Sportress of Blogitude

Instagram love: LeBron James praises Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid praises LeBron

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers battled it out Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena, and the visiting squad came out on top, winning by a score of 108-97. But it’s the lovefest that occurred after the game that perhaps will generate the most chatter.

LeBron James, who has previously praised budding superstar Ben Simmons, took to Instagram to give a shout out to the 21-year-old guard.

Shortly before James’ post, charismatic Sixers star Joel Embiid took to Instagram himself to execute one of his patented recruiting pitches, busting out a “Trust the Process” reference while paying tribute to the King.

The social media adulation of course comes amid the backdrop of what occurred earlier this week when a Philly-based business paid for three billboards near downtown Cleveland that pleaded with James to join the Sixers if/when he becomes a free agent following this season, as James is widely expected to exercise his player option and opt out of his current contract.

James called the billboards “very flattering” and that it is “dope” to be wanted. However, when reports subsequently surfaced that James spent some time during the recent All-Star break in Philadelphia checking out schools for his children, he denied it and called such rumor-mongering “disgusting.”

James’ praise of Simmons will presumably inspire speculation that the Cavs superstar is hinting at his interest in joining the Sixers, a notion that arguably has no merit whatsoever. But that does not mean it won’t play out in such a manner.

The wiser course of action — as James has suggested himself on myriad occasions — is to let this season play out and see where things stand at that point … although that’s unlikely to occur, of course.