BEN SIMMONS ON BACK TO PHILADELPHIA: I expected more boos
Philadelphia – Ben Simmons He shrugged at the boos that erupted from the Philadelphia crowd every time the shooting guard touched the ball.
The Nets player even pitted the crowd once again with his reception to one of the most hated former Philadelphia stars in sports history.
“I thought it would be stronger,” Simmons said.
Tobias Harris Scored 24 points and an active Philadelphia 76ers team that played without him Joel Embiid s James Harden Simmons’ homecoming was spoiled by a 115-106 win over Brooklyn on Tuesday night.
“I feel like this is a great victory for us,” said Harris. “I knew going into the game we would all come out with that kind of energy and that kind of enthusiasm to get going.”
There was a lot of noise from the moment the doors opened in anticipation of Simmons’ return. He added 11 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to the sound of constant booing. Simmons even had a late fade familiar to the Sixers. He did not shoot or score in the fourth quarter and only scored two points in the second half.
Kyrie Irving He scored 23 points and Kevin Durant He had 20 before coach Jack Vaughn pulled his starting lineup with three minutes left in the game.
“Everyone wants to see our team fail,” Durant said. “Nobody likes Ben. Nobody likes Ky. Nobody likes me.”
Expected bout with Embiid eased with a sprained left foot, Harden still out with a strained tendon in his right foot and starting guard Therese Maxi Also with a fracture of the left foot.
Embid vs. Simmons will have to wait.
Simmons vs. 76ers were good.
Simmons was interrupted, fouled, the 20,184 crowd silenced with a layup and even ignored after making free throws. Crucial for a player who struggled with mental health issues, Simmons played with confidence while being booed for the better part of his 32 minutes.
“I feel like I’m in a good place,” Simmons said. “I’m happy. I’m doing what I love. Being there and having that experience was amazing.”
He already had three assists when he went to the foul line early in the game. Simmons was booed but he didn’t seem bothered and dunked both baskets. Simmons made a reverse corner throw minutes later for a first basket.
Sixers fans were mostly well-behaved, except for a few short, profanity-filled cheers, most of them saving the four-letter words for duct tape on the back of their old .25 jerseys.
Simmons and the second student, Cixir George Niang They squabbled late in the first half, with Niang giving his former teammate a light body shot that earned him a technique.
Harden couldn’t believe the call from the bench. Sixers owner Josh Harris looked horrified.
Simmons missed the technical free kick and the crowd roared as much as they did throughout the match. However, Simmons went out to the field to steal and tripped Durant for a bucket.
The Sixers still led 63-57 at halftime.
It wasn’t all boo. Simmons made a 76ers fan go crazy when he missed consecutive free throws in the second half and fired a fast food chicken free.
“I thought he was in attack mode, he was aggressive, he showed a lot of poise through the night,” said Vaughn. “An experience of getting over it and leaving it behind, really good.”
Simmons averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists over four seasons with Philadelphia, which drafted him from LSU, where he played just one season. His constant headaches, such as his refusal to shoot more than 15 feet, outweighed his defensive talents and gifted playmaking. Simmons’ relationship with the Sixers soured after the 2021 playoffs, and he demanded a trade.
Simmons made a surprise return to the Sixers shortly before last season’s start, but was quickly kicked out of practices and suspended for one game. The punishment doesn’t matter. The first pick in the 2016 draft never intended to play.
Simmons hugged Rivers in line and joined friends and family seated on the baseline before heading into the visitor tunnel to a final chorus of boos.
“I think it will be like this forever,” Simmons said. “I really don’t see that changing.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.