Ben Simmons gets booed in return to Philly, Ja Morant returns to action in style and more

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Maligned Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons made his much-anticipated return to Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Simmons’ reception from the Philadelphia 76ers fans was just as hostile as anticipated.

In other news, Memphis Grizzlies All-Star point guard Ja Morant made his surprise return from injury against the Sacramento Kings. This comes after Morant was previously expected to miss up to the next few weeks of action.

On that note, here are the latest news stories from around the NBA as of Nov. 23, 2022.

Ben Simmons gets booed in return to Philadelphia

Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons.
Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons.

Ben Simmons received a very hostile reception in his first game back in Philly since he was traded to Brooklyn in February. Simmons was booed beginning in the warmups. The boos continued as he brought the ball up the court for the Nets to open the game.

Ben Simmons gets introduced in the Nets starting lineup 👀Brooklyn-Philadelphia NOW on #NBAonTNT https://t.co/q4FzlOgSRM

Simmons finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and three blocks as Brooklyn lost 115-106 to an extremely shorthanded Sixers team. The Sixers were without stars Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey.

Following the loss, Nets coach Jacque Vaughn spoke about the crowd’s hostility towards Simmons.

“This is a Vince Vaughn earmuffs night.”

Simmons said before the game that he wasn’t worried about Philly fans’ feelings:

“I can’t worry about everyone’s feelings.”

Simmons’ last game in Philadelphia was on June 20, 2021. That was the Sixers’ Game 7 loss to Atlanta in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Simmons infamously passed up a wide-open game-tying dunk late in the game. After the incident, his relationship with the team deteriorated. This, combined with Simmons’ mental health struggles, later led to him requesting a trade out of Philadelphia.

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Following the loss, Simmons said he was now in a good place:

“I feel like I’m in a good place. I’m happy. I do what I love. To be out there and having that experience was amazing.”

As for the game, the Sixers had five players score 16 or more with forward Tobias Harris leading the way with 24 points. Meanwhile, Brooklyn was led by All-Star guard Kyrie Irving with 23 points. Following the loss, Brooklyn is now 8-10 and 10th in the Eastern Conference, while Philly is now 9-8 and seventh in the East.

For more on Ben Simmons’ return to Philadelphia, click here.

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Also read: Ben Simmons on catching up to his old form again: “But then my body’s trying to catch up”

Ja Morant returns to Grizzlies after missing just one game

Memphis Grizzlies All-Star point guard Ja Morant.
Memphis Grizzlies All-Star point guard Ja Morant.

Ja Morant made a surprise return to the Grizzlies’ lineup on Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings. Morant was previously ruled out with a Grade 1 left ankle sprain and was considered week-to-week. However, he only ended up missing one game due to injury.

When asked about his speedy recovery before the game, Morant joked that he is not human.

“A cyborg. I’m just a unique dude, man. I don’t think I’m human. I got to do some lab testing or something to see what is really behind it. The league is doing the same. I have a drug test right after this.”

I asked Ja Morant if he heals like an alien. His response: “A cyborg. I’m just a unique dude, man. I don’t think I’m human. I got to do some lab testing or something to see what is really behind it. The league is doing the same. I have a drug test right after this.”

On his return, Morant finished with a game-high 34 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. However, Memphis fell 113-109 to a red-hot Kings team led by star guard De’Aaron Fox with 32 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals.

Following the loss, Memphis dropped to 10-8 and ninth in the Western Conference, while Sacramento improved to 10-6 and third in the West. The win marked the Kings’ seventh straight.

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NBA executive wants to see a reunion between Knicks and Carmelo Anthony

Ten-time NBA All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.
Ten-time NBA All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

According to an anonymous NBA executive, the New York Knicks should reunite with veteran free agent forward Carmelo Anthony. The executive explained to Heavy.com that it would make for a fitting ending to the 10-time All-Star’s career.

“Why not just sign Melo already?” the executive said. “If they make a trade and they wind up with a roster spot, they’ve got to do that. They need a good story. He needs a good ending. Make it happen, right?”

The Knicks are stuck in the middle with a 9-9 record good enough for ninth in the Eastern Conference. Overall, they haven’t given fans much to be excited about. Plus, the team lacks reliable wing depth.

Meanwhile, Anthony is coming off a productive season for the LA Lakers. Anthony averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.7 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers per game over 69 games. He also shot 44.1%, including 37.5% from the 3-point range.

So all things considered, it probably wouldn’t hurt for the Knicks to consider a reunion with Anthony.

Jazz sharpshooter Malik Beasley could be available through trade

Utah Jazz shooting guard Malik Beasley.
Utah Jazz shooting guard Malik Beasley.

The Utah Jazz are the surprise team of the season, sitting second in the Western Conference at 12-7. Still, there are some rumblings that the Jazz could be looking to make some sell-high roster moves.

HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto has reported that Utah could soon trade sharpshooting sixth-man guard Malik Beasley. Scotto wrote:

“Amid Utah’s surprising start to the season, Malik Beasley has led the NBA’s top-scoring bench unit in scoring while shooting a career-best 43.0% from beyond the arc and 61.4% true shooting percentage. With a $15.56 million salary this season and a team option for $16.52 next season, Beasley’s contract makes him a potential trade chip for Utah.”

Following the Jazz’s Monday night loss to the LA Clippers, Malik Beasley is averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 3.2 3-pointers per game through 19 games.

Beasley is shooting 41.4% from beyond the arc and 93.8% at the line. He also ranks third in the NBA in total 3-pointers made at 60. So NBA executives will likely be anxiously waiting to see if Utah opts to move him at some point this season.

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NBA fan removed from game after shouting racist remarks at Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson.
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson.

In other Utah Jazz-related news, a Portland Trail Blazers fan was reportedly kicked out of the Jazz’s 118-113 win over Portland on Saturday. This came after he made racist comments toward Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson. According to Deseret News reporter Sarah Todd, the fan had also been “flipping the (Jazz) players off for a long while.”

A Blazers fan was escorted out of the arena tonight. The fan, according to those who heard the exchanges, was directing racist comments toward Jordan Clarkson and then also flipped the players off for a long while. Sexton pointed the fan out to team security.

The fans’ removal occurred during a timeout in the second quarter. The fan shouting racist remarks was one of two fans removed from the game, according to the Associated Press.

Jordan Clarkson is a Black and Filipino American. Clarkson is one of only two Filipino NBA players, with the other being Houston Rockets sophomore guard Jalen Green.

According to Salt Lake Tribune reporter Eric Walden, Clarkson refused to comment on the incident.

A Trail Blazers fan was ejected from the game tonight after reportedly directing racist comments and obscene gestures at Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson. Jazz guard Collin Sexton pointed out the fan to team security, and the fan was removed. Clarkson declined to comment on the record.

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