Head coach Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers compared teen basketball player Ben Simmons to two NBA legends: LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
Brown was reportedly assistant coach to Lindsay Gaze of the Melbourne Tigers when Simmons’ father Dave was considered a star player for the NBL team. Brown did not expound on how the 76ers will make use of their first pick in June’s NBA Draft.
Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram of Duke University are reportedly the top two candidates for the Philadelphia 76ers, ABC News reported. Brown obviously is rooting for Simmons, who at 19 years old, is 208 cm tall. The coach told Fox Sports that the young player has similarities to LeBron James and Magic Johnson.
“One moment you think he is a four (power forward), maybe he is a three (small forward). He looks comfortable handling the ball.
“When you say ‘What is his identifiable elite NBA skill?’ most people will go immediately to passing.
“When you take that collection of comments and you add it into a 6 ft 10 in frame, the comparison to those two players could be a little reckless and ambitious, but there is no denying he really does come to the draft with a very unique skill package.”
Brown, born in the US, was also the coach of the Australian Olympic team in London. The 76ers coach is said to have known Simmons since he was still a baby.
Brown was not worried about the negative evaluation on Simmons’ shooting given by some scouts.
Brown defended Simmons by saying that he is much aware of the young player’s condition. He also pointed out that other players such as James and Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs successfully worked on their shots after joining the NBA.
Brown added that Ben Simmons’ form is “not one that you have to blow up and start over”.
The 76ers landed the top pick of the upcoming NBA Draft in June 23, with LA Lakers earning second and the Boston Celtics third.