'I just want to win': Bennedict Mathurin is fearless and excited for any challenge, even LeBron James
His confidence, work ethic and desire to be great will take him a long way. And one thing you know about him: He won't back down from a challenge.
On the same day he was a nominee for Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors, Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin will get his first experience in Hollywood, against the Los Angeles Lakers and four-time NBA MVP and champion LeBron James.
That matters to every player.
James is one of the best to ever do it. He’s the model for consistency, for longevity and for winning. And now, more than ever, for being a businessman.
Whatever expectations you had for this Akron kid coming out of high school, James has somehow exceeded all of it. It’s not even close. And he’s stayed out of trouble.
Mathurin looks forward to sharing the same court and playing against him for the first time, just like every other player who grew up watching James in Cleveland and Miami.
However, this one has a little extra to it because of Mathurin’s summer comments that some spun into something much bigger.
“A lot of people say he’s great,” Mathurin said of James to 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.”
The thing you have to realize is that Mathurin is unique.
He’s not sitting back and idolizing the guy.
This isn’t fake toughness or false bravado.
Mathurin has been through a lot in his 20 years. He lost his brother, Dominique, while a teenager. So he had to be the man of the house — for his mother and older sister.
It’s that spirit and confidence that helped earn him a scholarship to the University of Arizona, where he developed his game for two seasons before being drafted sixth overall by the Pacers.
“Benn had all the ingredients,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “And one of the things was the edge, the tenacity and the attitude.”