Danny Green had a strong first season with the Philadelphia 76ers, shooting 40.5 percent from three while providing solid perimeter defense as the Sixers went 49-23, earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
And while Green appeared to enjoy his time in Philly, he said on the Takeoff with John Clark podcast Thursday that he didn't always appreciate hearing the crowd boo the team and Ben Simmons in particular (h/t Adam Hermann of NBC Sports Philadelphia):
"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."
The Sixers massively underachieved in the postseason, losing in seven games to the young Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Simmons appeared to lose his confidence on offense, as he attempted only four fourth-quarter shots in the entire series.
Philly fans also grew frustrated with his 34.2 percent shooting from the free-throw stripe. Those struggles seemed to affect his overall level of aggression, as he gave up potential scoring opportunities to avoid being fouled and sent to the charity stripe.
Had Green stayed healthy in that series—he suffered a calf injury in Game 3 and did not play in the final four games—he might have helped the Sixers advance. But it's hard to blame the team's fans for being frustrated with how the season ended.
On the other hand, Philly fans are notoriously hard on the city's players. Green brings up a fair point in that not every player will react well to that level of scrutiny.
Perhaps a softer touch, on occasion, wouldn't kill Philly fans.