes Harden well and hopes the Nets win, "but if they don't get a championship this year, it's a bust."
Harden appeared to respond to O'Neal's initial comments on Instagram while also praising Dwyane Wade for his supportive message.
The Nets are currently 9-7 this season and sit fifth in the Eastern Conference.