Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons reacts during a timeout against...

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons reacts during a timeout against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ben Simmons will rejoin the Nets on Thursday in Philadelphia and will be on the bench in street clothes when his new team plays his old team.

Think the fans in Philly are looking forward to that?

"Our fans are so silent," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. "So I can’t imagine anything happening."

Rivers knows what’s going to happen. Even though Simmons has yet to make his Nets debut because of a back injury, fans in the City of Brotherly Love are going to serenade the point guard with some non-loving words in the aftermath of the Simmons/James Harden trade.

Simmons wanted out of Philadelphia. He declined to play for the 76ers this season, citing his mental health.

Still, Rivers said he hopes the team honors Simmons with some sort of a video tribute.

"Ben did a lot of good things here," Rivers said. "It didn’t end well, right? Just like marriages and all kinds of other things that don’t end well. Ben did a lot of good things here. It’s funny. I don’t know if we are or not, but if we did, I’d have no issues with it."

Simmons has not been with the Nets on the first two stops of this trip in Boston and Charlotte. He doesn’t have to go to Philadelphia either, but coach Steve Nash said it’s a good sign that he is.

"It's great," Nash said. "He’s on our team. He needs to be with his teammates and get the whole Philly thing out of the way a little bit. I mean, maybe it never goes away, but the first time it's always nice to go deal with it . . . He’ll be fine. He’s a big boy and he’s excited to join our team and all that stuff. He wants to be there on the bench with his teammates."

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