The Sixers don't lose very often at home. They’re 23-2 at Wells Fargo Center after Friday night’s 117-109 win over the Grizzlies.
Sixers fans also watch the road games, though, and many haven’t been thrilled with the results. There were noticeable boos when Brett Brown was introduced as the team’s head coach before the game.
Al Horford heard some boos during the game, too, and twice made a shushing gesture after knocking down three-point shots, which he later said might become his new “celebration” (see story).
“It’s really the first I’ve heard of it, and no, it doesn’t surprise me,” Brown said of the boos. “It’s part of the passion of this city that makes it unique and you move on. And I mean that with all my heart.”
Brown has been with the Sixers for six-plus seasons, and he understands that Philly fans tend to demand effort and results. His team has a dramatic home/road disparity, with a 9-19 away record.
“It sure seems to help,” Brown said. “We do love playing at home. You’ve always got great memories coming back here — you’re used to winning at home. We love playing in front of our crowd. You feel a responsibility to perform in front of them.”
Joel Embiid reacted to the boos in his own way.
Embiid liked a tweet from The Painted Lines’ Jason Blevins, who thought that Embiid had been booed before the game.
It is what it is, ultimately — a liked tweet.
The Sixers’ All-Star center left the game after the first half because of neck tightness and did not return. He was effective in his 16 minutes, posting 10 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
For what it’s worth, Embiid commented at length about Sixers fans’ booing following the team’s Game 1 loss last season in the first round of the playoffs vs. the Nets. A frustrated Ben Simmons had said, “If you’re going to boo, then stay on that side.”
"It’s tough. … I love the fans and I never say anything about them,” Embiid said at the time. “They show us love. It’s understandable. They come in, they pay a lot of money, they want the game to be entertaining. They want to watch us win, so I understand why they boo.
"But the fact that it’s after every single miss, when shots aren’t going to fall. … For some guys it’s annoying. It can be annoying. It’s like every missed shot you get booed, so you get the next one and it’s kind of like, ‘Should I shoot it or should I not, because I’m about to get booed?’ I don’t know. Some guys are like that. It’s hard. I think we all got to do a better job. Us, the fans — but I don’t blame them. We've got to bring the fun and got to play sharp."
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