And then the game started.
The Nets had a 40-point first quarter and took a 21-point lead into halftime. The game was never close. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving seemed unstoppable and Seth Curry scored a season-high 24-points against his former team and current father-in-law. Ben Simmons enjoyed it all from the bench in a $1,370 Luis Vuitton sweater.
After the game Kevin Durant dropped a particularly cold Kevin Durant line about the crowd being silenced.
It's that simple. Beat the Sixers and beat them soundly and Ben Simmons will not have to contend with a hostile environment. Now comes the hard part.
Simmons has faced his fear of Philadelphia and his new friends made sure it was a pleasurable experience. Now he's going to have to play basketball. He's going to have to shoot the basketball in front of thousands of people. Maybe in Philadelphia. Either way, it should be an adventure. But for now, he can enjoy the silence.