LeBron James has heard the chatter. Ever since Australian product Ben Simmons starting sending shockwaves through the college basketball fraternity, the LSU freshman has been hailed as the “next LeBron James.”
And LeBron is totally okay with the comparison. “I don’t mind it,” James said Friday night prior to the Cavaliers-Pelicans game. Simmons was in attendance, seated behind the Cavaliers bench. “Someone’s going to be compared to someone all the time and I don’t mind him being compared to me. People not only recognizing what he does on the floor, but he’s a great kid, too. He has a great family, great support system, and that’s why he’s able to do what he (does) on the floor.”
LeBron James Playing Mentor
LeBron James revealed that his relationship with the 6-foot-10 Australian Forward dates back to long before college. “I’ve watched him a lot but I’ve watched him way before he showed up at Baton Rouge,” said the 4-time MVP. “I’ve been on him for probably three or four years now and he’s an unbelievable talent.”
Simmons recent told Yahoo Sports of the influence LeBron has had on his young career. “I just get a lot of advice from him. He’s like a big brother to me.”
Simmons, already considered a lock to go number 1 overall in next year’s NBA draft, had 43 points, 17 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and 3 blocks against North Florida last week. But those eye-popping numbers don’t surprise LeBron. “Nah, I’m not surprised. He’s a talented guy. The coach (Johnny Jones) at the University allows him to showcase his talent, and that’s what he’s capable of doing.”
If Simmons is really the next LeBron James, one of the bottom most teams in the NBA could enjoy a change in fortunes next season.