7-foot-4 rookie Victor Wembanyama could become a target for NBA teams trying to be physical with him on the court, but he isn’t intimidated.
“Everyone has their strength, and being physical [with me] is something I’ve seen my whole life, basically every time I stepped on a court for the last few years,” Wembanyama said. “It’s not something I’m afraid of.
“Quickness beats physicality when used correctly. It’s really part of the game. I’m used to it.”
We saw Wemby embrace the physical challenge when he faced fellow rookie Chet Holmgren, and knocked him to the ground to get the basket during preseason.
The first pick of the 2023 Draft is set to play his first official NBA game after making his Summer League debut and preseason debut for the Spurs, but this one hits different.
“This one feels unreal even more,” Wembanyama said. “I thought maybe a month ago that some preseason games would prepare me for that moment, and it would be just another game. But it feels totally different. The fact it’s an actual NBA regular-season game. It’s different.”
The Frenchman didn’t disappoint during preseason, where he averaged 19.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.8 blocks per game in four games.
He has impressed current and former NBA stars in his outings and shown a fantastic array of skills, Celtics legend Paul Pierce recently explained.
“Right now today, [Victor Wembanyama] is one of the top five skill players in the NBA,” Pierce said on KG Certified. “In the small sample, he has shown me the handle. He’s shown me the stepback. He has shown me the lob, the pick-and-roll and the pick-and-pop threat. He can get the ball in traffic and dunk over everybody.”
Wembanyama will make his debut against the Mavericks on Wednesday night, in front of what could be the largest San Antonio crowd in many years.