Kevin Porter Jr. on his Matchup With LeBron James: “He’s the Best in the World and the Face of the League. So Why Not? Why Wouldn’t I Accept That Challenge?”

Published 12/29/2021, 7:30 AM EST
Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after scoring a basket during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


In year 19 of LeBron James’ career, many of the players who are relatively new in the league have grown up watching LeBron James play. Since he was always on top of the league, he has established himself as the face of the NBA for over a decade.

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In the game against the Rockets, LeBron James was up against 19-year-old rookies. That means LeBron James has almost spent their entire lifetime in the NBA. So it bound them to look at LeBron as either a role model or a challenge. Many players view the moment your idol becomes your rival as a true sign of success. So when Kevin Porter Jr faced LeBron James, he took the challenge head-on.

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Kevin Porter Jr. on playing against LeBron James

In the post-game press conference, Kevin Porter Jr revealed what it was like facing LeBron. He said, “Bron is Bron. When he’s in the area or in the space you’ll know. You just feel it.” Further, he added, “I love playing against Bron because he’s the best in the world. He’s the face of the league. So why not? Why won’t I accept the challenge? I love basketball and I love to compete.”

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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What does this mean for the Houston Rockets?

Kevin Porter Jr. came back from an injury tonight after missing a long spell of games. He has been the primary point guard on the Rockets team this season. Kevin Porter Jr. was not at all rusty tonight and hit the ground running. He stacked up 22 points, 9 assists, and 5 rebounds in his return. Even Jalen Green made a full-time return today after playing limited minutes against the Pacers. He led the Rockets in scoring with 24 points.

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (0) dribbles the ball as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It took two triple-doubles from NBA legends for the Lakers to overcome the Rockets. While it was a relatively quiet game for Christian Wood and Eric Gordon, the return of the starting backcourt has Houston fans rejoicing.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

496 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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