After a 132-130 win that went down to the wire and saw his Philadelphia 76ers surpass the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings Friday, Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons used his Instagram account to show respect to the man widely regarded as the NBA’s best player.
“Fresh Prince X King James,” Simmons wrote as a caption to a picture of he and LeBron James embracing after the 76ers pulled off the win. Both Simmons and James put up triple-doubles, as Simmons dropped 27 points, 13 assists, and 15 rebounds. While James took some heat for missing a potentially game-tying free throw, he led the Cavaliers with 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Off the court, James gave the all-important IG nod of approval to Simmons’ nickname for the matchup.
“Fresh Prince X King James,” LeBron commented, while dropping no less than eight flame emojis.
“Ah, he was awful,” James joked, when asked about Simmons’ performance during postgame comments obtained by ESPN. “Come on, man. You’re asking these questions. He was great, of course.”
Friday’s win moved the 76ers a half-game ahead of the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, as the Sixers and Cavs look to wrap up the regular season in the coming days.
The matching triple-doubles will likely add to the comparisons between James and Simmons, as both combine point guard ball handling and passing abilities with the size of a traditional power forwards. Both James and Simmons are also represented by Klutch Sports Group, which is owned by James’ friend and business partner Rich Paul.