NBA News: LeBron James doesn't mind being compared to Australian Ben Simmons

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LeBron James in high school
St. Vincent-St Mary (Akron) basketball phenomenon LeBron James (23) fights pressure from Kettering Alter High School's (L-R) Doug Penno, Adam Gill and Zach Freshwater, during the first quarter of play at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio, February 16, 2003. Reuters/John Sommers II

Australian Ben Simmons is being compared to superstar LeBron James at this stage of his basketball career and the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise player is fine with the comparisons. 

"I don't mind it. Someone's going to be compared to someone all the time, and I don't mind him being compared to me. People not only recognizing what he does on the floor, but he's a great kid, too. He has a great family, great support system, and that's why he's able to do what he [does] on the floor,” James said via ESPN.

Simmons, who is considered one of the top prospects for the 2016 NBA Draft, is listed at 6-foot-10 but despite his tall frame, the 19-year-old Aussie is a versatile player that can bring down the ball and play like a guard— traits that are similar to James’ during his amateur and professional career.

Simmons currently plays for the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers in the US NCAA but is from Melbourne, Victoria where he attended and played basketball in his high school.

Similar to James, Simmons was already highly touted out of high school. The Australian NBA prospect was named the National Player of the Year and the Naismith Prep Player of the Year in 2015.

Simmons admitted that he takes “little parts” of James’ style and incorporates it to his game. With the LSU Tigers, Simmons, like James in his high school years, has already shown his dominance of the amateur scene and perhaps that he’s already at a level above his peers.

In the 2015-2016 NCAA Season, Simmons has averaged 19.9 points, 14.9 rebounds and 6.0 assists in 7 games played. The highlights of the year include a 21-point and 20-rebound effort against Marquette; and a 43-point explosion against North Florida in LSU’s most recent game.

From most mock drafts, Simmons is projected to be the number one overall draft in the next NBA Draft, which will make him the second Australian, next to Andrew Bogut in 2005, to be selected as the top pick in the NBA.

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