Pacers' Bennedict Mathurin Clarifies Comments Calling out Lakers' LeBron James

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 23: Bennedict Mathurin poses for a portrait after being drafted by the Indiana Pacers during the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brandon Todd/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brandon Todd/NBAE via Getty Images

Bennedict Mathurin isn't backing down from his comments about LeBron James.

He does, however, want to clarify he wasn't talking smack on the Los Angeles Lakers star.

"The way I wanted to say it before, I really had to clarify my comment—everybody came at me," Mathurin said Thursday on NBA Today. "I'm a rookie coming into the league. I won't say anybody's better than me. I'm gonna have to go out there, and people are gonna have to show me that they're better than me."

Even if he wanted to clarify, Mathurin's comments were not all that different from what he told Ben Golliver of the Washington Post.

"A lot of people say he's great. 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," Mathurin said before the draft.

Mathurin averaged 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists during his sophomore season at Arizona, numbers that don't exactly compare him well against a once-in-a-generation superstar like James.

That said, there's something to be commended about having that level of confidence as a rookie. Mathurin likely won't be intimidated going head-to-head against the game's top players if his confidence is more than public bluster.

If he winds up backing things up on the court, the Pacers will have a face of the franchise who can also serve as a vocal leader moving forward.