Jayson Tatum’s buzzer-beater helped the Celtics defeat the 76ers 110-107 on Saturday, but the victory wasn’t without some boos from Philadelphia fans.
Although NBA teams, especially the Celtics, are used to receiving taunts from the crowd, Boston guard Jaylen Brown said some fans went a little “excessive” with some “hostile” chants on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Brown, for instance, overheard spectators yelling that they hoped he would injure himself during the game.
“I started talking to one of the fans because it got a little bit excessive, where it got a little disrespectful and stuff like that,” Brown said, via NBC Sports Boston.
“Even before the game, we was entering the arena. It was people saying ‘I hope you tear your ACL.’ I understand people care and they love the team that they cheer for, but I think it gets a little excessive at times.”
"… it got a little disrespectful. Before the game, we were entering the arena there was people saying, 'I hope you tear your ACL.'"
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) February 26, 2023
It is sadly not shocking to hear Brown describe his Saturday encounter with some Sixers supporters. Sixers fans have a reputation for being the league’s harshest and most rude supporters during the previous several years. They don’t necessarily have the best reputation. As he shared his experience on Saturday, Brown reinforced that.
“The crowd was a little bit hostile,” Brown said. “In moments, there were people on the sides talking crazy etc, but we persevered. I started talking to one of the fans who got a little bit excessive where it got a little disrespectful,” Brown added.
Brown isn’t the only athlete to find themselves in this position with Sixers fans. Al Halford, a teammate who played with the Sixers for a single season, has also had his share of backlash and is still subject to it from the home fans.
With 26 points, four rebounds, and three assists in 37 minutes, Brown finished Saturday’s win. Now that they have faced the 76ers three times, the Celtics have won. With a 44-17 record, Boston has the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Brown’s experience is another reminder that it’s never acceptable for fans to act inappropriately, aside from the fact that this is a problem with Sixers fans.
Supporters have a right to be passionate about their team and players, but it is wrong to wish a terrible injury on the opposition. This hopefully calls for greater Sixers supporters in the future.