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Kyrie Irving on how Ben Simmons handled hostile Philadelphia 76ers crowd: "It's good to hear their loud voices, hear their boos"

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers
Ben Simmons played his first game in Philadelphia since joining the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday

Kyrie Irving believes Ben Simmons did a good job in his very first game in Philadelphia since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets in February 2022. The Nets lost Tuesday's contest 106-115, but Simmons put up a relatively all-round statline, finishing with 11 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks in front of a hostile Philadelphia crowd.

When asked about Ben Simmons' reaction to the Philly environment, Irving replied:

"I think he did well. Obviously, we wanted to focus on our team win. But the crowd's not going anywhere. It's good to hear their loud voices, hear their boos.
"Next time hopefully that motivates us to go out there and get that win a little bit more. We had the lead early in the first half and then gave it up, [but] I think he did well. "

Asked if he had given any words of advise to Simmons before the start of the game, Irving stated:

"Just gotta go through it. Stay confident."

Kevin Durant, too, was queried about Simmons' experience in his first game back against his former team. Durant, who went through a similar experience as a member of the Golden State Warriors when visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder in February 2017, told the media:

"Everybody wants to see our team fail. Nobody likes Ben. Nobody likes [Kyrie]. Nobody likes myself. It might be like that at every road arena. It's just something we gotta deal with. But I thought he [Simmons] did a great job, which is handling and playing his game."
Kyrie Irving talks about how Ben Simmons handled his return to Philadelphia:"The crowd's not going anywhere. It's good to hear their loud voices, hear their boos. Next time hopefully that motivates us to go out there and get that win a little bit more" https://t.co/s8rALcVdWT

"I thought it was going to be louder," says Ben Simmons about the reception he got from the Philly crowd

Ben Simmons thought that the Philadelphia crowd could have been a lot more hostile as he made his debut in a Brooklyn Nets jersey against his former NBA team. Speaking about the reception, Simmons told the media in the postgame interaction:

"I thought it was going to be louder, yeah."

However, it wasn't all bad for Simmons. He signed autographs and even interacted with some of the 76ers loyalists before the start of the game. Speaking about the experience, Simmons told the media:

"It was nice to have support in Philadelphia still. Lifelong fans, they do support me, so that was really cool to see. That's a nice feeling.
"I think I did some things in Philadelphia that can be respected. I don't think we all had bad times, so it was good to have moments like that."

The game against the 76ers marked Ben Simmons' fourth straight double-digit outing. He also picked up his second double-double of the season even as he started the contest for the second straight game ever since Jacque Vaughn was officially announced as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

Simmons, who did not play a single game in the 2021-22 season, is averaging 8.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 6.1 apg while playing 28.1 mpg this season. These are career-lows for the three-time All-Star across all four stats categories.

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Edited by Akshay Manwani
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