It’s been two and a half weeks since the Sixers were eliminated from the second round of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals by the 5th seeded Atlanta Hawks. In that time, some of the rawness of emotion may have gotten better, but on the other hand, some fans are ravenous for roster change. Ben Simmons name, in particular, has been a hot topic, with trade rumors swirling since the team’s elimination. Simmons shot just 15-45 from the free-throw line during the series, and at times, especially towards the end of the series, the home fans in attendance started to lose some patience.
Danny Green, whose presence was sorely missed after a calf strain ended his season, had some thoughts on the home fans for John Clark, on his podcast “Takeoff with John Clarke.”
“CLARK: Philly is a different place, I’m from here and Philly is rough. And I got a sense when [Ben Simmons] was at the free throw line, in the series that the arena had his back for a while, and then you got this groan or an uncomfotable feeling. Do you think the crowd, and Philly, can have an effect on somebody like Ben in those moments?
“GREEN: For sure. It has an effect on everybody, and I think that’s something that needs to change in the city. I love our fans, but when things aren’t going well, they can turn on you. That’s one thing that I would disagree with or dislike. Some guys use it as motivation, some guys have a chip on their shoulder, but I think that needs to change, somewhat. They need to be riding with us, regardless of how things are going.
“We’re the No. 1 team in the East, still playing well, and in some games they’ll boo us - that’s part of the culture here, part of their way of showing they love us - but with a guy like Ben, and other guys, I think they need to stick behind them and stick by them as long as they can, until the horn blows. 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...so I hope that worm turns for him and the city of Philly to where they don’t have that mantra as fans as being cold, rough, and one of the worst in the league...I hope that changes for him and I hope that changes for the city.”
You can listen to the full pod on the link above, it’s worth a listen because Green also talks about how much he loved the year and how much he loved the energy the team got from the fans throughout the regular season and how that uplifted them.
The Sixers would be lucky to retain the services of Green. If he is willing to stay in Philly, they can pay much more for him (given the league’s various bird rights) than they could an incoming free agent. If he were amenable to a sign-and-trade that could work out in the team’s favor as well. There were reports the team attempted to trade him in a larger deal for Toronto’s Kyle Lowry back in March, with Green perhaps being rerouted to Golden State. Losing the 3nD marksmen for nothing to another contender would really hurt, compared to both of the other scenarios.
But if he is back in the uniform next season, it could be a little bit awkward for some fans who might hate hearing these comments. In the span of 17 months, we’ve seen Al Horford shush his home town boo birds, we’ve seen Joel Embiid shush his home town boo birds, and now we’ve seen Danny Green perhaps more diplomatically shush Ben Simmons’ home town boo birds.
“It was just a great experience for me. Because of the ups and the downs I became a man in Philadelphia. Now, I don’t know, if I’d a went someplace else, to some cupcake city, and I did anything I wanted to do, and it was nothing, I don’t think I would be the man that I am now. So I’m glad…”