Nets and Sixers’ Heated Rivalry Is About Much More Than Ben Simmons | Bleacher Report

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

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James Harden Debut: Sixers Twitter Goes Nuclear, Joel Embiid Rips Ben Simmons


James Harden wowed in his Sixers debut alongside Joel Embiid on February 25, 2022 in Minnesota.

It didn’t take long for James Harden to make his presence felt. Early in his Philadelphia 76ers’ debut, The Beard dribbled down the baseline and pulled out a beautiful cross-over en route to an easy and-one opportunity. He swished the free throw to put the Sixers up 10-6 with 8:43 showing in the first quarter.

Harden was sensational in his first game, showcasing his patented step-back three on multiple occasions while wowing with several no-look Houdini passes. He fired a strike down the court to a streaking Tyrese Maxey for a speedy lay-in. He played solid defense. He fought for rebounds. He was everything as advertised and more. Harden finished with 27 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds.

After the game, Sixers Twitter boiled over in excitement … to the point of nuclear

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Sixers’ Joel Embiid talks viral Ben Simmons tweet on ESPN’s SportsCenter

Joel Embiid is still claiming he had no idea what his infamous Ben Simmons reaction tweet meant.

Speaking on SportsCenter early Thursday, Embiid tried to convince ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt that he didn’t know what the image in the viral tweet — which featured a well-dressed man in sunglasses quietly posing for a photo — meant.

“I just say, you know, a nice man in a nice suit with glasses on,” Embiid said, attempting to hold back a large smile. “I just thought it was a great picture.”

Embiid’s description of the image isn’t wrong, but he’s leaving out why it became a meme. It was originally posted in 2015 by music producer Big Fendi, who took a picture of himself at his greatest hater’s funeral to make sure he was dead. The meme has become a way for people to react online when something happens to

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Ben Simmons Reveals What Went Wrong With The Sixers

A closeup of Ben Simmons.

A closeup of Ben Simmons.

Addressing the media for the first time since his arrival in Brooklyn, Ben Simmons opened up about the end of his time with the 76ers, and what went wrong.

“It was just piled up,” Simmons explained. “A bunch of things [that’ve gone on] over the years, to where I just knew I wasn’t myself. And I needed to get back into that place of, you know, being myself … being happy as a person.”

“It wasn’t about the basketball, it wasn’t about the money, anything like that …” Simmons continued. “I want to be who I am. And get back to playing basketball at that level …”

When asked about what was going through his mind after his last game played with the Sixers, the three-time All-Star responded, “[That] I need to get in a good place, mentally.”

Simmons was acquired by the Nets

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