Set for NBA Debut, ‘Dangerous Species’ Victor Wembanyama’s Kevin Durant-Like Surreal Mastery Leaves Celtics Legend Speechless

Published 10/25/2023, 8:35 PM EDT

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The start of the NBA season is always an exciting time for basketball fans. While their sport returns to the limelight, offseason moves take shape and show dividends. But, a common theme every year is the incorporation and viability of the new rookie class. That theme is multifold this year with the incoming of the most hyped athlete since LeBron James. While the NBA is gradually shifting to hybrid players in a mold that began with Kevin Durant, we might be ready to see the Unicorn’s epitome. After years of hype, Victor Wembanyama is finally about to start in the NBA.

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But, exactly how high is the upside? A former NBA Champion and Boston Celtics legend was all-in on trying to hype Wemby’s professional debut and unique skillset.

What is the NBA comparison for Victor Wembanyama?

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The hype, for all its hyperbole, is perfectly understandable. A 7’4″ anomaly with a gigantic wingspan and a smooth shooting stroke is the kind of NBA 2K demigod fans dream up. However, on October 25th, that dream becomes a reality as the San Antonio Spurs take on the Dallas Mavericks.

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In one of the most highly anticipated debuts in modern NBA history, the league is ready. But, with the ridiculous hype surrounding him, the expectations for his success are through the roof. Media channels are already debating his candidacy as the potential best player ever. That is another distinction he can share with LeBron apart from the insane hype.

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But, to counteract those claims, Hall of Famer Paul Pierce made his case. “I’m not sure about (the) greatest player ever.” However, he isn’t completely ignoring the uniqueness that the French native brings. As a result, The Truth had an interesting analogy.

Watch This Story: Set To Earn $30,000,000, Victor Wembanyama’s Best Friend Still Doesn’t Have A Driver’s License For Baffling Reason

If we were in a jungle. You got LeBron – he’s the lion. You had Kobe, he’s the Mamba. We are looking at a species we’ve never seen before. That’s potentially dangerous.” When trying to compare the skillsets that Victor possesses, Pierce fell short of adequate comparisons.

We’re watching him do KD-like things. Who else is there? There is nobody else I can think of. Maybe Wilt Chamberlain and just block shots.” That amount of hype and those comparisons might feel excessive. But, if the preseason is anything to go by, the comparisons might be perfectly valid.

The early returns for Wemby

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So far, the only professional visuals of Victor have been simply jaw-dropping. The fluidity and grace paired with a freakish frame and athletic abilities make him a must-watch every time. Whether it be during his time in France or the glimpses of him in preseason, the 19-year-old looks every bit worth the hype.

In that clip, Paul further alluded to the same. “When they played the Golden State Warriors in the preseason…Wemby was in the lane, they swung the ball around the 3-point line. He sprinted out, and Andrew Wiggins couldn’t even get his shot off…He covered about, at least, 15 feet in a matter of seconds to stop him from scoring and that’s something I’ve never seen.” 

That defensive prowess already makes him an invaluable player in the league. But, if the offensive upside he showcased in that game, especially in an earlier matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder is anything to go by, the ceiling might genuinely be unimaginable.

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As he gets set to square off for his first game, the hype is real. What was a figment of the imagination is now a reality. Get ready, folks. It’s going to be a Wemby ride.

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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Priyanshu is a senior NBA Writer at EssentiallySports, with a great command of the technical aspects of the sport. With immense knowledge and great control over his writing, Priyanshu has established himself as one of the division’s most trusted and reliable team members - just like his favorite player, Magic Johnson. Calling his passion for Basketball 'boundless', his love for the game first struck in 2009.
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Edited by:

Sharan Nair

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