Former LSU star Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but missed his entire rookie season with an injury to his foot.
This offseason, though, he spent a lot of time working on his game, and is a key piece of the puzzle for the Philadelphia 76ers this year.
Teaming up with star center Joel Embiid and 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, Simmons will have a lot of expectations on his shoulders as the regular season wears on.
Fortunately for Philadelphia fans, Simmons spent the summer getting advice from Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. However, now that the games have started, Simmons told Philly.com that he's not going to talk about James anymore, as the Cavs are one of the Sixers' enemies now:
“That’s the enemy right now, until the season is done,” he said. “During the summer, he gave me a lot of advice. He’s a great person off the court.”
The 76ers may think of themselves as a much-improved team this year, but the results haven't been there so far, as they've started off 0-3 with losses to the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors.
In search of their first win on Monday night against the Detroit Pistons, Simmons and the Sixers still aren't on LeBron's level, so the Cavaliers likely don't share Simmons' "they're the enemy" sentiments.
However, things could certainly change by the time the two teams play each other for the first time this season on Monday, Nov. 27, in Philadelphia. For now, though, Philly has a long way to go to be considered a legitimate threat to the Cavs in the Eastern Conference.
A good start for the 76ers would be to make the playoffs this year, as they missed out last year with a disappointing record. However, should Simmons, Fultz and Embiid stay healthy this season, a playoff berth isn't out of the question.
From there, a potential rivalry with the Cavaliers is a possibility, but for now, Simmons should just be thankful for LeBron's advice and go from there.
The chance to learn from one of the best ever to play the game is something not many young players get, so Simmons would be wise to not burn that bridge.
Whatever happens moving forward, the Nov. 27 matchup between the two teams should be a good barometer of where the Sixers stand in the East.
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