Recently, one of the greatest point guards in the history of the NBA had some very high praise for Victor Wembanyama. Jerry West had an amazing 14-year career in the NBA. He would be one of the few players in history to make the All-Star game each year he was in the league. Along with this, he made 12 appearances on the All-NBA team, five appearances on the All-Defensive team, led the league in scoring once, led the league in assists once, took home one title, and won one Finals MVP. He would be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1980.
Since he retired from the league, West has gone on to prove time and time again that he has an elite eye for basketball talent. He was a key advisor for the Golden State Warriors and helped set the groundwork for the best dynasty of the 2010s. Along with this, he has also served as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers staff during their Paul George and Kawhi Leonard experiment.
While West will be unable to add Wembanyama to his roster, that did not stop him from giving an incredible compliment to the first overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft. After watching him play at the NBA Summer League, West was quoted as saying, “You rarely see someone that combines his brain and his ability. Just watching him play, it’s an easy game for him to play, very easy. Never looks like he’s really working, and if you watch really great players they don’t look like they’re working hard. They’re always in the right place at the right time. I think when he comes into the league if you watch him defensively, he ruins games. He reminds me a little bit of a bigger Bill Russell, with a big reach, coming from everywhere, blindsides. Every offensive player is going to have to be really cautious about where he is because he’s going to mess up some offenses, that’s for sure”.
Bill Russell was one of if not the greatest defensive big men of all time. He was a generational shot blocker and rebounder. However, this would not be the first time that Wembanyama has been compared to one of the greatest bigs to ever play the sport. Leading up to the draft, some scouts went as far as to say that he would be the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of this generation.
If Wembanyama is even able to come close to what some of the best minds in basketball see his potential as he will go down as one of the greatest of all time and will dominate a post LeBron James era of the NBA. There is a strong chance that if he can stay healthy, he will one day be the face of the league. With him being coached up by Greg Popovich and having access to one on one workouts with Tim Duncan paired with him once in lifetime natural skillset, something very special could be brewing in San Antonio.
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