Lakers News: Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin Grateful For ‘Honor’ To Have Played Against LeBron James After Calling Him Out Before Season
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

It takes a lot of confidence to be a high-level NCAA Division I basketball player. The former Pac-12 Player of the Year representing the University of Arizona, Bennedict Mathurin, exemplified his trust in his play as soon as he got drafted with the No. 6 overall pick by the Indiana Pacers.

After being drafted, Mathurin was asked for his thoughts on playing some of the league’s best like Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, and he stated that James had to prove to him how great he is. The guts that are required to make a bold statement like this set up an interesting matchup when the Lakers recently took on the Pacers.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Mathurin was asked about what it was like to play against James. The dream of a lifetime created a sense of gratitude and awe in the 20-year-old’s rookie career:

“Well, pretty much it was great. It was an honor for me and my team. First time playing against LeBron James. Like I said before, not a lot of people get the chance to play against one of the greatest of all time. I feel like it was a great opportunity for me to pretty much see how he is and how he looks. I feel like he looks a little bigger in real life, but it was for sure a great night.”

To be able to play with the best on the planet is a one-of-a-kind experience. The mentality the 20-year-old Pacers guard has equipped already has the potential to continue to mold Mathurin into one of the best and brightest young players in the NBA today.

His Pacers wound up getting the better of James and the Lakers as fellow rookie Andrew Nembhard hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to complete a comeback victory.

James compared himself to Tom Brady

There are not a lot of good cross-league comparisons today but one that fits is LeBron James and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. While both future Hall of Famers have age, accolades and current season storylines in common, both players share the same sole focus in their remaining playing days.

As James is nearing his 38th birthday on Dec. 30, the four-time NBA champion compared his high-level play and determination to win a championship for the Lakers to Brady’s elite play as a signal-caller and goal to win another Super Bowl.

Both James and Brady’s teams hace experienced a poor start to their 2022-23 season. Now with Brady looking to wield his team to the playoffs, and James searching for a consistent stretch to be in playoff contention heading into 2023, the two all-time greats make it known that they are not just playing for the money or for fun, but for championships.

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