The Philadelphia 76ers played their first home game of the 2021-22 NBA season on Friday night. The team played host to the Brooklyn Nets on what had been, to that point, a busy day in Philly, as Ben Simmons showed up to practice earlier in the day and addressed the team. According to reports, Simmons expressed that he wants to play but does not believe he is at a place where he can do that to a certain standard.
It’s been a tumultuous offseason to say the least in Philly with regards to Simmons, who had previously made clear he does not want to continue his career with the team. Perhaps not surprisingly, Sixers fans took Friday as a chance to express some frustrations as they booed Simmons when he appeared in a pregame hype video.
Ben Simmons was booed very quickly in quick appearance in pregame hype video pic.twitter.com/iH1dksfCqT
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) October 22, 2021
Shortly after, Joel Embiid addressed the crowd and gave an otherwise simple pregame address. But at the end, he implored Philly fans to continue to show support for Simmons.
“I just want to thank you for your support all these years, and then now,” Embiid said. “A lot has happened the last few months, and I urge you guys to continue to support us and our teammate Ben, cause he’s still our brother.”
Embiid was critical of Simmons earlier in the week following the latter getting kicked out of practice, telling the media that it is not the team’s job to babysit Simmons.