Entering his 20th season in the NBA, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has seemingly little left to prove. He’s won a championship with three different franchises, came back from an improvable 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals and won four MVPs. He’s also fast approaching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s scoring record.
A resume like that might be enough for players to unanimously acknowledge his greatness. But, it’s not enough for newly drafted Indiana Pacer Bennedict Mathurin.
The 6-foot-6 guard from the University of Arizona was born a year before James was in the league. He averaged 17.7 points in his sophomore year with the Wildcats and was named Pac-12 Player of the Year.
The Pacers selected Mathurin with the sixth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Prior to being drafted, Mathurin pointed to his first matchup against LeBron as something he’s looking forward to. He also offered an interesting assessment of the King, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post:
“A lot of people say he’s great,” Mathurin said. “I want to see how great he is. I don’t think anybody is better than me. He’s going to have to show me he’s better than me.”
It’s a bold thing to say before being drafted, but it’s this confidence that exemplifies why Mathurin was a top-10 pick. It’s similar to former Lakers lottery pick D’Angelo Russell, who often oozed confidence in the Purple and Gold.
Mathurin surely will look to grab James’ attention when they meet, but he will have to wait. The NBA has yet to release the schedule for next season, therefore, there is no date to look forward to yet. James will surely keep a close eye on that first matchup with the Pacers and add something special for Mathurin.
Mathurin is not the first 2022 rookie to call out James as Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons also named the Lakers star as the one NBA player he would want to dunk on.
You know what they say though — you come at the King, you best not miss.
Draymond Green calls Max Christie future All-Star
As expected the Lakers made a move before the draft, acquiring the No. 35 pick from the Orlando Magic. The move resulted in general manager Rob Pelinka selecting Michigan State’s Max Christie with the pick.
Christie is a 6-foot-6 lanky guard with strong 3-and D potential. He is also the latest Spartan to be drafted No. 35 since a memorable one — Draymond Green in 2012. The four-time NBA Champion took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the pick, pointing to history to say Christie will become an All-Star.
Laker fans can only hope Green’s prediction will come true.
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