Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers endured a tough loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday afternoon (AEST), made worse by the continued antics of Nets fans.
Ever since last season’s first round playoff series between the two teams, Nets fans have made a point to antagonise Simmons at every opportunity, after an memorable exchange between former Nets forward Jared Dudley and a reporter who asked him about Simmons after the Nets scored an unlikely upset.
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Dudley, a fringe player now on the Lakers’ roster, described Simmons as an ‘average’ player - a comment he would later admit to regretting.
His words clearly struck a chord with Nets fans however who, delighting in a blowout win over the more highly-fancied 76ers, seized the opportunity to hassle Simmons at the free throw line.
Chants of ‘Jared Dudley’ and ‘average player’ echoed through the arena as Simmons was at the free throw line, with one commentator jokingly describing the chants as ‘hurtful’.
Loud "YOU ARE AVERAGE" chant for Ben Simmons at the free throw line from fans in Barclays' "The Block" section. That's just hurtful, is the thing.— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) December 16, 2019
Nets fans chanting, “JARED DUDLEY!” at Ben Simmons.— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) December 15, 2019
(He missed the free throw.) pic.twitter.com/T993dCvWya
Simmons put up a respectable 20 points, five boards and three assists for the Sixers, who were without superstar big man Joel Embiid for the playoff rematch.
Philadelphia struggled to score in Embiid’s absence with Tobias Harris (17) the only other Sixers player to score more than 15 points in the 109-89 loss.
Philadelphia 76ers stay perfect at home
Simmons contributed with 24 points and 11 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers remained unbeaten at home following a 116-109 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday (Saturday AEDT).
Teammate Tobias Harris scored over 20 points for the 13th time this season with his game-high tally of 31, while Joel Embiid also hit 24 points and brought down 11 rebounds.
The Sixers' fifth win in a row saw them improve to 14-0 at home in what is their longest winning streak at home to open a season since coming up with 22 in the championship season of 1966-67.