Speaking on ESPN’s Sports Center on Friday, Stephen A. Smith made an interesting comparison between Lakers superstar LeBron James and the 2018 Rookie of The Year, Ben Simmons.
“It’s very simple,” Smith said. “If Ben Simmons ever develops any kind of jumpshot whatsoever, he is LeBron James 2.0. Or part two — whatever way you want to put it. He’s the second coming. He is that lethal.”
Comparing anyone to LeBron James seems like a stretch — even more so when you consider that Simmons is still just 24-years-old. But Smith went on to explain the reasoning behind his belief, noting his multi-faceted game as well as his size.
“If you look at his all-around skillset, along with his size being 6′ 9″, 6′ 10″ with his ball-handling and his passing ability and basketball IQ and defensive prowess,” he added. “If Ben Simmons develops a jumpshot, he will be the second coming of LeBron James. If he does not, he’ll be Ben Simmons.”
This conversation was prompted on the topic of how Doc Rivers’ arrival will impact the 76ers and their star players. The one-time coach of the year winner is widely regarded as one of the best minds in the game.
If he can bring out the best in Simmons next season (especially in the shooting department), it could really change the game for the Sixers, as his lack of range has been a huge limitation to their offense.
For there to be real change, however, it will be up to Simmons to develop his jumper and show confidence shooting them throughout the course of the season. Apparently, according to Stephen A., that might just vault him into becoming the next LeBron James.