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Pelicans fans troll 76ers with Ben Simmons chants, Philly gets last laugh

New Orleans Pelicans fans did their best to troll the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday during the team’s 2021-22 home opener at the Smoothie King Arena.

With 3:05 remaining in the first half and the 76ers up six points, Pelicans fans began the “Where’s Ben Simmons?” chant.

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Simmons’ status with the team has been in the spotlight since his abrupt return to the organization last week. The star point guard spent the season away from the team and reportedly requested a trade after last season’s debacle in the playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team's facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. 

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons takes part in a practice at the NBA basketball team’s facility, Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, in Camden, N.J. 
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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The team suspended Simmons from the Pelicans game for conduct detrimental to the team on Tuesday. He reportedly refused to play as a full participant during Tuesday’s practice, so head coach Doc Rivers kicked him out and suspended him.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers appeals to officials during a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The 76ers won 117-97.

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers appeals to officials during a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The 76ers won 117-97.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

“Every day, every single moment, I’m going to give Ben a chance to join the team and be part of the team,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s under contract to be part of the team and that’s not going to change. Sometimes it happens quick and guys join back in. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been in both situations and I’m fine with that.”

The ever-evolving situation between Simmons and the 76ers became a focal point for Pelicans fans.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz celebrates his 3-pointer with guard Matisse Thybulle (22) and forward Georges Niang (20) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The 76ers won 117-97.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Furkan Korkmaz celebrates his 3-pointer with guard Matisse Thybulle (22) and forward Georges Niang (20) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The 76ers won 117-97.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Philadelphia would get the last laugh, defeating New Orleans 117-97. Joel Embiid had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Furkan Korkmaz hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to also score 22 points.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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