LeBron James is consideered one of the greatest basketball players of All-Time, and certainly the greatest of this recent generation.
His tenure is unmatched in terms of accomplishments and feats. Having a career like that would be the epitome of a dream for any young baller out there. For one of those youthful talents, though, LeBron James himself gave him the ultimate praise, and that guy was Ben Simmons, 76ers forward, and head candidate for rookie of the year honors.
Per Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated, Simmons revealed what LeBron said to him at the LeBron James Skills Academy four years ago: “You have an opportunity to be better than me. But you can’t skip steps. You have to do the work.”
If the quote seems vague and underwhelming, that’s because it probably is. But how many times does an undisputed legend of James’ stature go around saying things like that — especially to a guy as young as Simmons, who was still in High School at the time.
No doubt, a career that surpasses LeBron’s would be absolutely astounding for Simmons. Averaging about 18.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists so far this season, the 76ers rookie is certainly starting off on the right foot. The only concern now is if he can stay healthy to even give himself a chance.