Against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, Benedict Mathurin demonstrated what he preached. After the Indiana Pacers youngster outshone him, LeBron James was the target of vicious trolling.
For those who are unaware, Mathurin gained notoriety before the season began when he asserted that not even LeBron could compare to him. The Lakers player was then issued with a strong challenge from him, adding, “He’s going to have to prove to me he’s better than me.”
But in their first encounter, the Pacers and Lakers engaged in a fierce struggle. However, Mathurin ultimately had the superior numbers with his 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist, finishing with a +7 plus/minus rating. LeBron, on the other hand, was -7 as he finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in the 116-115 defeat.
Even if the Lakers had won, it wouldn’t have mattered because they let an Andrew Nembhard buzzer-beater ruin the game and give the Pacers the victory.
Naturally, after the game, LeBron was reminded of Mathurin’s dare by the whole NBA Twitter.
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Bennedict Mathurin: 23pts, 8reb, 45 FG% +7
LeBron James: 21pts, 7reb, 36 FG% -7
1-0 Mathurin pic.twitter.com/TE51FZrFWn
— csb (@itsCSB__) November 29, 2022
Andrew Nembhard for GAMEEEEEEE!!!!!!! Tyrese Haliburton with a CLUTCH DIME!!!#Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin: 23 pts, 10/22 FGs, 3/8 3s, 8 rebs, 1 ast, +7
LeBron James: 21 pts, 8/22 FGs, 3/10 3s, 7 rebs, 3 asts, -7
BENNEDICT OUTPLAYED LEBRON!! pic.twitter.com/LZ0w7W80Vc
— James Boyd (@RomeovilleKid) November 29, 2022
The Mathurin and LeBron battle was fun!
— Alex Golden (@AlexGoldenNBA) November 29, 2022
Benn Mathurin: 23 points & 8 rebounds on 45% shooting.
LeBron James: 21 points & 7 rebounds on 33% shooting.
— Surya (@ayruuus) November 29, 2022
Although this does not necessarily imply that Benedict Mathurin is superior to LeBron James overall, it did seem to be the case on Monday night.
One supporter tweeted, “Benedict Mathurin is better than you by the way [King James],”
“LeBron James got called out by a 20-year-old rookie,” another Twitter user wrote. On the second night of a back-to-back, the rookie went to LeBron’s house, outplayed him, and won the game. That person is Benedict Mathurin.
Indeed, the young Pacers player deserves praise. Although him making the buzzer-beater would have been preferable, the fact that they won, in the end, is what counts.