Simmons was the target of the boos in the final minutes as he missed his first attempt at the free-throw line.
76ers guard Ben Simmons and forward Joel Embiid were not happy with Philadelphia fans after their team’s 111-102 loss to the Nets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
While fans booed throughout much of the matchup, Simmons was the target of the boos in the final minutes as he missed his first attempt at the free-throw line.
“If you’re going to boo, then stay on that side,” Simmons said, per philly.com. “That’s how I feel, if you’re a Sixer fan and you’re going to boo then stay on that side.”
Simmons finished the night with just nine points and seven rebounds. When asked about his performance after the game, Simmons explained: “I (was) just thinking too much and not being who I am, a playmaker.”
Embiid also took issue with the boos as he said after the game that he believes the fans’ reaction affected how the 76ers played, though he did say he still loves the fans.
“The fact that it’s after every miss, every missed shot you get booed, for some guys when they get the next one they wonder ‘should I shoot it, should I not because I’m about to get booed?’ Some guys are like that,” Embiid said.
Joel Embiid on fans booing
“I understand why they boo, but the fact it’s after every single miss…”
Says it kind of felt like a road game. For some guys hearing boos after missed shots, it’s tough. He says they may think, should I take the shot?
Joel says he loves the fans pic.twitter.com/qZAMoT3Lse
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) April 13, 2019
Jimmy Butler, however, understood the boos. He’s been at the center of fans’ boos in the past while he was still playing with the Timberwolves after demanding a trade. He believes the boos will stop if the 76ers play better.
“I understand it. They want to see us win. Hell, I want to see us win, too,” Butler said. “In the end I think we just got to do better. I guarantee if we’re winning they’re not booing. That’s the way to change it. Just got to go out there and win on Monday.”