Philadelphia Sixers rookie forward Ben Simmons claims that he’s put on roughly thirty-three pounds since his lone season at LSU.

Simmons, 20, thinks his newfound bulk will help him absorb the physical punishment and grind of the NBA.

The Sixers will be counting on Simmons to guide their offensive attack this season.

Per Philly.com:

“I am a lot stronger now than I was in college and it will help me take hits and bumps,” Simmons said Monday at the team’s new practice facility in Camden. “When I started [at LSU], I was about 217 and now I’m about 250, so I gained a lot of weight.”

 

Simmons recently spent a week in Los Angeles working out with some NBA veterans, including Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Simmons and James share the same agent, Rich Paul. […] “Being around him and his habits, the way he works has helped me overall,” Simmons said of James.

 

Simmons understands the leadership responsibility he will have. Coach Brett Brown has talked about likely starting him at power forward but also having the ball in his hands either as a point forward or point guard. […] “I believe I am a leader, no matter what it is,” Simmons said. “Whether playing Scrabble or Monopoly, I try to lead whenever the occasion arises.”