Ben Simmons is making his first trip back to Philadelphia since being traded last year. Simmons and Philly had a rocky relationship, as many of you are already aware. He and his guts are despised by the fan base. Additionally, Philadelphia supporters are vicious and will exploit his insecurities.

Simmons seemed to be accepting of his situation in spite of this. When questioned by reporters about coming back to the “city of brotherly love,” Simmons acknowledged that it will be difficult. Overall, as he realized he was in for a very difficult night, Simmons couldn’t help but giggle at the circumstance.

Stephen A. Smith had the opportunity to discuss the Simmons situation and how he might respond today on First Take. Of course, Smith formerly worked as a beat reporter for the Sixers, so he is aware of how vengeful their supporters can be. Smith thinks it will be impossible to predict Simmons’ response to the crowd as a result.

Simmons has had a poor year thus far in general. He has improved significantly over the last few games, though. Simmons has a lot to lose since he can either keep improving or his anxiety will cause him to regress—badly.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever known of an athlete that’s going to go through what he’s going to go through tonight,” Smith said. “I just don’t know how to predict what the hell he’s going to do.”

The Nets and Sixers both have comparable records, and the NBA playoffs are just around the corner for both teams. Given that circumstance, both teams should find this game to be highly intense. Kyrie Irving is also back in the starting lineup, which is undoubtedly good news for the Nets.


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