LeBron James loves competing against the NBA’s rising stars such as Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and Luka Doncic.
After the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 at Smoothie King Center Sunday night, James complimented the trio along with a few other youngsters whom many consider to be the future of the league.
“The league is in great hands with guys like Zion, Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Jayson Tatum, and the list goes on and on,” James said in the postgame interview. “I’m just happy to be a part of it and be on the floor with those guys in their younger days.”
James and Williamson embraced at the conclusion of the ball game as the present and future of the basketball world came together to share an intimate conversation, one that the Lakers star refused to divulge.
Against the Purple and Gold on his home court, Williamson accomplished a milestone as he recorded a career-high 35 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field and 11-of-13 from the line.
James had the last laugh, however, as he recorded a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists. Los Angeles needed a dominant performance from the four-time MVP to overcome the absence of All-Star forward Anthony Davis.
Last week, during their first meeting on the court as professionals, James had a season-high 40 points. The 19-year old Williamson, on the other hand, scored 29 points as he became the first teenager in NBA history to score 20 or more points in 10 straight games.
After Sunday’s 35-point explosion, Williamson extended his streak of 20-plus points to 11 consecutive games. Carmelo Anthony was the previous record holder with nine consecutive games as a 19-year old rookie for the Denver Nuggets.
Last Saturday, Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies got the better of James’ Lakers in a 105-88 victory. The Grizzlies rookie had 27 points, six rebounds and 14 assists. He is currently averaging 17.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while leading the Grizzlies to a potential playoff appearance.
Doncic, meanwhile. is a candidate for the MVP award in only his second year in the league. The sensational guard of the Dallas Mavericks has season averages of 28.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.