Ben Simmons did not play again for the Brooklyn Nets, but returned to Philadelphia and off the bench for the first time since his trade from the 76ers. Fans of The Sixers booed the All-Star, but they also cheered at one point.
Simmons was still not on the field during the Nets’ apparent victory in Philadelphia, but he did a light workout in the hall before receiving the tip. The Australian, who played for the Sixers between 2016 and 2021, was booed by the fans who were already there.
The guard last appeared in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, after which the former No. 1 pick refused to play again for the Sixers before eventually being traded to James, among others, in February Harden was traded to Brooklyn networks.
The 25-year-old has not played a game yet and is expected to slowly be reintroduced to the team after mental issues. It remains unclear when Simmons will step in. That was enough to get by, and Simmons once submerged to loud cheers from Philly fans. The jubilation was so ironic that Sixers fans will likely remember it forever.
Also during the game, Philly’s fans began chanting offensive songs against the All-Star, but he did not show them. According to Stephanie Ready From TNT The Sixers have never received more buyouts than they did in a game against the Nets in the last decade. Sixers coach Doc Rivers declined to comment on his former student before the game, saying he wouldn’t talk about players not playing anyway.
As expected, there was no tribute video. Simmons played 275 games for the Sixers, averaging 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. Simmons was a three-time All-Star and was a nominee for the All-NBA Third Team, and two nominees for the All-Defensive First Team.
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