Nets' Ben Simmons is hilariously candid about what he expects from fans in Philadelphia return
Ben Simmons knows a thing or two about the wrath of Philadelphia sports fans.
After he was selected first overall by the 76ers in 2016, Simmons spent the first five seasons of his career in Philly's good graces before a letdown in the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals marked the beginning of the end. A historic holdout and a trade request signaled an unceremonious ending to Simmons' time in Philadelphia. He was dealt to the Nets at the 2022 trade deadline.
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One month after the trade, Simmons was on the receiving end of countless boos in his first return to Philadelphia, a game in which he wasn't even able to take the floor due to injury. Nine months post-trade, Simmons will be in action when he and the Nets head back to his first NBA home.
The former top pick knows exactly what to expect from the fans:
Ben Simmons knows what's coming in Philly ???? pic.twitter.com/uoOXz1a2wg— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 21, 2022
"In Philly?" Simmons hilariously responded to a reporter that asked if time passed may have healed the wounds from his exit.
"Come on now, I know what's coming. It's a part of the game," Simmons continued.
"One thing about Philly fans (is) they're incredible. They're die-hard Philly — everything Philly, whatever it is. I respect that about the city — it's a sports town."
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After a rough start to the 2022-23 season, Simmons is returning to his All-Star form just in time for the trip to Philadelphia. In the three games leading up to their meeting with the Sixers, Simmons is averaging 16.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game on combined 22-of-26 (84.6 percent) shooting.
With his confidence rising, Simmons should be prepared for whatever comes his way at the Wells Fargo Center.
We'll see if Simmons' complimentary words earn him any goodwill when he and the Nets face the 76ers on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET.