Whether or not Philadelphia 76ers rising star point guard Ben Simmons is a “true” NBA rookie continues to be a hot debate topic amongst fans this season, as Simmons was drafted first overall in the 2016 NBA Draft but missed the entire 2016-17 season due to injury. This effects the chances of 2017 draftees like Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell and Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum of winning the 2017-18 NBA Rookie of the Year award.
There were two really loud chants directed at Simmons during Game 1 when the Sixers and Celtics played at TD Garden, with Boston fans chanting “not a rookie” at Simmons while he shot free throws and “he’s a rookie” while Tatum shot free throws.
During an interview on Tuesday afternoon with Jazz beat writer Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News, Mitchell said that he definitely noticed the loud chants directed at Simmons while he was in attendance of the Houston Astros game against the New York Yankees on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.
“Believe it or not, I did when I was actually watching the baseball game so it was actually pretty loud. It was kind of funny,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was funny that they got in on it. That they responded with Jayson’s whole piece and it’s just fun. As a kid, it’s just funny and that’s the kid in me that’s just having fun with this whole thing.”
A video of the two chants from the Boston crowd, which was posted to YouTube by Tomasz Kordylewski of CelticsLife.com, can be viewed below.
Despite being underdogs at home for Game 1, the Celtics blew the Sixers out with a 117-101 victory to take a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
As for the Jazz, they will look to pull off a huge Game 2 upset over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night at Toyota Center with hopes of returning to Salt Lake City with the series tied up at 1-1.