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.'"

Related items

  • Kidd lauds 'special' Doncic's love of the big stage after game-winning 3 Kidd lauds 'special' Doncic's love of the big stage after game-winning 3

    Luka Doncic loves the big stage, and that's what makes him "special" to Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd.

    Doncic again displayed his ability to perform in the biggest moments on Friday as he drained a 3-pointer over four-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to lead the Mavericks to a 109-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, one that leaves them 2-0 up in their Western Conference final.

    The Mavericks came back from an 18-point deficit to tighten their grip on the series, with Doncic leading the way. The five-time All-Star ended the game with 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history to manage four triple-doubles across a five-game postseason span.

    Kidd hailed Doncic's game-winning impact, saying there was no other option but to try and get him the ball when deciding what play to run during the timeout with 13 seconds remaining

    "As you've seen, he loves that stage," Kidd told reporters. "He doesn't run from it. He made a big shot. Luka is special. He loves those type of moments.

    "The play was to get Luka the ball and let Luka do what he does in those moments."

    Doncic believes the comeback, the Mavericks' third-biggest in their postseason history, was down to his team's mindset as he ruthlessly snatched the game away from the Timberwolves.

    "Like I always say, stay together, positive energy," Doncic explained. "We believed until the end.

    "I just saw some space and decided to shoot a 3. Get to my spot, step back. That's it."

  • NBA: Doncic's late 3-pointer gives Mavericks 2-0 lead NBA: Doncic's late 3-pointer gives Mavericks 2-0 lead

    Luka Dončić drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3 seconds remaining and finished with a triple-double as the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 109-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals on Friday night.

    Doncic had 32 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his eighth triple-double in 42 career playoff games for the Mavericks, who erased a 16-point deficit midway through the third quarter.

    After winning two on the road, the Mavericks look to take a commanding 3-0 lead as the series shifts to Dallas on Sunday night.

    Naz Reid scored 23 points with seven 3-pointers, but his last shot at the buzzer rimmed out as the Timberwolves endured another off night from stars Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Edwards had 21 points on 5-of-17 shooting and Towns scored 15 on 4 of 16 from the field.

    Jaden McDaniels, who had 20-plus points in each of Minnesota’s last three games, didn’t make a basket until midway through the third. He finished with two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

    Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3 from the corner with 65 seconds left that drew Dallas within 108-106.

    Minnesota committed two turnovers, the last one by Edwards, who recklessly threw the ball out of bounds off a drive with 13 seconds to go.

    Doncic took the inbounds pass and dribbled to set up a screen for Dereck Lively II that triggered a switch by the Wolves. Rudy Gobert covered Doncic, but the Mavs superstar sank the 3 and then flexed his arms and yelled at the stunned crowd as his teammates mobbed him.

    The Wolves pushed their lead to 68-52 on Mike Conley’s free throw with 9:07 left in the third quarter, but Dallas scored eight straight points and was within 79-77 on Irving’s basket with 1:22 to play in the quarter.

  • Confidence will not get the job done for the Celtics, warns Mazzulla Confidence will not get the job done for the Celtics, warns Mazzulla

    Joe Mazzulla warned the Boston Celtics that the confidence garnered from taking a 2-0 series lead against the Indiana Pacers is not enough to secure progress.

    The Celtics won 126-110 on Thursday to move two games ahead in their Eastern Conference finals series against the Pacers.

    Indiana were also dealt a blow when star player Tyrese Haliburton suffered a hamstring injury, which the Pacers will wait agonisingly on.

    Yet with the Pacers having overturned a deficit to overcome the New York Knicks in the last round, Celtics coach Mazzulla knows the job is nowhere near done.

    "The only thing we should be thinking about is, they were down 2-0 a series Tago and brought it to Game 7," Mazzulla said.

    "They do a great job protecting their home court. They're undefeated at home. It's going to take a lot more than confidence to get the job done.

    "We have to focus on the details and the execution and the mindset, the things that go into playing against a team like this at home.

    "I know they're going to respond so it's up to us to do the same."

    Jaylen Brown starred again for the Celtics, finishing with 40 points on the day he missed out on an All-NBA selection.

    "We're two games from the Finals," he said when asked about that snub. "So, honestly, I don't have the time to give a f***."

    Indiana, meanwhile, face the prospect of having to fight back against the NBA's best team without their key player.

    "He does so many things for our team," T.J McConnell said of Haliburton.

    "I think everyone has to move the ball more, get in the paint more. The ball movement has to be at another level. He gets 10 assists in his sleep, so it's hard for another person on our team to replicate that. It's a group effort when he goes down."

    Pacers coach Rick Carlisle added: "We'll know more [on Friday] and then probably more Saturday."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.