NBA

'I've never seen anything like him' – Giannis impressed by Wembanyama as Bucks down Spurs

By Sports Desk January 05, 2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo hailed Victor Wembanyama after edging his first battle with the rookie on Thursday, declaring: "I've never seen anything like him".

Antetokounmpo finished with 44 points as the Milwaukee Bucks clinched a 125-121 win at the end of a back-and-forth affair against the San Antonio Spurs, snapping a two-game losing streak.

In Antetokounmpo's first NBA meeting with Wembanyama, the number one draft pick gave the Spurs a late chance to get back into the game by swatting the ball away from the Bucks star and teeing up Tre Jones for a missed three-pointer.

The rookie ended a game featuring several highlight plays with 27 points and nine rebounds, leaving Antetokounmpo impressed. 

"He's special," Antetokounmpo said of Wembanyama. "He's going to be an extremely good player. He plays the right way. He plays to win. I've never seen anything like him.

"The sky is the limit as long as you work hard, keep having a positive attitude. Everything he dreams of is going to happen for him."

Wembanyama, meanwhile, said he had learned a lot from facing Antetokounmpo, a player he has long admired.

"It's always extra motivation and I know I'm a competitor," Wembanyama said. "I want to go at everyone and be the bad guy on the court. So it was a great matchup.

"I'm trying to gain knowledge from as many great players as there are. Giannis is one of the players I've watched the most. 

"The way he uses his body, he makes 100 per cent of what he can do with his body. That's something I look up to. He's a player I know pretty well."

Thursday's defeat saw San Antonio slip to 5-29 for the season, but after a game in which neither team led by more than five points in the fourth quarter, Wembanyama chose to remain upbeat.

"It's promising," Wembanyama said. "That's the first thing coach [Gregg Popovich] told us coming back in the locker room. 

"We had some moments in the game where everything seemed to work. I could feel the crowd believing in us and getting going. Some of this was satisfying tonight."

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