After the nailbiter of a finish between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Philadelphia 76ers, its two superstars shared a moment that what could be a passing of the torch.
James had a chance to tie the game after getting fouled on a 3-point shot. He made the first, missed the second, and intentionally missed the three. The Cavs had a chance to tip the ball in which could’ve sent the game to overtime. Yet the tip-in missed and the Sixers escaped with a 132-130 win.
And just a few seconds after the final buzzer sounded, Simmons, who has often been compared to the King, hugged James and shared a few words. Below is the video as posted by NBA TV:
What. A. Game.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 7, 2018
James and Simmons’ relationship has been well-documented. The two even trained together, along with other NBA players a few summers ago. One can only imagine the Cavs forward revealing his very own magic tricks to a young Simmons.
Per Olgun Uluc and Gadie Notelovitz of Fox Sports, Simmons said after the game:
“I’ve got so much respect for him [LeBron James],” Simmons said. Probably one of the greatest players to ever play, if not the greatest. I’ve got so much respect for him.
Simmons finished the game with a monster performance: 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists. He achieved his 12th triple-double of the season just minutes into the second half. More importantly, he lifted his team to a victory for the 13th game in a row. J.J. Reddick finished with 28 points.
James, meanwhile, chipped in 44 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He also got help from Jeff Green who dropped 33 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the field, 5-of-6 from distance, and 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
Does James and Simmons’ moment signify a passing of the torch? Perhaps, but not quite. James has a few more years left in the tank. And Simmons, though brimming with talent, still has a lot of time to fully understand the game.