Ben Simmons has often been criticized for his playstyle in the past, but with Philadelphia 76ers fans, there's more than that. Ben Simmons has refused to play for the franchise prior to getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets, and it's very obvious that many people dislike him in the city.
In the upcoming Nets-76ers game, Ben Simmons will be on the bench for the team, though he is still unable to play. There is no doubt that there will be a lot of heckling directed at him.
"Ben Simmons will not play in Thursday’s Nets-76ers – but is expected to make the return trip to Philadelphia and join team on bench inside Wells Fargo Center, sources say."
Goran Dragic has recently claimed that Ben Simmons' return to Philadelphia is "probably not going to be pleasant", and added that as "long as it's nothing serious" and "just verbal", he isn't concerned. Nick Friedell of ESPN relayed the news.
Veteran Nets guard Goran Dragic knows the atmosphere in Philadelphia will likely be intense, but he said he doesn't think Simmons will have an issue with it.
"It's probably not going to be pleasant," Dragic said. "The same as in Toronto [for me], but it is what it is. We're all professional athletes. At the end of the day it's only boos, so you just go out there and perform and try to do your best. But as long as it's nothing serious, no throwing things and just be verbal, I don't care."
Hopefully, Ben Simmons is able to get through the night without too many incidents. He was still part of some success with the Philadelphia 76ers during the regular seasons of years past, but there's no doubt that the manner of his exit and his playoff performances last season left a sour taste in many fans' mouths.
As of now though, Ben Simmons will likely focus on trying to get healthy and helping his team win more games. The Brooklyn Nets are a play-in tier team currently, something that nobody expected at the start of the season. They look to be a force when healthy though, so hopefully we see them at full strength soon.