Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Prior to the opening tip between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night, Ben Simmons was the lead story and the sole recipient of the raucous Philly crowd’s ire.
After it, Simmons was barely a footnote (and far from the only party showered with boos) in what’s quickly become the NBA‘s most heated rivalry.
The Nets beat the Sixers 129-100 with Simmons watching from the bench as his new team shredded his old one from start to finish. And before anyone jumps up to sarcastically observe that a blowout of this magnitude only counts as a rivalry in a hammer-and-nail sort of way, keep in mind that an embarrassing home beating like this is exactly the kind of thing that puts vengeance on the mind of the defeated.
The vitriol that defines this matchup originated in the trade that