Dwight Howard's defense for teammate Ben Simons comes after Simmons' disappointing Game 7 performance.
Philadelphia 76ers fans are furious with the team's loss against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday-- and they're taking that anger out on point guard/power forward Ben Simmons. However, teammate Dwight Howard came to Simmons' defense during an Instagram livestream and criticized fans who were sending hate toward Simmons.
During the live, Howard plead with fans to "send that man some love" and respect the young Simmons who is only 24. Ben Simmons performance spurred negativity from commentators Shaq and Steven A. Smith who blasted him as "not playing right" and not belonging in Philadelphia anymore.
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"I don't think it's right that everybody just sending this man bad messages and all this negativity... we supposed to be the City of Brotherly Love and the best thing we can do is just send some positivity," Howard said calmly to his fans. According to Howard, Ben's career shouldn't be marred by an off-night-- "He might have messed up, didn't take no shots, didn't do whatever -- he's gonna come back better next year" - and added his own statements of support for his teammate: "You're my brother and I love you."
Simmons scored only five points in 36 minutes of playing time during Game 7 of the 76ers vs. Hawks playoff series. Though his defensive stats were par for the player (8 rebounds and 13 assists), fans have mocked the player for taking only four field goal attempts the entire game. Dwight Howard played only 7 minutes, though scored no points. The 76ers lost the game by only seven points, and their season has concluded.
Do you think Ben Simmons deserves the hate?
Check out the clip and some reactions to Game 7 below.