LeBron James is not going anywhere anytime soon, but rookie top overall pick Zion Williamson is up next.
James' Los Angeles Lakers defeated Williamson's New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 on Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center. The 19-year-old phenom led all scorers with a career-high 35 points, but James was right behind him with 34 points, 13 rebounds and two steals.
Afterward, the three-time NBA champion gave credit to Williamson, saying the NBA "is in great hands" and he's happy to share the court with the NBA's crop of young stars:
James also praised Williamson after the Lakers bested the Pelicans 118-109 on Feb. 25 behind his season-high 40 points:
But make no mistake, James is still the King:
James and Williamson embraced on the court once the final buzzer sounded, but the 16-time All-Star chose to keep what was said between them private:
Even though Williamson has lost his first two games against James, the Duke product continues to play his way into the league's record books next to the greats:
Williamson entered Sunday averaging 23.4 points and 6.8 rebounds across 14 starts since making his debut on Jan. 22, which was delayed by arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 21.
The Lakers and Pels aren't scheduled to play again this season. Fans' only shot at seeing James and Williamson on the same floor before next season is for 26-34 New Orleans to inch into the Western Conference's eighth seed.
That would set up a first-round matchup with Western Conference-leading 46-13 L.A.