The long-awaited return of Ben Simmons to Philadelphia did not disappoint.
Simmons showed his face publicly in Philly for the first since he was traded to the Nets for James Harden, a huge moment for Sixers fans after Simmons' months-long holdout in pursuit of a trade.
Things started early Thursday when Simmons was greeted by fans at his hotel after the Nets' morning shootaround:
With that as the first interaction of the day, it was pretty clear we were getting an insane evening.
Then came Simmons' departure for the game from the Four Seasons hotel in Center City, which was way louder and way more angry:
Jeez, that is a SCENE.
I didn't expect to see Simmons until around tip-off but the former Sixers star decided to come out with his teammates for shootaround, a gutsy choice from the 25-year-old... though he of course didn't take any jump shots:
The first thing Simmons chose to do other than pass to Patty Mills and dribble aimlessly was a slow, half-effort dunk that was promptly jeered by Sixers fans in attendance:
So yeah, this is bonkers and the game hasn't even started yet.
When both teams came out for the start of the game, you'll never guess what greeted Simmons:
Oh, did you guess more boos? Alright, you win.
Keep checking back for more as the night unfolds.