LeBron James is a once-in-a-generation type of player, but with him being in the latter half of his career it's popular to be on the lookout for the next great talent. His size and do-everything skill set is the exact type of player teams want to build around in today's NBA.
As everybody seeks out the next LeBron, a popular pick among fans is 76ers rookie Ben Simmons. The young wing has taken the league by storm with his ability to run an offense, attack off the dribble, and pull down boards. Sounds a lot like a young LeBron, doesn't it? They even share the same agent. James, however, doesn't want to hear it. Via ESPN:
"That's for you guys (in the media)," James said after shootaround Monday. "You guys do that comparison stuff. I think Ben is his own makeup of speed, power, quickness, competitive basketball and being able have a feel for the game. You know, Ben is Ben. And I am who I am. And so on and so on. So you guys kind of do that comparison stuff."
LeBron has never been a big fan of folks comparing his game to others. It can be exhausting constantly comparing players to each other instead of letting them grow into their own kind. However, with the legacy that James is leaving behind he's going to be getting more and more comparisons as time goes on. It's what happened to Michael Jordan after he retired and it will happen to James for years to come.
If you ask Simmons' teammate, J.J. Redick about the comparison, you'll get an interesting statement about James.
While addressing the Ben Simmons-LeBron James comparison, J.J. Redick slipped in this: "LeBron, I think, is the greatest player to ever play."— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) November 27, 2017
Who knows if Simmons is going to become a LeBron-caliber player or where his career will take him. However, if James is the greatest ever like Redick says and Simmons ends up being even half of what he is, then that's a pretty successful career no matter what type of player he ends up being.