“From San Antonio they tell me that, every day, Wemby surprises with 2 or 3 things that they have never seen a player do before”. Adrian Wojnarowski, one of the two journalists who has the most scoops in the NBA, told what they told him in the Spurs bunker about the expected new acquisition, Victor Wembanyama. The French alien is one of the two players who generated the most expectations in history with his arrival in the NBA, along with that of LeBron in 2003. In the case of this boy he is surely older for two reasons: first, because of the era in which we live, with communication through social networks that has enhanced everything and, second, because it was his own. NBA the one who took over his diffusion by doing something unprecedented, when he had not even been chosen in the draft. The competition made official streamings – from its website – of the games that Wemby played with its French team, the Metropolitans, and even organized a couple of duels against Scott Henderson, the other gem of the draft, in this case American, who was in the Ignite of the G-League. And no less than in Las Vegas. This is how he brought him to the biggest stage long before his debut in the NBA.
Then all that remained was the formality of choosing first place in the draft, a moment that in the run-up, during and after had the coverage of an NBA superstar, although he had not yet played a minute. Of course, there were too many certainties that the kid was not a blef, nor was he inflated. Wembanyama had been scouted by specialists for years, always taking the right steps in his development. The kid broke it both in minor teams and in the French professional league. Being a teenager. All that remained was to see him officially play in the elite. And the kid, during this preseason, has shown that he is everything that was expected. Even more. Maybe it’s enough just to look at the photos that illustrate this note. And be careful, the photos are more than that: they show moments from games, shocking actions that this 2m24 power forward – at least – has done, confirming that he can do anything on the field, with surprising ease.
It is impressive to see him shoot almost 50 centimeters over an elite defender, like the Warriors’ Kuminga, who is 2m04. Or seeing him challenge a shot by Chris Paul, who was several meters away. But, of course, with his size he reaches everywhere. Or seeing him extend fully to block a three-point shot by Canadian Wiggins. An action that filled the networks with memes. Like the one who used two and a half figures of Chris Paul to get the count from how far Wemby stretched. To close the review of the gallery there is another photo, just as impressive, in which he is jumping vertically with both hands extended before another three-point shot from a Miami player.
This is allowed by his arms, size and mobility. All attributes that make him absolutely different and that were seen in a video that went viral prior to the duel against Golden State. A trainer orders a mobility exercise and The unicorn impresses both with its very long arms and its foot movements. And he’s wearing 57… The other video that went viral – because, of course, the Frenchman is the sensation of this new season – was the one starring an assistant from the Mavericks, the Spurs’ rival in the official debut this Wednesday ( at 10:30 p.m.), who is seen wearing two long mittens simulating Wemby’s arms and shouting the name while trying to make it difficult for the players to throw outside. “This way they get used to what they will have in front of them.”
Another thing that was worth talking about was Wembanyama’s weight. There was a lot of debate in the run-up to his debut about the supposed weakness or fragility of this long-standing player who, at times, “looks like he’s going to break,” according to those who are used to seeing more worked out and muscular physiques commenting on social media. But from his surroundings they already explained that the boy’s physical preparation goes the other way, because his physique is different from everyone else. A plan that has been going on for years, with professionals, who determined that the best thing is to follow something balanced, that seeks mobility, elongation and strength of the player, without exceeding the weights. In fact There is a video of Victor stretching that is shocking because it really looks like rubber.
For now, Since his arrival in San Antonio, they say that Wemby gained at least six kilos, an important amount for his body, thus reaching 104 (out of 98), without losing speed or mobility, his great goal. The idea is to be stronger without leaving aside his essence as a player, a versatile power forward who can be a small forward at times and a pivot at others.
Several heavy stars have already come out to speak, all of them remaining at the Frenchman’s feet. Like Paul George. “I knew he was going to be successful in the league, but I thought it was going to be more difficult than what he is already showing at the moment. He hasn’t played much yet, but there are things he does, like stand behind the 3-point line and call for a lob pass knowing no one can get it, and do a dunk. This goes back to what Draymond Green said… At worst, he will be one of the best blockers. In many possessions you say to yourself: ‘Wow, when he enters the painted area, what am I going to do? He will be there waiting for me to not let me get thrown away.’ Even if they take him out and I think he’s too far away at the 3-point line, he has such a wingspan that he can still guard you. There are many players who are going to wonder how to shoot him,” he admitted. Celtics legend Paul Pierce went further. “Right now, he is already one of the five best players in the NBA,” he said. And his former teammate, the always demanding Kevin Garnett, predicted that the Spurs “should reach the playoffs with the presence of this boy.” Not bad for just four games…
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