The 19-year-old Australian, who was taken No. 1 by the 76ers in last Thursday's NBA draft, is championing a new position, one that he hopes will help him dethrone King James.
DAN PATRICK:What position do you want to play?
BEN SIMMONS: Point forward, for sure. It's the best position for me and my style of play. I think I can get a lot done at point forward.
DP:Is that now an official position?
BS: I think it's turning into a new position, but it can't be listed.
DP:What number will you have with the Sixers?
BS: Twenty-five. That's the family number. My dad [Dave] wore it. My brothers and sisters wore it. I'm definitely keeping it in the family.
DP:Could you have played in the NBA right out of high school?
BS: I would have liked to have tried.
DP:Did going to LSU help you much?
BS: It helped me more on the mental level, playing through adversity and learning that not everything is going to be perfect.
DP:Why didn't you shoot more threes in college?
BS: It was more that we already had guys shooting threes, so I didn't need to shoot as many. I can definitely shoot the ball. I wanted to make sure we got the best out of each player.
DP:How did you guys not make the NCAA tournament?
BS: A lot of things went into that. Players were hurt. Chemistry was broken because guys were out. Having no fluid chemistry kind of messed it up. I definitely enjoyed my time there. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
DP:How do you answer critics who say you need to work on your shooting?
BS: I'm working on everything right now. By the time I get to the league, I'll be a much better player than I was the other day.
DP:When did you realize you were better than your father [an Australian National Basketball League player]?
BS: When I was 15, I came back to Australia [from Montverde (Fla.) Academy] for a visit and finally played him in one-on-one and beat him.
DP:How was dinner that night at home?
BS: It was good. [Laughs.] He knew it was time to hand it over.
DP:When's the last time you talked to LeBron James?
BS: Last night [on FaceTime] at my draft get-together.
DP:What did he say?
BS: He congratulated me, and I told him I was looking forward to finally matching up against him.
DP:What did he say about that?
BS: He [showed me his] camera, and it was a picture of the championship trophy. I couldn't say anything back.
DP:Whose poster did you have in your bedroom growing up?
BS: I had a banner of Allen Iverson hanging on my door.
DP:Have you talked to Iverson yet?
BS: Not yet. I can't wait for that, to talk to him and get some pointers on how it's done.
Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson is thinking about retiring, though he said that might thwart his next career move. "I told [Lakers coach] Luke Walton that I needed a job," the 36-year-old Jefferson explained. "He told me, 'If you retire, you're an idiot, and I can't have idiots on my staff.'" ... I asked Hornets assistant coach Patrick Ewing to name the worst part about working for team owner Michael Jordan. "Since we've been 18, he's always been the same person," Ewing told me. "Always talking trash, picking at you, [saying] you've never beat me." ... ESPN's Jay Bilas filled me in on NBA draft clichés: "There's draft-and-stash [drafting an international player and keeping him abroad for at least a season] and three-and-D [three-point shooters who excel on defense]. We should really just go with, 'Can he shoot it?'"