Ex-Spur Jonathon Simmons spurned LeBron James' invite to join Cavs

Orlando Magic's Jonathon Simmons (17) drives around San Antonio Spurs' Bryn Forbes, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

Former Spur Jonathon Simmons wanted to be great on the court and felt he couldn't reach that level staying with the San Antonio Spurs.

But before leaving the Spurs as a free agent and eventually joining the Magic, Cavaliers' LeBron James tried to lure Simmons.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Simmons reiterated his feeling about not being able to blossom in the Spurs' system the way he would like but added how LeBron wanted him to join forces in Cleveland.

“I expressed that to Pop. I said, ‘I can be good over here, but I can’t be great.’ I want to be able to go against the Kawhis night-in and night-out. I even talked to LeBron James over the phone, and he was like, ‘We want you in Cleveland.’ And I said, ‘No, I want to play against you.’ I want to be able to play against elite guys and be able to, in a couple of years down the line, be just where they are.”

You got to appreciate Simmons' drive to be among the best and what could be seen as a tough decision to spurn LeBron's invite and have a better shot at winning an NBA title with the Cavs rather than the Magic.

With Orlando, he is showing he can be a major piece on an NBA team but still is miles away from being an elite player in the league. He is averaging 15 points, 2.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds and helping the Magic start off hot this season including posting 17 points in a win over his former team earlier this season.