Victor Wembanyama isn’t letting LeBron James hype go to his head

3 months ago 23

On Thursday, Lebron James called French hoops imaginable and projected No. 1 prime successful the 2023 NBA Draft Victor Wembanyama a “generational talent” and an “alien.”

Wembanyama, the 7-foot-4 Frenchman, said helium inactive has a batch much enactment to bash earlier helium deserves specified precocious praise.

“It’s evidently an grant to spot specified large radical speech similar this astir me, but it truly doesn’t alteration anything,” helium said aft starring his Metropolitans 92 squad to a 112-106 triumph implicit G League Ignite. “I was like, ‘Oh that’s cool.’ But nary more. I person to effort to enactment focused. The happening is, I didn’t bash thing yet.”

The crippled betwixt Metropolitans 92 and G League Ignite Thursday was expected to beryllium another circular pitting Wembanyama against Scoot Henderson, the projected No. 2 prime successful in 2023. Henderson was sidelined with a genu wounded aboriginal successful the game, and each eyes turned to Wembanyama — and Wembanyama only.

He finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 assists. On Tuesday, helium finished with 37 points and went 7-for-11 from three, an outrageous three-point shooting show from idiosyncratic his size, but mislaid to G League Ignite 122-115.

Victor Wembanyama #1 of Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92 warms upVictor Wembanyama is months distant from being drafted successful the NBA, but the hype is already growing.Getty Images

His performances are certainly catching the oculus of NBA superstars similar James.

“Everybody has been labeling this ‘unicorn’ thing,” James told reporters Wednesday night. “Everybody has been a unicorn for the past 2 years, but he’s much similar an alien. I’ve ne'er seen, nary 1 has ever seen anyone arsenic gangly arsenic helium is, but arsenic fluid and arsenic graceful arsenic helium is retired connected the floor.

“His quality to enactment the shot connected the floor, sprout step-back jumpers retired of the post, step-back 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, artifact shots, he’s for definite a generational talent.”

Plenty of different NBA stars are catching immoderate Wembanyama fever, arsenic well.

“That benignant of endowment and skill, it conscionable puts a grin connected your look if you play hoops due to the fact that the improvement of the crippled has taken connected this far,” Kevin Durant said. “The league’s truly successful occupation erstwhile helium comes in. I privation to spot however it plays out.”

“He’s similar the [NBA] 2K create-a-player, each constituent defender that wants to beryllium 7-foot,” Steph Curry told reporters. “Cheat code-type vibes, man. He’s a coagulated talent. It’s large to watch.”

G League Ignite guardant Shareef O’Neal said helium called his dad, Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal, for proposal connected playing idiosyncratic similar Wembanyama

“He said the tallest idiosyncratic helium ever played against was either Manute Bol or Yao Ming,” the younger O’Neal said. “I don’t deliberation determination is simply a subordinate similar him. There are not excessively galore players that tin determination similar him astatine that size. [My father] was conscionable saying, ‘You person to beryllium aggressive. He’s a small taller, conscionable effort to get into him and effort to get into his face.’ And I tried my champion to bash that. That’s the lone happening helium said. He said he’s ne'er played against anybody who tin sprout similar that and person skills similar that astatine that size, truthful helium couldn’t truly assistance maine connected that one.”

Webanyama is refusing to fto immoderate of the precocious praise spell to his caput arsenic helium returns location to France.

“I didn’t play successful an NBA crippled yet,” said Wembanyama. “I wasn’t drafted, truthful I’ve got to enactment focused to scope my goals. Because it’s going to beryllium pugnacious to get amended each time and enactment consistent.”