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Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin wants to test LeBron James

Plenty of NBA rookies are open about their admiration for LeBron James. Indiana Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin is taking a very different approach.

Mathurin, the sixth overall pick in Thursday’s draft, made clear that he’s looking forward to testing himself against James. In fact, prior to the draft, Mathurin even said in an interview he needs to see James prove himself.

“A lot of people say he’s great,” Mathurin said, via Ben Golliver of the Washington Post. “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 does not seem to mean any disrespect here, for whatever it’s worth. If anything, the comment is similar to one an NFL rookie made about Tom Brady a year-and-a-half ago.

It’s easy to laugh this off and dismiss it as arrogance, but James himself would probably admire the ambition and determination. Mathurin will almost certainly get a rude wake-up call about how good James is, but that self-belief should serve the Pacers rookie well over his career.

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