Ben Simmons – The Next LeBron James?
Is Australia's own Ben Simmons on his way to becoming the next LeBron James? We assess the rookie's first season stats.
Ben Simmons is a Melbourne born and bred natural athlete coming in at 6ft 10 and being regarded as the next LeBron James with his extremely unique talent - combining power forward size and strength, with point guard vision and passing skills.
Simmons is a proven winner in the eyes of NBA scouts, and can lead teams to success with a floor general capability. What’s more important is that we Australians have not seen a player like Simmons since well.. ever. And best of all, we can call him ours.
After being taken with the number 1 draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, many of their fan base were celebrating because they knew what Simmons could bring to the team. Especially a team that had lost 28 straight games - an NBA record. Unfortunately it would come at a cost, as Simmons broke his hand during his first pre-season and the 76ers would be without their future star for their entire 16/17 NBA campaign. A tough blow for the hard luck franchise.
But new year, new you - so enter the 17/18 NBA season, where Simmons would start for the 76ers in the summer league at a below than expected stat line, but would of course save his best for the regular season. As many NBA analysts say “the regular season separates the men from the boys” and Simmons has done exactly that, averaging 18 PPG, 8.2 APG and is shooting an outstanding .512% from the field.
These impressive first year stats remind me of someone who is now regarded as the best NBA player of all time – LeBron James.
You watch LeBron play and then you watch Simmons play and realise that they are two identical types of players. One has a lot more experience and accolades, while the other has a large potential rating to achieve the same, if not more than LeBron. We are aware that time will tell if Simmons adapts to the fast pace of the NBA in his first season, and can he turn the hungry 76ers franchise around, similar to what LeBron has done with the Cavs?
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