Philadelphia 76ers star guard Ben Simmons missed his fifth consecutive game to open the season Thursday night at home against the Detroit Pistons.
Simmons remains away from the team as he deals with mental health issues and attempts to get back into game shape following a drama-filled off-season filled with trade rumors.
Even without Simmons inside Wells Fargo Center Thursday evening, 76ers fans took time out of their night to give him the treatment.
According to those on hand inside the arena, fans were heard chanting “f**k Ben Simmons” during the game.
This pretty much had to be expected after what we’ve seen between Simmons and his organization over the past several months.
Remember, the star guard requested a trade following an ugly performance in the 2021 NBA Playoffs. It seemed as if he had played his final game in Philadelphia before talks with other teams broke down. Since then, there’s been an obvious rift between the three-time All-Star and others within the organization — center Joel Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers included.
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Is Ben Simmons ever going to get fair treatment in Philadelphia again?
That’s now the million-dollar question. We expect 76ers players to be trolled on the road relating to this situation. It happened earlier in the season when Philadelphia took on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The larger issue here is an unforgiving Philadelphia fan base that had in the past booed the likes of all-time MLB great Mike Schmidt. This fan base really doesn’t hold anything back.
As for Simmons, he’s said to be taking some time to get his mental health in order. Certainly, it can’t help to be hearing this from fans who had in the past supported the embattled former No. 1 pick.