Newly minted NBA Hall-Of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal thinks 2016 No. 1 overall pick rookie Ben Simmons is going to be really good.
So good in fact, that Shaq compared his game to all-world superstar LeBron James.
“He’s a LeBron-type player,” O’Neal told csnphilly.com of the 6-10, 240-pound Simmons. “What I mean by that, LeBron does a nice job of making everybody else around him better — passing the ball, doing the small things — and Ben is that type of player.”
It’s high praise for the 76ers’ rookie, who like Shaq, played his college ball at LSU.
The multi-talented Simmons can do it all, averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his only season at LSU.
However some have criticized the Australian native for not being more assertive at times with the Tigers, but O’Neal will hear none of it.
“He took a lot of flack, especially at LSU with not really taking over games,” O’Neal said. “But he’s young. He’ll get to that. When it comes to other aspects of the game, he’s very, very intelligent. He plays the game very well.”
The No. 1 recruit coming out of high school, Simmons averaged 27.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists at USA Today No. 1 Montverde Academy as a senior, leading the team to a 31-1 record and DICK’S championship.
Simmons also won the Naismith Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Morgan Wootten Award, MaxPreps Player of Year, and Gatorade Player of Year honors that year.
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