Victor Wembanyama may be the number one overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA draft, but the young phenom is not letting the weight of expectation weigh him down.
During his appearance on The Old Man and The Three podcast, Wembanyama spoke to ESPN’s JJ Redick about being hyped as the best NBA prospect since the legendary LeBron James in 2023. When asked if he felt any pressure about the expectation he faced, Wembanyama replied, “No, I don’t feel any pressure on my shoulders or whatnot, and I think the reason is that I try to live free. At all times I am trying to be like a free mind.”
“The way I play is just the way I truly want to play,” Wembanyama went on to explain, “and I’ve wanted to play this way my whole life. So it’s just me, and I’m trying to show my true personality on the court and just be myself.” When Redick pressed him further on how he deals with such lofty praise, the young Frenchman simply said, “There’s no reward in that.”
Wembanyama, a towering 7″4′ center with the skills of a guard, is already viewed as a potential generational talent, expected to make an immediate and immense impact in the NBA. However, this fact does not seem to be fazing him. He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of past San Antonio Spurs no. 1 draft picks, David Robinson and Tim Duncan, both of whom went on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The 19-year-old’s attitude and on-court presence make it easy to see why he is being hyped up so much. Wembanyama’s combination of size, skill, and athleticism make him a rare breed in basketball. However, despite all the accolades and praise being thrown his way, he remains humble and focused on getting better.
With his size and skill set, Wembanyama has been compared to legends like Kevin Durant and Kristaps Porzi??is. However, he is quick to not let these comparisons get to him. “I’m not Kevin Durant or Kristaps Porzi??is,” he insists, “I’m Victor Wembanyama.”
Wembanyama’s parents, both of whom are over six and a half feet tall, were basketball players themselves. His father, Herve Wembanyama, was a professional player in France, and his mother, a member of the Central African Republic national team. Their influence can be seen in their son’s love for the game and his exceptional talent.
It’s clear that Wembanyama is not just playing basketball for himself, but also for his family and the many people who have supported him along the way. “I play for the people who are around me, who believe in me, who support me,” he said on the podcast. “I play for my family, for my teammates, and everybody around me who brings me positivity.”
One of Wembanyama’s biggest strengths on the court is his ability to play with both power and finesse. He is equally comfortable dominating in the post as he is hitting from beyond the arc. However, it’s not just his technical ability that sets him apart. It’s the way he plays with such fluidity and grace.
Wembanyama’s unique combination of size, skill, athleticism, and grace make him a true one-of-a-kind talent. There is no telling what he will be capable of achieving once he makes it to the NBA. However, one thing is certain: he will be a force to be reckoned with.
Although he may be young, it’s clear that Wembanyama is not lacking in the maturity department. He is thoughtful, insightful, and wise beyond his years. It’s refreshing to see a young athlete who seems to have his head screwed on straight and is not letting all the attention get to his head.
The San Antonio Spurs have a long history of drafting and developing some of the best players in NBA history. Wembanyama will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of legends like David Robinson, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginóbili. With the Spurs’ history of success, there’s no doubt that he will be in good hands.
Despite his relatively young age, Wembanyama is already being compared to some of the best basketball players in the world. The fact that he is being compared to the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant speaks volumes about the level of talent and potential he possesses.
It’s not just his raw talent that makes Wembanyama such a unique and exciting player to watch. It’s also his impeccable work ethic. He is dedicated to improving his game and becoming the best possible version of himself. With this mindset, there’s no doubt that he will continue to flourish and make an impact in the NBA.
“There’s no reward in letting the hype and the expectations get to you,” Wembanyama said on the podcast. “At the end of the day, it’s just basketball. You’ve got to enjoy it and have fun with it.” With such a refreshing attitude, it’s easy to see why so many people are rooting for him.
In conclusion, Victor Wembanyama is a once-in-a-generation talent. His skills, his attitude, and his work ethic make him a true force to be reckoned with. It will be exciting to see what he accomplishes once he makes it to the NBA, but one thing is for sure: the basketball world is eagerly waiting to find out.
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