5 Reasons Why LSU Basketball's Ben Simmons Won't Be the Next LeBron James

By Dave Daniels

5 Reasons Why LSU Basketball's Ben Simmons Won't Be the Next LeBron James

Ben Simmons
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons is the best NBA prospect we've seen in college basketball since Kevin Durant was with the Texas Longhorns, but comparing him to LeBron James is premature. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one has to do with the expectations LeBron was dealing with. People forget that Sports Illustrated dubbed him "The Chosen One" in high school, and Simmons will struggle living up to that kind of hype.

5. LeBron James Was More Versatile

LeBron James Ohio State
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5. LeBron James Was More Versatile

LeBron James Ohio State
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LeBron played wide receiver in high school and was actually quite brilliant at it. He can be seen here attending an Ohio State Buckeyes game, and it is difficult to imagine Simmons excelling at multiple sports. His body was built mainly for basketball. That isn't a knock on him, but LeBron's mix of athletic skills have enabled James to take the league by storm in recent years.

4. James Had Better Athleticism

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat
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4. James Had Better Athleticism

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat
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Simmons can get up there. Don't get me wrong. But James had a truly unique blend of speed and jumping ability that couldn't be rivaled by anyone. LeBron was an effective NBA player and borderline superstar from the moment he stepped onto the court as a teenager, and that might be too much of a spotlight for Simmons right now. He is killing it with the LSU Tigers, but the SEC isn't exactly the NBA.

3. James Was And Is A Better Passer

Ben Simmons
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3. James Was And Is A Better Passer

Ben Simmons
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Simmons is a gifted passer, but we hadn't observed a man with LeBron's size have elite passing ability since Magic Johnson last graced the hardwood. We will have to watch if Simmons can drag his team into the NCAA tournament with a late season rally; however, it currently appears like he'll miss out on March Madness this year. That is a shame, because this is when most scouts get their best look at elite talent in pressure situations.

2. Simmons Hasn't Dealt With As Much Scrutiny

Ben Simmons LSU
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2. Simmons Hasn't Dealt With As Much Scrutiny

Ben Simmons LSU
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James had games in high school nationally televised once the world got wind of what a good player he was. Simmons didn't deal with nearly as much media attention, and so we don't quite know how he'll fare in that regard. LeBron took his hits when he was suspended from playing in a game for receiving gifts from a clothing store, but he ultimately grew from his mistakes.

1. Simmons Doesn't Have LeBron's Basketball IQ

Ben Simmons Dunk
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

1. Simmons Doesn't Have LeBron's Basketball IQ

Ben Simmons Dunk
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This is the bottom line: Simmons won't be the next LeBron. Ben was a proven commodity in high school, but he wasn't often facing opposing teams with Montverde Academy's level of size and talent. James was getting everybody's best shot throughout high school and as soon as he got into the league. The choice between these two is clear, but the fact that Simmons is even making people speculate about this shows you how talented he really is.

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