Nets’ Ben Simmons booed as Sixers spoil his Philadelphia return

PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons knew precisely the kind of reception he was going to get from Sixers followers Tuesday night time contained in the Wells Fargo Center. After going by means of a contentious divorce with the staff that made him the No. 1 general decide in 2016, forcing his manner out of Philadelphia earlier than the beginning of final season, he knew followers would loudly present their anger in quite a lot of methods.

But after practically racking up a triple-double with 11 factors, 11 assists and seven rebounds for the Brooklyn Nets in a 115-106 loss to the Sixers, Simmons stated he was simply glad he cleared one other emotional hurdle in his return.

“I really feel like I’m in an excellent place,” Simmons stated after the sport. “I’m glad, I’m doing what I really like. So to be on the market and have that have was superb. Obviously it wasn’t the end result we needed. It’s irritating to lose a recreation like that, however I believe it is a good step ahead.”

As was the case final season, when Simmons sat out the Nets’ win over the Sixers whereas rehabbing a again harm, followers chanted “F— Ben Simmons!” all through the night time and booed him each time he introduced the ball up the ground.

After it was over Tuesday, Simmons could not assist however smile on the reception, saying, “I assumed it was going to be louder.”

While Simmons admitted he would in all probability get the identical response in Philadelphia “ceaselessly,” given the best way he left the staff and town, his Brooklyn teammates and coaches have been happy with the best way he embraced the second and cleared the subsequent hurdle in his restoration after offseason again surgical procedure.

“I believe it’s a psychological hurdle that it’s important to recover from,” Nets guard Kyrie Irving stated of Simmons. “He performed extraordinarily effectively a recreation in the past after which got here in tonight, I believe he performed effectively tonight. And we simply received to be there for each other and assist one another.”

Nets star ahead Kevin Durant, who went by means of the same return recreation when he went again to Oklahoma City for the primary time in February 2017 after signing with the Golden State Warriors, shared Irving’s sentiment.

“There’s a variety of feelings,” Durant stated. “You simply wish to play effectively. We know the followers are going to be concerned and get excited — not get excited, however simply carry their greatest. But that is in each area. Everybody needs to see our staff fail. Nobody likes Ben, no one likes Ky, no one likes myself, so it may be like that at each street area.

“So it is simply one thing we received to take care of. But I assumed [Simmons] did an important job of simply dealing with it and taking part in his recreation, and we had probabilities to win, however we simply did not.”

Asked why he thinks so many individuals do not just like the Nets, Durant stated, “It’s a variety of stuff that in all probability components into it. But when NBA followers do not such as you, they actually received love for you. It’s simply misplaced love , I assume. But we get it. At the tip of the day, individuals get pleasure from watching us play.”

Durant famous that Philadelphia followers handled Simmons the best way they did just because he determined he needed to play for an additional staff in one other metropolis.

“I believe all of them simply had a variety of nice recollections with Ben they usually don’t love the way it ended,” Durant stated, including that Sixers followers “wish to voice their frustration.”

“They really feel like they’re a part of the staff, they’re a part of the league, so followers wish to be heard,” he stated. “The final decade within the NBA a variety of followers have been heard with social and simply how we spotlight the followers these days. You received to understand each side. That’s a part of the sport. I believe Ben understands that. We all perceive that. The followers actually respect us as males, however there’s part of sports activities [that includes] heckling, being focused on the market. It’s all part of it.”

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