LeBron James latest to hype top NBA draft prospect Victor Wembanyama

ByJeremy Willis ESPN logo
Thursday, October 6, 2022

Victor Wembanyama has been the talk of the NBA for the last few days. Now, even LeBron James is impressed by him.

A 7-foot-4 center and projected No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, Wembanyama scored 37 points Tuesday night against the G League Ignite and Scoot Henderson, the projected No. 2 pick. Wembanyama plays for the French pro team Metropolitan 92.

That game, played in Henderson, Nevada, had NBA stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker watching, along with WNBA players A'ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray of the Las Vegas Aces.

"He's good," Gray said about Wembanyama. "To be that big and that tall with guard skills is nice."

King James took it a step further Wednesday after the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason game against the Phoenix Suns.

"Everybody has been labeling this unicorn thing," James said. "Everybody has been a unicorn for the last two years, but he'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."

For his part, Wembanyama describes himself in other terms.

"I've always been trying to be original," he told the Associated Press. "Unique, that's the word. "My goal is to be like something you've never seen."

The hype train for Wembanyama is off and running. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Jonathan Givony reported that there is no plan to shut down Wembanyama ahead of June's draft. That likely won't slow down the comparisons.

"He's a 7-foot-4 Durant who blocks shots -- and he's not even close to what he's going to be," one NBA GM told Wojnarowski and Givony. "He will be the most hyped player since LeBron."

Wembanyama's combination of incredible skill with game-changing height is definitely drawing attention -- just take a look at how much he towers over 7-foot-1 Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert.

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