In September of 2018, Eminem released a song called “Them Fans There for Hatred” where he raps about how his fans are always there to support him and glorify in the hate.
The NBA calendar was quickly emphasized on March 10 when the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers executed this year’s blockbuster transaction, which exchanged Ben Simmons for James Harden.
Despite all of the turmoil, both teams are eventually facing off in a game that has major consequences for the Eastern Conference, particularly the Nets.
Simmons, on the other hand, will be absent. For his return to Philadelphia, he’ll be wearing street clothes on the bench and won’t even make it through pre-game warmups without being booed.
Sixers supporters went there to convey a nasty message to Simmons, not to see a basketball game, according to Charles Barkley of TNT’s Inside the NBA.
For the contest between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers, Ben Simmons will be on the bench.
During a game against the Boston Celtics, Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets looks on. | Adam Hunger/Getty Images
The Simmons-Harden deal took place on Feb. 10, the day before the deadline. It quickly became the most talked-about subject in the NBA, and it has remained so for the last month.
Harden is already making a name for himself with the 76ers. He’s averaged 24.6 points, 12.4 assists, and 7.6 rebounds in five games with Joel Embiid (and Tyrese Maxey, wow).
In over 37 minutes each night, he’s shooting 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from three. In those five games, Philadelphia is 4-1.
Simmons, on the other hand, has yet to leave the bench in Brooklyn.
After missing nine months of basketball, he joined the Nets. Since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Atlanta Hawks in June, he hadn’t (hadn’t) played on an NBA court.
Big Ben, it was assumed, and appropriately so, needed time to get into basketball condition. However, he was placed on the injured list with back stiffness, suffered a setback, and has yet to wear a Nets jersey.
There’s been a lot of speculation about whether Simmons stayed on the bench to avoid participating in this game. Regardless, Barkley is in the arena, and he doesn’t mince words when it comes to why people are going to the Wells Fargo Center.
Charles Barkley came out and said it like it is about Ben Simmons.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 11, 2022
TNT’s Stephanie Ready reported before the game that seats close to the court were going for more than $4,000 a pop. Tickets for this specific game were more in demand than any other 76ers game of the past decade, including playoffs.
Fans in Philadelphia wanted — and even needed — to be there for this game.
Yes, it is a pivotal matchup in the East standings. Yes, Sixers supporters will be able to see Harden, who is now a member of their team, possibly smash his previous one.
But as Barkley unflinchingly pointed out on TNT, the fans are likely there for one specific reason.
They’re there with the purpose of causing a ruckus. They are completely uninterested in the game. There’s a reason they’re there. They aren’t going to spend $4,000 for any regular-season game.
76ers supporters’ motive to convey a message to Ben Simmons, according to Charles Barkely
As an NBA fan, that’s disappointing to hear, and it’s undoubtedly terrible for Simmons, whether he acknowledges it or not. But it’s the harsh, brutal reality.
Simmons has yet to play for the Nets, but he is desperately needed.
During Ben Simmons’ warmup, the crowd chants “Shoot the ball” at him as he continues to pass to Patty Mills.
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) March 10, 2022
Durant has returned to the court and has seemingly not missed a beat. Irving just scored 50 points in a game against the Charlotte Hornets.
However, if the Brooklyn Nets are to make a playoff run and contend for a championship, they will need Ben Simmons (or even make the playoffs altogether).
To achieve their ultimate aim, they’ll need their 6-foot-11 defensive ace to be at his best — both psychologically and physically.
Simmons has to get off the bench and onto the court as soon as possible. It didn’t happen when he returned to Philadelphia, but it has to happen as quickly as possible in Brooklyn.
It’s crucial to their playoff and championship ambitions.
Basketball Reference provided all statistics.
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