As much as people chant, Ben Simmons is still a rookie.
The Celtics fans had a lot to cheer about Monday night as Boston took care of business in a big way in Game 1 of its second-round series against the 76ers with a 117-101 win.
While there was Terry Rozier’s 29 points and seven-for-nine performance from three combined with Jayson Tatum’s 28 points Al Horford’s 26, the folks at Boston Garden wanted to focus a bit more on Ben Simmons’ status as a rookie as the Celtics started to pull away in the second half.
When Simmons went to the line late in the third quarter, the Boston faithful began chanting, “not a rookie,” in reference to Simmons being on Philadelphia’s roster last season after being picked first in the 2016 draft, but not playing all season, thus retaining his rookie status in the eyes of the NBA.
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who has also poked fun at whether or not Simmons should be classified as a rookie seemed to enjoy what was happening in Boston.
When Tatum, the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft, went to the line a bit later, Boston put a slight spin on the chant used for Simmons.
As much as people want to dispute Simmons’ status, the league has decided long ago how he will be classified, but as long as Philly struggles the way it did in Game 1, Simmons better get used to hearing about how he is not a rookie in the eyes of some.