The No.1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, Ben Simmons, sounds wise beyond his 19 years.

It helps having a mentor like LeBron James in his corner—the two are part of the same agency.

Simmons says that one of his biggest takeaways from closely observing LBJ, is the way the four-time League MVP handles the media.

Per the NY Times:

During the recruiting process, Simmons rejected the idea that a top player should naturally attend one of the most successful big-time programs. He said no to Kentucky and no to Duke. Instead he went to L.S.U., where his godfather, David Patrick, was the associate head coach. Patrick is now an assistant at Texas Christian. […] “The point for me was going to a school that didn’t have a rich basketball history like a Kentucky or a Duke,” Simmons said. “I knew it was going to be hard. I like a challenge. I accepted that.”

 

L.S.U. severely underachieved. There were injuries and problems with team chemistry issues. The Tigers did not make the N.C.A.A. tournament and elected not to participate in the National Invitation Tournament. […] “The experience at L.S.U. helped me understand that things are not always going to be perfect,” he said. “I was getting all of that thrown on me, but I had to deal with it, and it came with the territory.”

 

“I’ve learned a lot just being around LeBron,” Simmons said. “People say things about him all the time, but he would never say anything back. That’s what I learned from him: Don’t retaliate to articles or pieces or to things that are said about me.”