There's a lot of anticipation surrounding Ben Simmons' return to his former stomping ground when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. It will be the first time Simmons will play in Philly since forcing his way out of the team last season, and it comes as no surprise that Sixers fans are eagerly anticipating his return.
Doc Rivers has now spoken out about his former star's homecoming, and the Sixers head coach got brutally honest in sharing his true feelings about the same:
“Our fans will be our fans anyway, so it’ll be that type of atmosphere,” Rivers said, via Noah Levick of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Ben’s playing great now, so we don’t want him to play great.”
There was a lot of talk surrounding Simmons' relationship with Rivers, particularly toward the latter part of his Sixers tenure. Many believe that Rivers' comments in the aftermath of Philly's playoffs exit in 2021 were one of the main reasons behind Ben's unwillingness to play for the Sixers. It seems like they've settled their differences already, though, and that's now all water under the bridge.
Be that as it may, Doc Rivers will do everything in his power to ensure that Simmons plays poorly against his Sixers. As he said, the former Rookie of the Year has been on quite a tear of late, and nothing would make Sixers fans happier than to see Ben Simmons crash and burn right in front of their eyes. Even Doc knows that the fans will be giving Simmons anything but a warm welcome.