The other rookies might not consider him as the promising new guy, but it seems that one Hall of Famer sees Ben Simmons otherwise. Shaquille O’ Neal has a few good things to say about the new Philadelphia 76er and the first rookie to be drafted into the NBA 2016. O’Neal even compares the rookie’s skills and style to one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.
O’Neal paid Simmons a compliment in an interview last week before he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Naismith Memorial Basketball. “I don’t know who they all are [the next rookies], but Ben Simmons is my guy and I know he’s going to play good,” the legendary center and commentator of ‘Inside the NBA’ said to that effect.
Shaq O’Neal recognizes the rookie’s multi-dimensional talent. Simmons’ scoring, ball handling, and rebounding dexterity are what set the 6-foot-10-point forward apart. Although he played only one college season, it was sufficient time for Shaq to compare the NBA rookie to one of the league’s most talented athletes.
Shaq says Ben Simmons is a Lebron-type of player. By this he means that the rookie does a good job of passing the ball and doing the minor tasks. In effect, he makes every other team player around him to perform better, just like James Lebron.
Simmons has the unusual vision that enables him to make amazing passes look normal when shifting and in the offensive. He’s got the stone-faced expression that makes it look like he is totally in control of everybody on all offensive possessions. It seems almost certain that he is going to make a LeBron-like impact.
On the other hand, Simmons seemed quite unmoved by any comparison or alias. All those compliments about being the next LeBron might be a lot for this rookie to live up to as well.