Danny Green didn't hold back in his assessment of Philadelphia 76ers fans during an appearance on the "Takeoff with John Clark" podcast. Green, 34, told Sixers fans they needed to change and stand by their team, regardless of wins or losses.
"We're not zoo animals where you can throw things or be on our side when it's convenient," he said.
The comments stemmed from a question to Green, an impending free agent, about if the crowd in Philadelphia can have an impact on "someone like Ben [Simmons]." It was the veteran's first season in Philly.
"For sure. It has an effect on everybody, and I think that's something that needs to change in the city. I love our fans, but when things aren't going well, they can't turn on you. That's the one thing I would disagree with or dislike. Some guys use it as motivation, some guys have a chip on their shoulder, but I think that needs to change. They need to be riding with us, regardless of how things are going.
"We're the No. 1 team in the East, still playing well, and in some games they'll boo us — that's part of the culture here, part of their way of showing they love us — but with a guy like Ben, and other guys, I think they need to stick behind them and stick by them as long as they can, until the horn blows. And even then, he's here. He's given so much to the organization and the city, on and off the court, that he deserves that respect and that support.
Fans stuck by Simmons even through confidence and shooting issues in the 2021 playoffs and have largely been supportive of the point guard in his four years on the court in Philadelphia.
The Sixers held a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, their first since 2001, and had multiple chances to get by the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. But they were stunningly bounced in Game 7 of the series and Sixers fans have been understandably sulky ever since.
"Lot of frustration over the years, I understand it," Green said on the podcast, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. "We had a golden opportunity this year, and there will be plenty for years to come with the guys you have here. But just enjoy it, love them. [...] I love our fans, but I try to throw things out there to let them know, 'Protect us, encourage us, stand by us like we stand by you, regardless of wins and losses.' We are humans and people, too. We're not zoo animals where you can throw things or be on our side when it's convenient. I love the city of Philly, and I love the fans. It's been quite an experience for me for the one year I've been here."
Dwight Howard also went off on Sixers fans last month for their treatment of Simmons. Green explained what he thought might have played into the semifinals loss on the podcast, telling them he thought the team "skipped some steps" and "got too comfortable."
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