French big man Victor Wembanyama continues to take the basketball world by storm and is seen by many as the best prospect since LeBron James.
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson recently compared the two and pointed out what he likes about Wembanyama’s game.
“Whew!” Johnson told USA Today‘s For the Win. “Man! I don’t know if we’ve seen a big man who can do the things that he can. Normally, you have one or the other. Either your post-game is good or your outside jump shot is good. We’ve never seen a guy who can do both and can handle the basket and can also handle the basketball. He can block shots.
“He can affect the game in so many different ways and whoever gets him: This guy is going to change his franchise forever. The hype is real. He will probably make an impact like LeBron did when he first came into the league. This young man is special. I can tell how great he was when I met his parents in France. Now I see why he is such a special young man on the court and off. His parents are very involved. They’re good people. His mom played basketball. He’s a league changer and a franchise changer. I don’t know if we’ve seen someone with this type of talent in a long time be that young.”
The 19-year-old has been impressing fans all over the world for some time now and seems to be a lock to go No. 1 overall in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft.
During the 2022-23 season, Wembanyama is recording 22.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.1 blocks per game while knocking down 47.2 percent of his shots from the field and 28.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
He’s one of the more unique prospects in NBA history due to his combination of size and skill. He’s able to easily take defenders off the dribble and make incredibly difficult jump shots from many different angles despite already being over 7-feet tall.
His guard-like abilities will surely be difficult to stop during the 2023-24 season. Whichever team selects him will undoubtedly make him a focal part of its offense and try to find plenty of creative ways to use him.
Of course, having this much hype comes with an immense amount of pressure. Basketball fans are expecting Wembanyama to make lots of noise the minute he steps onto an NBA court. Anything short of a Hall of Fame career might come as a disappointment for many.
That’s exactly what James went through during his own journey as a highly touted prospect during the early 2000s. The four-time champion was expected to become one of the best players in NBA history after landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a teenager.
The Lakers wing has seemingly exceeded those expectations, as he’s averaged 27.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game throughout his professional career. He recently became the league’s all-time leading scorer and continues to add to his legacy this season.
Wembanyama is surely hoping that he can replicate the success that James has had throughout his time in the league. The two stars have already met each other off the court, and it’ll certainly be very exciting whenever they end up going head to head on the court.