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“Keep Your Expectations… Low”: Veteran ESPN Analyst Throws Away Victor Wembanyama’s Spurs Debut Hype With Rookie LeBron James Comparison

Published 09/23/2023, 2:38 PM EDT

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Experts touted the 19-year-old Victor Wembanyama as the league’s most exciting prospect since LeBron James. The French phenom was the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. NBA world is waiting with bated breath to see the San Antonio Spurs rookie make his NBA debut.

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While there is a lot of buzz surrounding the 7’4 unicorn, an NBA insider dismisses the hype with an interesting take. He requests everyone to not set such high standards for the rookie player while drawing comparisons to young LeBron James.

ESPN analyst dismisses the hype surrounding No.1 pick’s NBA debut


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ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst did what he does best. Known famously for covering a young LeBron James’ career trajectory, he did something similar with Wemby. He hoped on a flight to France for a 70-sec interview with the consensus No. 1 Draft pick as soon as it was determined that the Spurs would get the first pick. Having followed both LeBron and Victor’s careers closely, Brian offers some insightful perspectives on the latter’s NBA debut.

On the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, the NBA insider said, “Victor obviously I spent a lot of time with him, I study them a lot. Spent time with him, spent time with his coaches, spent time with his family. I know him as well as I’ve ever known a prospect coming into the NBA since LeBron. And I am just saying to everybody – keep your expectations at a reasonable level. Even though he is not 17 years old, he is not coming straight out of high school like we saw some young guys. I do believe it’s going to take him some time.”


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He possesses great agility for a player with a 7-foot, 3-1/2 inches tall frame. Everyone has already witnessed what he can do on both ends of the court, but King McClure feels everyone has set the bar high for the young player.

He featured in two Summer League games, registering 36 points. His debut performance was a little underwhelming. But he quickly bounced back during game 2. This led the panel to conclude that everyone has set unrealistic standards for the Spurs’ youngster, comparing him to the legend, this early in his career. King McClure pointed out, “We’re supposed to expect them to have 2K numbers, 40 points, 20 rebounds, 15 blocks, and that’s just not realistic.”

Victor Wembanyama gets compared to young LeBron James


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Wembanyama has already started attracting comparisons to basketball greats like LeBron James. Brian Windhorst, who has followed both Wemby and LeBron’s careers closely, had an interesting take. He believes that the former Metropolitans 92 player is ahead of where King James was at 19 in terms of training.


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However, one thing that sets them apart is their size. When he first entered the NBA, James weighed 245 pounds, whereas Wembanyama’s thin frame is perhaps his only negative as a prospect.

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Written by:

Darshita Daga


One take at a time

Darshita Daga is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing Bachelor’s in English, she’s a fervent sports enthusiast with a keen interest in sports journalism, specifically covering the NBA. She feels that words have the potential to capture the spirit of a game, evaluate moves, and portray the emotions that occur both on and off the court.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja