Celtics’ Brad Stevens enjoyed the hostile mock noise of the Sixers crowd “It made Philly sound a little bit more”
There were no real fans at the Wells Fargo Center for the Celtics-Sixers preseason games. With COVID-19 cases increasing across the country, empty buildings and crowd noise are the norm in the NBA at least until vaccinations are widespread.
But Celtics coach Brad Stevens said even the noise of the Fauxledelphia crowd had the city’s distinct mark of brotherly love. He noticed it right away on Tuesday.
“I like Philly, when they announced our starting XI they sang ‘You suck’,” Stevens said after his team lost 108-99 in their first preseason game. I missed all those people behind me who wished me “happy holidays” in their own way.
The holiday spirit among Philadelphia sports fans is legendary. Fans of the city teams are proudly hard on the visitors and harder on the home team. This notoriety is given special attention this time of year, as Eagles fans once booed and threw snowballs at santa claus just across the street from the Wells Fargo parking lot at the since destroyed Veterans Stadium.
Stevens said playing in front of an empty building was noticeably different at Wells Fargo Arena than it had been over the summer in the NBA playoff bubble in the Walt Disney World bubble that had the wall. screens.
The Sixers placed covers with team logos on entire sections of lower tier seats and kept the upper tiers dark.
“It was great playing in front of no fans and getting used to what it’s like in the big arenas,” Stevens said. “It’s a very different feeling than it was in the bubble where you’re in a much smaller room.”
The Celtics will play their last preseason game in front of their own empty building on Friday night.