Appearing on the latest episode of the Takeoff with John Clark podcast, Danny Green spoke about the treatment of Ben Simmons by 76ers fans.
It’s no secret that Simmons is Public Enemy No. 1 to some Sixers fans for his hesitancy to shoot along with his poor performance at the free-throw line in the postseason. Green was asked whether the often boisterous and critical Wells Fargo Center crowd can have an effect on someone like Simmons.
“For sure. It has an effect on everybody,” Green said to Clark, “and I think that’s something that needs to change in this city. I love our fans, but when things aren’t going well, they can’t turn on you. That’s the one thing I would disagree with or dislike.
“Some guys us it as motivation. Some guys have a chip on their shoulder. But I think that needs to change. They need to be riding with us, regardless of how things are going.”
Green added that the Sixers got booed even when they, as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed, played well. He said he realizes that is the culture of Philly fans, and it’s how many of them show their love and encouragement.
“But, with a guy like Ben and other guys, I think [fans] need to stick behind them, and stick by them as long as they can, until the horn blows,” Green said. “And even then, he’s here. He’s given so much to the organization and the city, on and off the court, that he deserves that respect and that support.
“I hope that things turn for him and the city of Philly, so where they don’t have that mantra as fans of being cold, rough, and one of the worst in the league, because we had a great time this year. We had a great outing.”
Warranted or not, Simmons has received much of the blame for the team’s failure to get out of the second round of the playoffs.
He shot just 25-for-73 (34.2%) from the foul line, marking the worst postseason free-throw shooting in NBA history. Simmons also took only three shots in 56 fourth-quarter minutes during the seven-game conference semifinal series with the Hawks. None of the fourth-quarter shots came in the final four games.
Simmons even passed up an open dunk with the Sixers down, 88-86, with 3 minutes, 29 seconds left in Game 7 of the semifinal series. Upset fans burned his jersey following that game. Now his work ethic has also come into question, and he’s expected to traded.