NBA

Wembanyama will be 'unstoppable' if he follows LeBron, Curry approach

By Sports Desk October 29, 2023

Victor Wembanyama will be "unstoppable" for the San Antonio Spurs when the 19-year-old finds his feet in the NBA.  

That is the view of 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, who has urged the seven-foot-four power forward to learn from the likes of LeBron James and Stephen Curry to boost his chances of success.

Wembanyama – the first overall pick in this year's NBA Draft – has been touted as one of the most exciting prospects of his generation. 

While Wembanyama was unable to stop San Antonio losing their 2023-24 season opener against the Dallas Mavericks earlier this week, he played a key role as they bounced back with a 126-122 overtime win over the Houston Rockets on Friday.

Wembanyama finished the Houston victory with 21 points, 12 rebounds and one assist, and Carter-Williams believes his physical stature and all-round skillset make him unique. 

"I think he's definitely an anomaly, right? There are not too many seven-foot-four dudes that can move like him," Carter-Williams – who is a free agent after leaving the Orlando Magic – told Stats Perform.

"Obviously, we'll see other people with other attributes, but I think for him, he's so tall and he's got such a long reach that he affects the game in so many different ways and it's going to be cool to see him develop. 

"You saw it with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] a little bit. You'd watch the game and there would be like two or three plays where you're like, 'if he can do that 10 times a game, he's in for some serious competition'.

"I think you see that with Victor as well, there's five or six times in the game where you're just shaking your head about how amazing the things that he does are.

"As soon as he starts doing those things more, he's going to be unstoppable."

Asked if he had any advice for the 19-year-old, Carter-Williams said: "I would find my routine. 

"If you start that as a rookie and you maintain that work and effort and that health, I think it sets you up for a really good career. 

"Obviously, the easy answer is to listen to your coaches and listen to this person, listen to that person, but I think the biggest thing is if you can stick to your resume every single day.

"You hear about LeBron and Steph taking care of their bodies, doing these offseason things and yes, they do have a million resources, but they put themselves in a situation where they can succeed. I think that's what's most important as a rookie."

Carter-Williams has experience of being a highly regarded prospect, having been named NBA Rookie of the Year after starring for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013-14.

Asked how Wembanyama would respond to the heightened interest in his performances, Carter-Williams said: "It's funny, when you're that age coming into the NBA and people have high expectations, you're kind of oblivious to what's really going on.

"There's so many things going on that you're like, 'I want to play basketball'. That's where I was at that time, obviously at a different level to him, he's one of the hottest rookies of all time. 

"He's probably got it 10 times as much as I had it when I was on my streak of being Rookie of the Year, so it's a little tough. 

"But I think that when you're at that level, you're just so focused on being on the court, it's like, 'I got a lot of hype, but I really haven't truly done anything'. 

"There's that pressure there, but for the most part, I think it's mostly, 'I just want to get on the court, I'm excited to be out there, and I get to play against all these guys that I once looked up to.'"

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