We don’t want to name any names, but just because a basketball prospect is drafted highly in the NBA Draft, doesn’t assure that their skillset will translate into success in the NBA. Which is why there is plenty of debate surrounding this year’s draft, and one question in particular: just how good is Victor Wembanyama, the highly-skilled, 7″4″ French player expected to go number one overall to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft?
According to NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, Wemby is the real deal, as he compared the highly-touted prospect to former NBA Draft standouts and fellow European picks Nikola Jokic (who just helped lead the Denver Nuggets to a win in the 2023 NBA Finals Championship) and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“Joker, if you go back and look at him, they showed him. He looked super regular back then. They was calling him chunky. We weren’t respecting it. You remember Giannis’ run? Giannis had one of the craziest runs. Giannis was looking like Shaq with KD parts. He was hitting 3s…brought the heat,” Garnett said on the latest installment of his KG Certified podcast.
KG went on to add that at this point in their respective development, both Jokic and Giannis weren’t quite as polished as Wemby appears to be.
“Giannis and Joker didn’t look this polished as a prospect at this age with this kid. So, he (Victor Wembanyama) fits right into the narrative of what we’re saying,” KG added.
Giannis himself made a bold statement when asked the question, “How good is Victor Wembanyama?” He believes that by the year 2045, many more players in the NBA are going to bear a similar appearance (height might be a little more troubling) to Wemby, prioritizing height and leanness over muscle.
“He’s incredible man, like I believe in 2045 everybody is going to look like Victor,” Giannis said in press conference. “He’s unbelievable, you know, and I believe it’s a matter of time for him to, you know, be in the league. We gotta get ready for this kid, he’s going to be really good.”
Perhaps of commensurate importance to Wemby’s skills on the basketball court, especially for a player over 7-feet-tall, is his attitude and ostensible mental fortitude. When asked if he feels nervous in being the most highly touted NBA prospect since LeBron James, Wembanyama said, “I don’t feel any pressure on my shoulders.” It’s this mental toughness that might prove to be the key in Wemby’s success in the NBA, if what he’s saying is true of course.
What would you say to answer the question “How good is Victor Wembanyama?” Do you have high hopes for the 7’4″ phenom or are you going to reserve judgement for how he adjusts to the NBA once he starts playing in actual games during a regular season? Let us know in the comments.