It’s hard to believe that the NBA season is already here, but here we are in October, with the leaves changing and the Association preparing for another stellar season. Plenty of storylines surround the NBA in the 2023-24 season. Can the Nuggets repeat and turn their franchise into a new dynasty? Will the Milwaukee Bucks, with the addition of Damian Lillard, return to championship glory? Is James Harden going to get his act together?
While these storylines (and many more) are intriguing, they pale compared to the unicorn residing in San Antonio. Victor Wembanyama, the French sensation taken with the first overall pick by the Spurs, is arguably the most highly touted prospect in basketball history. The best way to describe Wembanyama as a basketball player is to put it in video game terms. Wembanyama is the human representation of a custom-made NBA 2K character with the stats maxed out. He’s 7-4 and 210 pounds, and at only 19, he’s still growing.
Rather than playing like a prototypical center, Wembanyama can theoretically play every position on the floor. He’s a giant who moves with the grace and fluidity of a point guard. His ball-handling skills and three-point shooting are unparalleled for a player his size. On the defensive side of the ball, Wembanyama can turn an open jump shot into a block within seconds. The guy is must-see TV, and his stats from his first three games prove it.
Wembanyama has scored in double digits every game so far. In his debut against the Dallas Mavericks, he had 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. In his next game against the Houston Rockets, Wembanyama had a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double with three blocks and three steals. His most recent stat line (11 points, five rebounds, two assists) against the Clippers is relatively average, but Wembanyama still looks the part. With time and development in Gregg Popovich’s system, he could bloom into an even more impressive player.
While Wembanyama looks good as advertised so far, we must stop using the term “generational talent.” One of the luxuries of the sports we watch, whether professional or collegiate, is that we see generational talents every time we tune in.
Take Wembanyama’s first game, for example. As mentioned, he had a solid, but not incredible, night against Dallas. Do you know who did have an incredible game? Luka Doncic, the Mavs star who had a 33-point triple-double and paced his team to victory. Ironically, in Wembanyama’s massively anticipated debut, he was outshined by another supposed generational talent, which precisely proves my point.
I love Victor Wembanyama. He’s renewed plenty of interest in the NBA, and I believe he is already a top-20 player in the NBA through three games. However, calling him or any other athlete across any other sport a generational talent is a disservice to those unheralded stars who are wowing us daily. Cheers to Victor, Luka, Bo, Deion, and others who have made us love flipping on the TV to watch the magic. Rather than get that magic once in a generation, we get it daily.