Ben Simmons on the boos from Philly: I thought it was going to be louder

By Eurohoops Team/ [email protected]

Ben Simmons knew exactly the type of reception he was going to get from Sixers fans Tuesday night inside Wells Fargo Center. After going through a contentious divorce with the team that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, forcing his way out of Philadelphia before the start of last season, he knew fans would loudly show their anger in a variety of ways.

But after nearly racking up a triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds for the Brooklyn Nets in a 115-106 loss to the Sixers, Simmons said he was just glad he cleared another emotional hurdle in his return.

I feel like I’m in a good place,” Simmons said after the game via ESPN. “I’m happy, I’m doing what I love. So to be out there and have that experience was amazing. Obviously, it wasn’t the result we wanted. It’s frustrating to lose a game like that, but I think it’s a good step forward.”

As was the case last season, when Simmons sat out the Nets’ win over the Sixers while rehabbing a back injury, fans chanted “F— Ben Simmons!” throughout the night and booed him whenever he brought the ball up the floor.

After it was over Tuesday, Simmons couldn’t help but smile at the reception, saying, “I thought it was going to be louder.”

While Simmons admitted he would probably get the same response in Philadelphia “forever,” given the way he left the team and the city, his Brooklyn teammates and coaches were proud of the way he embraced the moment and cleared the next hurdle in his recovery after offseason back surgery.

I think it is a mental hurdle that you have to get over,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving said of Simmons. “He played extremely well a game ago and then came in tonight, I think he played well tonight. And we just got to be there for one another and support each other.”


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