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2022 1st-Round Pick Issues Challenge To LeBron James

LeBron James on the court.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 11: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the Washington Wizards in the fourth quarter at Crypto.com Arena on March 11, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

It's very apparent Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin doesn't lack confidence. Less than 24 hours after being drafted, he issued a challenge to Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. 

Mathurin, the No. 6 overall pick in this year's draft, revealed that he's looking forward to playing James because he wants to see how great he truly is. 

"A lot of people say he’s great. I want to see how great he is," Mathurin said, via The Washington Post. "I don’t think anybody is better than me. He’s going to have to show me he’s better than me.”

Talk about making a statement before even stepping on the NBA hardwood. This quote from Mathurin will certainly resurface when the Pacers face the Lakers next season. 

Make no mistake, Mathurin is a very skilled player. He averaged 17.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for Arizona as a sophomore. 

That being said, calling out one of the greatest players in NBA history might be a bit too bold. 

We'll find out next season if Mathurin can actually hold his ground against James.