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Ben Simmons’ return to Philadelphia Tuesday night required extra law enforcement to show up at Wells Fargo for the Nets-76ers matchup.
With a predictably spirited fanbase in Philly that eagerly waited to shame Simmons for leaving the franchise that drafted him first overall, Simmons’ return prompted serious safety risks.
Serious enough to demand increased police presence at the stadium? Maybe not.
TNT NBA courtside reporter Stephanie Ready delivered the briefing in the pre-game show as Simmons and the Nets braced to take on the Sixers for a win that would put Brooklyn at .500 (8-9).
Though Philly fans did show out with boos once Simmons took the court, they were much more scattered and muted than most of us expected.
Tuesday night’s highlight was TNT Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley assessing Ben’s pre-game outfit. Barkley called out his flowy coat by joking that he was hiding a kevlar vest underneath.
Philadelphia had the last laugh: dominating Brooklyn, 115-106. The team was automatic from beyond the arc — making 16 three-point attempts. The team also took care of the ball in Joel Embiid’s absence, recording a mere nine turnovers.
Simmons had a modest homecoming performance: recording 11 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. After the game, he told reporters that he thought the boos would be much louder.