Ben Simmons was Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of most fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.
The star Nets point guard, who played the first four seasons of his NBA career with the 76ers, was roundly booed in the first game he has played in Philadelphia since the February trade that sent him to Brooklyn. He heard choruses of negativity from all corners of the arena nearly every time he touched the ball.
But the former No. 1 draft pick did find a way to endear himself to the crowd early in the third quarter—even if it was unintentional.
To wit, the Sixers have a promotion with Chick-fil-A in which fans win five free chicken nuggets when a visiting player misses consecutive free throws. The gimmick is cleverly called “Bricken for Chicken.”
So it was that Simmons headed to the free-throw line to shoot two foul (fowl?) shots less than two minutes into the second half.
Simmons did indeed miss both shots, sending Philly fans in pandemonium.
It could have been even better. A second instance of consecutive missed free throws by a visiting players would’ve upped the reward to a eight nuggets. A third occurrence would earn fans 12 nuggets.
Sixers fans ultimately got to enjoy a 115–106 victory even though Philadelphia was playing without Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Simmons finished with 11 points and 11 assists in the game, posting his second double-double of the season for Brooklyn in the loss.
More NBA Coverage:
- Simmons Makes Progress, but Nets Still Have Major Problems
- The Buzziest NBA Prospects at the Phil Knight Invitational
- Simmons Booed in Return to Philly During Nets’ Surprising Loss
For more Philadelphia 76ers coverage, visit All 76ers.