No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama was one of the most-hyped prospects to ever enter the league, and has shown why in his first month with the San Antonio Spurs. The scary thing for the rest of the league is that the French phenom should only improve from here.
Wembanyama is certainly confident of that, as he told reporters on Tuesday.
"This is probably the worst Victor we'll ever see," Wembanyama said. "I believe I will keep getting better and better every year, so it's promising."
Through 17 games, Wembanyama is averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, leading rookies in all three categories.
He was the first rookie to record 100 points and 10 blocks in his first five games since Shaquille O'Neal. It took him just 11 games to reach 200 points, 100 rebounds and 25 blocks; the other five players to do that since blocks officially became a stat in 1973 have all made the Hall of Fame. In a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 26, he put up 22 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and four blocks in just 25 minutes. Prior to that, no one had reached those numbers in a game in fewer than 35 minutes.
If this is the worst Wembanyama we'll ever see, good luck once he has a few years of experience under his belt. Just take two-time MVP Nikola Jokic's word for it.
"I think he's 19 years old, he's not getting tired or getting scared,". "He's playing hard and he wants to be good. Like I said, I think he's playing hard, and he doesn't take it for granted. He's making mistakes, which is normal. I think the media around him doesn't help, but he's going to get used to it because the guy is 19 years old.
"He's going to change the game, 100%. He's already on that path, so for all of the guys just enjoy and watch the show and let the guy change the game."
The only negative aspect of Wembanyama's first month, aside from some inefficient shooting, is the Spurs' poor start. They've lost 12 games in a row, which is the third-worst streak in franchise history, and sit in last place in the Western Conference at 3-14.