Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant knows what it is like to come into the NBA with a lot of hype.
Back when he was at Texas, he and Greg Oden were dubbed generational talents that would stand apart from others in their particular era.
The folks saying that were half right.
Amazingly enough, French prospect Victor Wembanyama is coming into next year’s NBA Draft with even more hype than Durant originally had.
Between his massive size and undeniable skillset, many view him as a LeBron James-style once-in-a-lifetime star.
Because of how hyped Wembanyama is, many NBA teams are looking to tank this season to position themselves to draft him next summer.
Durant offered his thoughts on that strategy this week.
“Nah, teams have been tanking for a minute,” Durant told Nick Friedell of ESPN.
“What, you’re going to force them to be competitive? I don’t see a problem with it, because each year there’s only a few teams that can win it anyway. So the rest of the league is trying to figure out where they are.
“And that’s pretty smart business if you’re a team and you know you’re not going to be a playoff team or play-in team, you might as well try to play for [the No. 1 pick]. You might as well try to get some of the guys who probably won’t get real rotation minutes if you have a good team, get them some reps and maybe those guys can change their lives as well.”
Wembanyama has been a hot topic of conversation in recent weeks.
Russ sent Lakers fans a clear message with his hat. https://t.co/qt7lLxwOBx
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 6, 2023
Time will tell if his success in the NBA will ultimately justify all the hype he has received up to this point, but there is a reason Wembanyama is so popular these days.
Will he ultimately change the game in the way many expect him to? An answer one way or another will emerge next year.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.