Victor Wembanyama silenced a lot of doubters on Tuesday night when his French Metropolitans 92 squad fell to the G League’s Ignite team 122-115.
In what was billed as an epic showdown between surefire future Nos. 1 and 2 NBA draft picks Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, the two young men more than delivered on expectations.
Wembanyama finished with 37 points on 7-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc and 5 blocks. Henderson recorded 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting, plus 9 assists and 5 rebounds.
Aside from his epic on-the-court performance, Wembanyama also made headlines after the fact over his height.
Heading into Tuesday night’s outing, many had Wembanyama billed as being 7-foot-4 or 7-foot-5. After the game, he attempted to clear up the confusion:
Victor Wembanyama told @MedcalfByESPN that he is 7-foot-3.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) October 5, 2022
Whatever his height is, Wembanyama is a beast. A true generational talent the likes of which the NBA has never seen before.
The highlights speak for themselves:
37 points, 5 blocks and 7 made 3s for Victor Wembanyama in his first ever game on US soil. Showed exactly why he’s considered a generational talent and the projected No. 1 pick in a loaded draft class. pic.twitter.com/DolqdnkAty
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) October 5, 2022
And Wembanyama, for what it’s worth, is embracing the hype. He isn’t shying away from it.
“I’m gonna tell you something that’s been going on in my life, like for my whole life, since I’ve been a kid, even before I played basketball,” he told the Associated Press recently.
“I’ve always tried to do [something] different. I’m not even talking about sports, whatever. Any field, I’m always trying to be original, something original, something one of one, something that’s never been done before.
“And this is really how it worked in my life. I don’t know where it comes from. I think I was born with it. I’ve always been trying to be original. Unique, that’s the word. My goal is to be like something you’ve never seen.”
There is no fear. No concern of failing. Wembanyama truly believes he is fulfilling his destiny at the moment.
“I was built for this, I guess,” he continued.
“All of what happens to me, I expected for myself. So it’s just a checklist of expectations. I’m not surprised by what’s happening to me. And yeah, this is happening, this is how I can manage it and I think I managed it well.”
In a day and age when NBA stars are making headlines for which adult movie star they allegedly knocked up and all sorts of petulant drama, it’s crazy to think that there is a kid waiting in the wings ready to take the league over.
Obviously there have been other “Generational Talents” that have flopped, a la Greg Oden.
The Panthers are so bad that Olivia Culpo now needs to find new ways to entertain herself. https://t.co/fbbI6PKFOv
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 5, 2022
But something about Wembanyama feels different.
Will he be able to ascend to the throne just as LeBron James is reaching the end of his career?
Time will tell.