Should the 76ers Be Worried About Ben Simmons’ Friendship With LeBron James?

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the teams many are picking to challenge the Golden State Warriors for the NBA crown in June. After a stunning breakout season in 2017, the Sixers are riding a wave of emotion, prestige, and tightness that cements what champions are about.

However, there may be a small crack in the foundation that if not carefully monitored could destroy what they have built over the years. To be blunt, someone has to keep an eye on Ben Simmons and LeBron James.

No, James did not make his way to Philly this offseason as many expected. Instead, he chose the Los Angeles Lakers over the Sixers despite his friendship with Simmons and the fact that him teaming with Ben and Joel Embiid would have given the Philadelphia 76ers the talent they needed to possibly knock off the Warriors and any other contender.

Now, with the Sixers having retooled their team with a few tweaks over the summer, they are ready to take the next step forward. But in order to do so, they need their star players on the same page and on the same team. This is where LeBron in Los Angeles may cause serious problems.

The Lakers are not ready to contend. I know with James onboard they are expected to win but they are nowhere near the elite status that the Warriors or Houston Rockets are, just yet. But that all could change as early as 2020. That’s a long ways away but this bond between Simmons and James is real. They share a mutual respect, the same agent and LeBron looks at Simmons as not only a little brother but he believes he could become the next LeBron. That’s something the Sixers should not take too lightly.

Just this year, Ben Simmons was involved in a relationship with Kendall Jenner and NBA fans know, these women are career enders. Luckily for the Sixers, the relationship has ended but the whispers in Simmons’ ear is just beginning. Even at the age of 33, LeBron is still considered the best player in the league. He’s never had a major injury and with his offseason training, he could easily go another five years strong.


Simmons will be a free agent in 2020 and by that time LeBron James will still be in Los Angeles with the Lakers now having built that team chemistry they so desperately need plus a strong possibility of adding Ben Simmons to their core. Yes, Simmons loves Philly but what happens if this all becomes too much for him? It’s only a matter of time before the media turns the Simmons and Joel Embiid paring into the next Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal fiasco. And who’s to say the Philadelphia 76ers will win?

The 76ers must be careful on how all this plays out. There could come a time where they will have to choose the franchise or a player’s name. Yes, Simmons, in his rookie season did wonders for the team but is he there for himself or the 76ers. Will he be the next Allen Iverson and give his all or will he be the next LeBron James and chase rings?

If LeBron is smart, he’s doing whatever he can while they are bonding by trying to persuade him to give Los Angeles a thought. There’s nothing wrong with that just like there was nothing wrong with Embiid and Simons trying to get James to come to Philly this offseason. This is what the NBA is all about now–Super Teams and friendships.

The Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid pairing is still in its ‘Honeymoon phase’ but in order for them to succeed, they must find a way to be the next great duo. The talent is there and only winning will curb the appetite that Simmons may have when it comes to leaving. I was born and raised in North Philadelphia and while it’s a great city it doesn’t have what New York or L.A. can offer.

If Simmons is all about ball then Philly is good. However, if it ever comes to a point where he wants to expand his brand, then what he and LeBron are doing this summer could be the stepping stone to that.

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