Thursday, November 30 2023

LAS VEGAS — Victor Wembanyama lamented that since being selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft, too little of his time went to playing basketball and much more of it was about promotional obligations, flying around from appearances in San Antonio to throwing out the first pitch at a Yankee’s game.

After he got in a couple of practices and games — both with Spurs rotational players in San Antonio and his Summer League teammates in Las Vegas — he was asked to compare the NBA and European games.

“First of all, the court is more open. It’s going fast, but it’s less physical. I get fouled a lot, but not as much,” Wembanyama said with a slight laugh. “Nothing to compare… Here the players are just flying [around]. Out there is more on the ground pushing, big box outs. Here it’s great athletes, the best in the world. Way more talent. But I like this better.”

This aligns with what other Europeans coming to the NBA have said in recent years. Anyone still trying to sell the European game as soft is 15 years behind the times — the referees allow a much more physical game (it’s something the NBA players will have to adjust to for the FIBA World Cup next month ).

On the other hand, the level of athleticism in the United States is much higher across the board. It’s a more free-flowing game.

That suits Wembanyama just fine, apparently. He looked comfortable with it scoring 27 in his second (and final) Summer League outing. The real tests will come this fall when it’s not just Summer LEague guys but NBA rotation players — and their athleticism — Wembanyama must adjust to.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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