Nets newcomer Ben Simmons won’t play in Thursday’s game against the 76ers, but he is expected to join his teammates on the bench in Philadelphia.
As Nets coach Steve Nash told reporters, that is certain to lead to some boos. Simmons sat out the entire season with the Sixers before being traded to the Nets as part of the James Harden deal.
“I don’t think he’s naive to think he’s not going to get some boos. I hope he enjoys it; it’s a part of the game,” Nash said, via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Yeah it’s great. He’s on our team, he needs to be with his teammates and get the whole Philly thing out of the way a little bit. I mean, it’s not going away, but the first time is always tough to deal with.”
Simmons is suffering from lower back stiffness, so he has yet to play for Brooklyn yet, either. Multiple reports suggest he could debut next week (or more specifically, March 15 at Orlando).
But before that, he will have to face the unforgiving Philly fans.
“We can make any number of analogies, I think it’s just something that your first time back in any city after a trade is always a little awkward and obviously there’s some history there so it is what it is,” Nash said, via Lewis. “He’ll be fine. He’s a big boy, he’ll be fine and he’s excited to join our team. He wants to be there on the bench with his teammates.”
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