First Video Emerges of Sixers Fans Heckling Ben Simmons: WATCH

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Well, that didn’t take long. As reports of increased security and tribute videos make the rounds prior to Ben Simmons’ homecoming, the first video of the former Philadelphia 76ers star getting heckled has emerged. In it, Simmons is treated to a hearty serenade coming out of his hotel.

The three-time All-Star can be seen casually walking out of the Four Seasons in downtown Philly on his way to the team bus. He is dressed in basic street clothes — sweatpants, T-shirt, sneakers — as boos rain down, along with a few NSFW words. The best line? One fan shouts: “Thank you for James.” (h/t to @Thewiseguyzpod and @AhnFireDigital).

Simmons has been radio silent since his introductory press conference for the Nets on February 15. He made the conscious decision to travel with his teammates to Philly for tonight’s game and plans to sit on the bench. Let the heckling begin.

UPDATE: A second video has surfaced and from the same location and it shows Simmons signing autographs. He won’t answer any questions about why he’s reportedly filing a grievance against the Sixers.

Everyone is expecting a crazed environment for the Nets-Sixers showdown. Teammate Kevin Durant talked the other day about Simmons having to endure the experience on his own. Durant said he isn’t “going to hold his hand.”

“I’m sure it’s going to be some personal attacks,” Durant said. “It’s going to be some words that may trigger you personally, but that’s just how fans are. They want to get under our skin, they want to let their voices be heard. I think part of the experience of coming to an NBA game is to heckle.”

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Georges Niang Keeping Thoughts to Himself

Georges Niang has only been in a Sixers’ uniform for 60 games. The team inked the former Jazz forward to a two-year deal in the offseason, one mucked up by Simmons’ controversial absence, and Niang has been a surprise standout for Philly.

Niang never got the opportunity to take the court with Simmons in a game, although they shared a locker room for a few days. Niang should have some insight into what went wrong. If he does, he’s keeping those opinions to himself.

“I’m going to try to answer this the best way I can. It is what it is,” Niang told reporters, via Kyle Neubeck. “We have who we have in this locker room. But I think we’re happy with who we have in this locker room. I’m just going to leave it at that.

“It is what it is. He knows what he did or what he had to do to get himself right. Whether that’s right or wrong or indifferent, that’s not my place to speak on. Obviously, I have my thoughts about Ben. But if he’s happy where he’s at, then let him be happy. We’re happy we have guys in this locker room that wants to be here.”

James Harden Not ‘Nervous’ About Facing Nets

James Harden will be facing his old Brooklyn teammates for the first time since the trade deadline. It’ll be an opportunity for the 10-time All-Star to show Durant and Kyrie Irving what could have been as he forms a new Big Three with Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. Asked if he was nervous about seeing those guys, Harden didn’t mince words.

“I’m not nervous, it’s basketball,” Harden said. “I put the work in to get out there and live with the results. Honestly, every game is a big game for us. We’re fairly new, we got championship aspirations. So every game is a learning process for us, no matter who we’re playing.”

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