Is LeBron James the best  basketball player ever? Brett Brown sure thinks so.

The 76ers coach praised the Cleveland Cavaliers megastar Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

"He is amazing," Brown said. "In my opinion, he is the best player to have ever played our sport. And he just keeps getting better."

Brown said that he had  tremendous respect for  other NBA greats.

"Like that's a hell of a comment that I don't throw out there recklessly," he said.  "And I just feel his body of work makes me feel very confident and comfortable saying that."

Heading in the game Friday against the Sixers, the 33-year-old James was  42 points shy of becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach 31,000 career points. He'll become the seventh player overall to reach that mark. The 15th-year veteran was also one steal away from passing Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas (1,861) for sole possession of 16th place on the all-time steals list. And James was one 30-point game away from passing Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (42 30-point games) for the fifth-most 30-point performances in league history.

For the season, James ranked third in the league in scoring at 27.5 points per game. He was second in assists (9.2), 13th in field-goal percentage (54.3), and 15th in rebounds (8.7).

"I certainly don't see any decline athletically, and then you watch the trend that he is shooting and making threes, and so you feel like he keeps getting better," Brown said. "I have so much respect for his staying  power. The fact that he can play that many minutes, that many games, seemingly not missing a beat, like annually playing in big games that are usually in June."

Visiting Meek Mill

Sixers rookies Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, along with team co-owner Michael Rubin, visited rapper Meek Mill in prison Thursday afternoon.

Mill is serving  two to four years because of  probation violations related to a 2009 gun and drug case.