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Ben Simmons was one of many Sixers stars who fans hoped to see take the court at the Palestra this season.

Credit: Zach Sheldon

One year later, but no issues this time around.

On Saturday, the Sixers hosted their annual Blue x White Scrimmage at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Del. The 76ers Fieldhouse is the new home of the 76ers G League affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats. 

“The intimate environment [of the Fieldhouse] continues our tradition of creating the perfect atmosphere to introduce the team to our incredible fans. By having this game at the home of the Blue Coats, it shows the important partnership we have with the G League program in Wilmington, Delaware,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said.

The Blue x White Scrimmage is the first chance for fans to see the 76ers in action before the 2019-2020 NBA season tips off. The annual event has become a staple to showing off the new-look 76ers every year. This year, all eyes were on point guard Ben Simmons to see if the rumors of the development of his jump shot over the offseason held any merit. During the game, however, Simmons did not attempt any outside shots.

The Blue team featured all five of the team's projected starters, while the White team featured much of the team's younger talent, including 2019 first rounder Matisse Thybulle. The game also gave fans their first glimpse at newly acquired stars Al Horford and Josh Richardson. 

Last year, the Blue x White scrimmage was scheduled to be held at the Palestra, but it was canceled due to on-court conditions that were deemed unplayable by the 76ers staff. The scrimmage was officially postponed to a later date just one hour before the doors were scheduled to open to the public. Later, the event was officially canceled. 

The reasoning at the time for postponing the scrimmage was due to "weather related issues having an impact on the arena." It was later reported that the humidity and moisture on the floor due to external weather conditions as well as air conditioning malfunctions led to unsafe playing conditions. 

“It was unfortunate that we were unable to host the Sixers Blue & White Scrimmage last fall. You may recall the weather on that particular day was unseasonably hot and humid for the time of year, and the conditions in the Palestra were not ideal for an event of that magnitude,” Mike Mahoney, Penn's director of athletic communications, wrote in a statement. “Since the NBA’s regular season was rapidly approaching, it simply wasn’t feasible to work out another date.”

This year, the 76ers chose not to give the Palestra another chance to host the event and decided to instead host at their own facility in Wilmington. University officials maintain that last year’s facilities issues did not have anything to do with the 76ers decision to switch locations this year. 

“Penn Athletics is in regular communication with the Sixers event staff regarding future partnerships, and there has been no indication that they were deterred by last year’s postponement,” Mahoney wrote. “Our understanding is they saw this year’s Blue & White Scrimmage as an opportunity to showcase their new facility in Wilmington and bring attention to their G League affiliate, which will call that new building home.”

When asked about potential future events with the 76ers, Penn maintained that there is still a healthy relationship between the school and the 76ers and that future engagements, although not currently scheduled, are not out of the picture. 

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