Victor Wembanyama is unlike anything you’ve seen before (no, really) | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

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Watch enough basketball year after year and the phrase “You’ve never seen a prospect like this” starts to sound like the boy who cried wolf. In 2019, the description worked for Zion Williamson. Last year it was affixed to Chet Holmgren.

And between now and the 2023 draft, you’re sure to hear countless times about Victor Wembanyama.

But seriously, you have never seen a perspective like this.

For months, grainy videos of the 18-year-old, 7’2″ big man, doing it all, towering over peerless opponents, have trickled across the pond and onto Twitter timelines. But most clips were filmed from angles difficult for the viewer and often looked like footage taken by the crew chief in the 90s.

Tuesday, everything changed. Dramatically. Strongly. In HD and on national television.

In a showcase match against fellow 2023 NBA Draft first-choice contender Wembanyama and Paris, France’s Metropolitan 92s took on Scoot Henderson and the G-League Ignite. The latter team took the win, and Henderson had 28 points and nine assists. But Wembanyama’s performance was one that captivated NBA Twitter, and probably any paying attention NBA scout and executive.

Even with Zion back after a season-long absence from live on TNT, Wembanyama’s 37 points on 20 shot attempts flew on the night. Simply reading these numbers does not do them justice.

Before you look at them, I feel the need to remind you that this teenager is 7’2″, which was considered an underrated list by ESPN 2’s broadcast.

The highlights speak for themselves

While leading a 20-point comeback, Wembanyama hit a step back three from the corner.

NBA @NBA

Back-to-back splash πŸ’¦

Victor Wembanyama has up to 17 PTS πŸ”₯

Watch now on the NBA app and on ESPN 2
πŸ“² https://t.co/WIy2EVFAUt pic.twitter.com/V3d1hfHCeJ

He drilled a triple catch-and-shoot in transition, running up the wing and with a hand in his face, as far as anyone can actually put a hand in his face.

He faced and isolated veteran big man Eric Mika in the middle of the post, hit him with a series of counterfeits and hit a back midrange jumper.

On more than one occasion, he took full play (both ends of the field) during multiple possessions.

His entire 28-point second half caused cackles. It seemed impossible to watch a player with this frame, move as he was and hit the shots he took without reacting.

Again, we’ve never seen a player quite like this, so comparisons are hard to draw, but they’re the backbone of prospect descriptions.

And the only names that come to mind when looking at Wembanyama are those of all time. Prepare yourselves. The fully realized version of Wembanyama could be a seven-foot-plus Kevin Durant on offense and a more mobile Rudy Gobert on defense.

Such lofty comparisons are rarely fair. It wasn’t for Brandon Ingram when he was dubbed the next KD. Expecting someone to be Defensive Player of the Year multiple times is probably silly too.

But these are the names that naturally come to mind when you see clips like the ones above and blocks like this.

The way he met Scoot atop a drive in the clutch was even more like the Wembanyama compatriot.

What kind of hype is warranted?

He finished the contest with five blocks against a surefire NBA-level athlete.

The whole game was played against tougher competition than anything we see in the NCAA, and Wembanyama looked like the best player on the court.

In the most publicized match of his life, the 18-year-old phenom more than rose to the occasion. He has answered questions on the reality of his shooting, his ability to withstand size and athleticism and how he could fit into an NBA program on either end.

It will surely have to fill in a bit over the next few seasons. Here’s another name we maybe shouldn’t be calling out, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has been able to add the weight and muscle needed to dominate. Wembanyama should be able to do that too. Given a worrying injury the storythis may be even more critical for him.

After what we witnessed on Tuesday, however, it all seems finicky. It is an obvious prospect. It’s no wonder the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs (at least) look set to rack up the losses. This could be one of the biggest draft lotteries since LeBron James.

Prospects that generate this level of public trust don’t often come along. Prospects like Wembanyama don’t, well, ever come up.

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