Ben Simmons ‘in a good place’ after heavy boos in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons was in a pretty awful place: the Wells Fargo Center, his old home that has turned against him. Every time he touched the ball, Boo screamed. A lot of abuses were heard.

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But that’s not where Simmons was enthused after the Nets’ 115-106 loss to the 76ers on Tuesday night.

“I feel like I’m in a good place,” Simmons said after his first game at the arena in 520 days. “For me to come here and just play basketball – I’m happy, I’m doing what I love.” To be there and have that experience was amazing.”


Simmons, playing in his first game in Philadelphia since a Game 7 loss to the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals on June 20, 2021 – in which he avoided dunks that led to criticism from Embiid and coach Doc Rivers – physical and Looked healthy both mentally. He finished with 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting to go along with 11 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Simmons put a finger over his mouth – silencing the crowd – after returning his own fumble and recovering it in the first half. It seemed that any time the crowd lost energy, a “F—k Ben Simmons” chant began to get the fans going again.

Ben Simmons goes up for a shot during the 76ers’ 115-106 loss to the Nets.
NBAE via Getty Images
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Simmons, who declined to report to the 76ers last season citing mental health issues, expected the worst and went undetected.

“I thought it was going to be loud,” Simmons said.

When Simmons, who had shot 33 percent from the foul line in the series loss to the Hawks, was sent to the foul line, the fans’ voices had never been louder.

Simmons, who smiled during one of his trips to the foul line, went 3 of 6, delighting the crowd by missing his last two attempts in the third quarter.

“I thought he was in attack mode. He was aggressive,” said Jack Vaughan. “A lot of grace was shown throughout the night. There was competition on both ends. I thought overall it’s a really cool feel for him to lead and follow him

Experience will help as booze may never soften in Philadelphia.

The Net, as a whole, are addicted to derision.

“It’s in every field.” Everybody wants to see our team fail,” Kevin Durant said. “Nobody likes Ben. Nobody likes [Kyrie Irving], Nobody likes himself. This can happen in every road arena. It is something we have to deal with.”

Yuta Watanabe is sidelined with right hamstring tightness. Vaughan called the emerging small forward day-to-day.

“We’ll see how he feels in the morning, but it can’t be ruled out.” [for Wednesday in Toronto] Yet,” Vaughn said.

Center Nick Claxton, who missed Sunday’s win over the Grizzlies due to personal reasons, returned to the starting lineup, scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Vaughan said forward TJ Warren, who hasn’t played since December 2020 after undergoing multiple foot surgeries, has been practicing with the coaches. Warren is now playing against the players, although a timetable is still unclear.

“No setbacks, so overall TJ’s getting a good job,” Vaughn said.

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