Victor Wembanyama entered the NBA as the hottest prospect since LeBron James.
The 7-foot-4 French phenom was selected first overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2023 NBA Draft and was touted as the next big man to play for the organization.
The Spurs selected David Robinson first overall in 1987 before taking Tim Duncan in 1997, with both players subsequently Hall of Fame careers as San Antonio became the envy of the NBA.
The same result, fair or not, is expected for Wembanyama.
He’s off to a good start just five games into his NBA career.
Wembanyama had 38 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks Thursday night in a 132-121 victory over Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns.
The 19-year-old rookie made 15 of 26 shots from the field and scored 10 of San Antonio’s final 16 points as the Spurs beat the Suns for the second straight game.
‘He’s a multi-faceted player, he’ll move to open guy,’ Spurs head coach Gregg Popovitch said of Wembanyama. “He has confidence in himself. He’s made some incredible plays. That combination is pretty good.”
Wembanyama’s 38 points put him tied for third for most points. San Antonio Rookiebehind Hall of Famer David Robinson, who scored 41 and 39 points in his rookie season, according to ESPN.
“I’m just trying to figure out what he is because we’ve never seen him before,” Suns star Devin Booker said, according to ESPN. “We got him early in the season, and hopefully the next time we play him we can make some adjustments to make it more difficult for him. But he has the advantage of being 7- 4 and be able to shoot everyone. You just have to find different ways to make it harder for him.”
San Antonio took a 27-point lead in the first half before the Suns came back to tie the game 116-116 late in the fourth quarter.
Wembanyama responded with 10 of San Antonio’s next 12 points as the Spurs improved to 3-2 on the year.
“I would say a 20-point lead is nothing,” Wembanyama said. “It works both ways. It’s also something we’ve seen in FIBA when we’re playing Team USA or recruiting the USA. You could be up 15 and in a blink by eye you’ll lose one and you don’t know what happened because they ran the game. fastbreak like crazy and got a few defensive stops.
“So yes, in the NBA, it’s the same.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report