Los Angeles Lakers icon Magic Johnson knows talent, and when it comes to highly touted prospect Victor Wembanyama, Magic is no different from the rest — he loves the 7-foot-5 center from France.
Wembanyama, far and away the favorite to be picked No. 1 in the 2023 NBA Draft, is arguably the most anticipated player to enter the league since Zion Williamson and LeBron James. His unique skill set at his size has many NBA executives drooling about possibly selecting him.
The big man is a three-level player, able to score inside, from deep and in the post. With an eight-foot wingspan, his defensive potential is through the roof. Wembanyama would also have one of the longest wingspans ever recorded in the NBA. The fact that he has shown the capability to shoot 3-pointers makes him a player only believable in NBA 2K.
Magic recognizes Wembanyama’s generational talent. He had high praise for the French center’s potential and immediate impact in the league in an interview with Bryan Kalbrosky of USA Today:
“Whew! Man! I don’t know if we’ve seen a big man who can do the things that he can. Normally, you have one or the other. Either your post-game is good or your outside jump shot is good. We’ve never seen a guy who can do both and can handle the basket and can also handle the basketball. He can block shots.
“He can affect the game in so many different ways and whoever gets him: This guy is going to change his franchise forever. The hype is real. He will probably make an impact like LeBron did when he first came into the league. This young man is special. I can tell how great he was when I met his parents in France. Now I see why he is such a special young man on the court and off. His parents are very involved. They’re good people. His mom played basketball. He’s a league changer and a franchise changer. I don’t know if we’ve seen someone with this type of talent in a long time be that young.”
During January’s NBA game in France, the two met at an arranged meeting because of Wembanyama’s admiration for Magic’s passing. Magic at the time even said that Wembanyama is the best player in the world, bold since he hasn’t played in the NBA yet.
Johnson compared his potential immediate impact to LeBron’s rookie year, not far off since rookies in the NBA are doing more of that nowadays. James also offered strong compliments for Wembanyama, saying he sees “generational talent” in the French star and that his skillset makes him an alien.
Whether or not he’s from another planet will be judged once Wembanyama makes his NBA debut.
Magic Johnson shares highlights from Michael Jordan’s 60th birthday
Two of the more influential players in NBA history are Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Their play in the 1980s and 1990s transformed the NBA into a global powerhouse. They also developed a strong relationship with one another, one that remains intact to this day.
Magic shared photos from Jordan’s recent 60th birthday celebration, calling it one of the best parties he’s ever been to.
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