Victor Webanyama

Victor Webanyama

One of the biggest and  the best to shake-up the NBA is on its way; his name is Victor Wembanyama, and he seems to have the entire NBA watching his every move. At just 18 years old, he already has NBA-level stats. During October of 2022, he had scored a whopping 36 points and 11 rebounds during a game, all in the span of 24 minutes (Soutar, 2022). During a 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup game, Wembanyama made 22 points, eight rebounds, and eight blocks. He’s 7’2, with a sprawling 7’9 wingspan (Boone, 2022). It is as clear as day: Victor Wembanyama has “National Basketball Association” written all over him.

 

He is the number one prospect for the 2023 NBA draft and many respectable, high-profile teams want him for themselves.The Oklahoma City Thunder, for example, are said to be accumulating draft assets on behalf of Wembanyama (Boone, 2022). Even NBA players themselves are demonstrating a huge interest in him. LeBron James recently praised Wembanyama. He says that “[e]verybody has been a unicorn for the last two years, but [Wembanyama]’s more like an alien. I’ve never seen– no one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is, but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor… his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot step-back jumpers out of the post, step-back 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots… He’s for sure a generational talent.” Kevin Durant says that “[Wembanyama’s] talent and skill just puts a smile on your face if you play basketball. The evolution of the game has taken us this far. We got a 7’5″ dude that’s able to do everything on the court. It’s inspiring to a lot of people.”, and that he is a “big fan of his” (WION, 2022).

 

As previously mentioned, perhaps the most stunning thing about Wembanyama is his height. If drafted, he would be one of the tallest NBA players in history. This asset is beyond useful– his aforementioned stellar rebound and block stats surely are not a coincidence. This means the time to make good use of him is now, while he’s young– most NBA players his height do not hold their abilities. Greats like Kristaps Porzingis or even Chet Holmgren have lost both games and seasons alike due to injuries of age. Even George Muresan, the tallest man to ever hit the NBA, is not doing too hot anymore (Raskin, 2022). Therefore, it is crucial that Webanyama is given the opportunity to flourish now, while he is young.  The NBA has been needing Wembanyama: tall, talented, and young.

 

Victor Wembanyama is also very dedicated to the game. He says a basketball player is “like a chess player”: “You have to be able to anticipate every move of your opponents and have a response. Adversaries always adapt. I have been working on this move for months. I want to be able to become indefensible.” His idol is  Kobe Bryant, whose stats and records he knows by heart. He says that “[w]hen I suffer, when I have a doubt, I wonder often  what Kobe would have done. And I know he would have done more, so I’m going back to it.” (Windhorst, 2022).

 

Victor Wembanyama has  the zeal, along with everything it takes, to potentially run the NBA. If all goes according to plan, he is sure to  be playing with all the big names by 2023, fully showcasing his talents in the biggest and most popular basketball setting around.