Jonathon Simmons believes he can be an elite player in the league and that mindset forced him to say no to LeBron James when the 4-time MVP attempted to bring him to Cleveland.

“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,” Simmons said (via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel).

Salary also played a role in turning down the opportunity to join the defending Eastern Conference champs. “It wasn’t enough money, anyway. I have a family. I expressed that to him, which he kind of already knew. He said, ‘I respect that and I’ll see you soon,’” he added.