Newly inducted Basketball Hall of Hamer Shaquille O’Neal sparked some discussion in the NBA community with his recent remarks about Ben Simmons. He called Ben Simmons a “LeBron-type player.” He followed that up by saying, “What I mean by that, LeBron does a nice job of making everybody else around him better—passing the ball, doing the small things—and Ben is that type of player.”
Since Ben Simmons was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers this past summer, hell, since he was in college, he was catching LeBron James comparisons. There’s no argument that their play styles are very similar. They’re both spectacular passers and set up their teammates very well. Both players define what a “point forward” is, a big man that can handle the ball like a point guard.
Ben Simmons still has some work to do on his jumper, but LeBron was never a fantastic shooter either.
Now obviously comparing Ben Simmons to LeBron James at such a young age is ludicrous. Ben Simmons hasn’t made his NBA debut yet and is already getting comparisons to the four-time MVP. Simmons is good, don’t get me wrong, and has the ability and potential to be great, but putting this comparison on his shoulders, I believe, is overwhelming.
Ben Simmons and LeBron James keep in touch quite often. They both have the same agent, Rich Paul, and have been seen working out together.
Only time will tell if Ben Simmons will turn out to be as good as people say he will be. For now, he should focus on his own game and not get caught up in comparisons. Simmons needs to be himself to succeed. He needs to be Ben Simmons, not LeBron James.