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Hot Takes on Pacers' Bennedict Mathurin in 1st Game Since Calling out LeBron James

Erin WalshJuly 9, 2022

Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

After calling out Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, Bennedict Mathurin put together a solid performance for the Indiana Pacers in Las Vegas Summer League action against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Mathurin finished with 23 points, four rebounds and one steal in 20 minutes. He made 9-of-16 shots from the field and 3-of-6 shots from deep in the Pacers' 96-84 win.

NBA @NBA

Benn Mathurin is up to 21 PTS in his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummer</a> debut ♨ <a href="https://t.co/xLC6j9FP6p">pic.twitter.com/xLC6j9FP6p</a>

NBA @NBA

Chris Duarte to Benn Mathurin off the glass! 🇭🇹🇨🇦🇩🇴<br><br>Watch the <a href="https://twitter.com/Pacers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Pacers</a> Live Now on ESPN 2 <a href="https://t.co/VpEJde3EeC">pic.twitter.com/VpEJde3EeC</a>

NBA @NBA

Benn Mathurin drains another 3️⃣<br><br>He's up to 15 PTS for the <a href="https://twitter.com/Pacers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Pacers</a> on ESPN 2 <a href="https://t.co/G77Ib2fokc">pic.twitter.com/G77Ib2fokc</a>

NBA @NBA

Benn Mathurin knocks down a smooth 3️⃣ for his first bucket in his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummer</a> debut!<br><br>Live Now on ESPN 2 <a href="https://t.co/2rczcq6IpS">pic.twitter.com/2rczcq6IpS</a>

Mathurin's performance earned him some praise on Twitter, and some fans also couldn't help but make jokes referencing his comments about James.

JDG @jedagrimm

After 1Q of summer league play, we can confirm Mathurin's Lebron comments as legitimate.

™️Marcus @TheMisterMarcus

Mathurin might lead rookies in scoring this season. Are y’all seeing this? 😂

J. Michael @ThisIsJMichael

I think being bad last season is gonna work out just fine for Indiana. Those Haliburton-Mathurin-Duarte-Jackson acquisitions are gonna look really good down the line

Young Simba @the2kmessiah

Personally I could care less about the shot falling or not today. But Bennedict Mathurin has been able to create a ton of good looks on and off the ball which is a good thing to see

HappyPacersFan @szn_holiday

Lebron James has been real quiet about this Mathurin performance 🤐🤐

Surya @ayruuus

RT if Bennedict Mathurin is the rookie of the year. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pacers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pacers</a>

Justin Spears @JustinESports

Bennedict Mathurin is putting on a show at NBA Summer League.

Before the 2022 NBA draft, Mathurin said in an interview with the Washington Post that James is "going to have to show me he’s better than me."

He recently clarified those comments, making sure that people know he wasn't trying to disrespect the four-time NBA champion.

"It’s about me being confident," Mathurin said, per Gabby Hajduk of the Indianapolis Star. "I think he’s the best player to ever play the game. … But me just coming into the league, I won’t say anybody’s better than me. That’s me being confident. I know who LeBron James is. There’s no [other] LeBron James. There won’t be again."

Based on Mathurin's performance on Friday, it certainly seems like he's going to put together a solid rookie season in the NBA. However, he's going to have to prove himself all over again once the 2022-23 regular season begins.

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