Dwight Howard, a new member of the Philadelphia 76ers, says star point-forward Ben Simmons reminds him of a young LeBron James.
Howard knows James perhaps better than any other player in the league having spent one season as his teammate and 15 years as a competitor.
In 2009, Howard led the Orlando Magic to an Eastern Conference Finals victory over James’ Cleveland Cavaliers; just one of seven times James hasn’t made the NBA Finals.
Now, Howard says that there’s a player who reminds him of James: 24 year old Ben Simmons.
“It’s a very real comparison,” Howard said Wednesday via Yahoo Sports.
“I’ve been saying for a couple years that Ben Simmons is a young LeBron who’s developing an overall game. I love the way he plays, I love how unselfish he is and how mean he can be, too, on the other teams. And that’s important.”
Howard also said he was sold on playing in Philadelphia by coach Doc Rivers, GM Elton Brand and former teammate Rajon Rondo.
“I said, ‘This is where I need to be right now. This is where my journey has called me, to Philly.’ And I was super happy that Doc called me, gave me the opportunity. I told him yes, I told him I would come. I talked to Rondo. Rondo was probably a big contributor, just talking to him and the relationship he had with Doc. So I would say Doc and also (general manager) Elton Brand.”
Howard will have an opportunity to contribute day one to the 76ers as a backup for star center Joel Embiid.