Niang has hilarious Sixers fans vs. Jazz fans explanation


Before Georges Niang wound up in Philadelphia splashing threes and spawning a micro internet fan club (Niang Gang stand up), he spent four seasons in Utah with the Jazz, which is where he really established his career in the NBA.

Besides being separated by more than 2,000 miles, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia are... pretty different. One is a buttoned-up town tucked away amid sweeping mountainous vistas, and the other is Philadelphia.

And Niang says his interactions with the teams' respective fanbases have been extremely indicative of the gulf between the two places.

READ: Why Georges Niang might be the NBA's most self-deprecating player

Niang joined former Sixers sharpshooter JJ Redick's podcast this week to talk about his journey to the NBA, how he's carved out a spot in the league, and his career-best season (to this point) in Philly.

And when Redick and co-host Tommy Alter asked Niang about his experience with Sixers fans so far, he uncorked a hilarious story about one intimidating Sixers fan who left a mark:

"NIANG: When you hear the stories... I was a little anxious to start the season because there was a preseason game where I literally had a wide-open three, but it slipped in my hand and I pump-faked it and I turned the ball over. I was running down the court and some guy is standing up in an A.I. jersey and was like, 'Yo, shoot the f***ing ball. We didn't bring you here to pass the f***ing ball.' I was like, 'What?' Because I came from Utah where I know people have talked about fan experiences in Utah, but it would be like, 'Aw, it's alright, next time down!' Here it's like, 'Nah, be better.' I was like, 'Dang!' But it's been great. I was lucky I got off to a hot start, so I didn't have to deal with any ball-busting fans, 'You suck, why'd we bring you here?', so I'm extremely thankful for that.


"REDICK: Just wait 'til you hit that two-week stretch where you go 5-for-30.

"NIANG: [laughs]

"REDICK: Just you wait, buddy."

Yeah, Niang painting Jazz fans as polite-applause sports watchers and Sixers fans as raucous maniacs feels about right. Also, respect to that Sixers fan for being so aggressive during a preseason game. The grind never sleeps.

Niang had hinted at being intimidated by Sixers fans earlier in the year during a postgame interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, after his 21-point outing in a home win vs. the Blazers.

"I didn't want to let Philly fans down, to be honest with you," he said, laughing, at the time.

Now we have a good idea of why he wanted to keep the fans on his side.