The Philadelphia 76ers and their notoriously passionate fan base don't exactly hold Ben Simmons in high esteem. As his second full season away from the City of Brotherly Love dawns, though, the Brooklyn Nets forward is able to look back on his ill-fated time in Philly with truly shocking positivity.

“I had a lot of fun there. It was time for me to go. When I did leave, it was good timing,” Simmons told Marc Spears of Andscape when asked to reflect on his tenure with the Sixers. “Obviously, the injury and everything that was going on didn’t help. But I think it gave me a chance to really appreciate it.

“I’ll always have love for Philly,” he continued. “People always ask me like, ‘If you were to get traded again where you want it to be?’ I always say, ‘Just Philly. Philly is a second home to me.’ And in time, you learn and grow as people. I don’t really have anything bad to say about Philly. It was a crazy situation at the end, but it is what it is.”

It's safe to say Sixers faithful don't exactly share Simmons' glowingly warm sentiments.

The No. 1 pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, the 6'10 playmaker seemed poised to emerge as a franchise icon after his first three seasons in Philadelphia. Simmons' infamous non-shot late in a Game 7 loss to the underdog Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals forever changed his standing with the Sixers and franchise player Joel Embiid, though, ultimately prompting a trade demand that dragged into the following season as he refused to suit up for the team.

Philadelphia granted his wish shortly before 2022-23, sending the three-time All-Star to the Nets in exchange for James Harden—who's currently in a similarly fraught holding pattern to the one Simmons was mired in two years ago. Sixers fans had aggressively turned on Simmons long before he was finally shipped to Brooklyn; that his refusal to play for Philadelphia has only led to another star trade demand and potential holdout surely makes team faithful dislike him even more.

Good on Simmons for blocking out the noise, being honest and forthright about how much he still values his past relationship with his former team and city. Unfortunately for Simmons, don't expect Sixers fans to acknowledge his fond memories of Philly when he and the Nets visit Wells Fargo Center in 2023-24.