After winning an NBA ring with the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard made the move to Philadelphia and the defensive specialist seemed convinced the chance is high that he can win another title with the Sixers. The big man thinks having a teammate like Ben Simmons makes a big difference.
According to the former Lakers star, the Sixers have something going for them already with the tandem of Simmons and Joel Embiid. Howard said the two pouring their best next season and the rest of the Philly roster staying focus on the goal will bring them closer to the championship.
Specifically, the center has most of his praises reserved for Simmons. The Sixers guard is one of the best in his class and Howard said the team has, in fact, a LeBron James in Simmons.
"'I've been saying for a couple years Ben Simmons is a young LeBron ... He has an opportunity to be one of the greatest to ever play the game," Howard said, and per the story by Bleacher Report.
The one quality that stands out about Simmons is his willingness to play for the team. The 24-year-old enters the court not to make sure he shines but for the Sixers to win.
Howard said it's hard not to love having Simmons around. Any player can readily appreciate the star's unselfishness and the big man stressed he certainly loves that character of Simmons.
The Australian-native indeed is the Sixers' shining star. After only three seasons in the city of love, Simmons has proven that his presence makes for a winning combination with Embiid, and the two are the cornerstones of the franchise, according to Fadeaway World.
Simmons averaged 16.4 points per game on 58% shooting accuracy as of last season. His overall performance was boosted by nearly eight rebounds and the same number of assists in every outing, and the stats were enough to merit two All-Star appearances.
However, the likelihood of Simmons reaching the level of James will require more hard work from the guard and perhaps a bit more luck. If he can play with greater consistency and injuries will derail his career path, then playing like James could be a reachable reality for him.
As for Howard coming in a Sixers role that is the dominion of Embiid, the ex-Laker said he is fully aware of his place. He is out to support the Cameroonian and not take his job. Howard said he is up to mentoring as well if Embiid is willing.
"I just want to be the best I can for him, just showing him some of the things I've learned over the years," said the big man.
Already, Embiid is one the best big defenders in the league but it would not hurt picking up a lesson or two from Howard, whose eight All-Star stints in the past are surely not for bragging rights only.