for Adam Silver, Victor Wembanyama has the “potential” to be at the “best” level

Wembanyama, the figure of French basketball for the next few years. Federico Pestellini / PANORAMIC

The commissioner was widely questioned about the “Wemby” case this Wednesday, on the eve of the NBA match in Paris and a few months before the 2023 Draft, in June.

Victor Wembanyama is not yet in the NBA whose name is on everyone’s lips across the Atlantic. “In the NBA, everyone is talking about him, this is the next attraction“Killian Hayes is confirmed, selected in seventh position in the 2020 Draft, a record for a Frenchman. Record that will fall at the end of June, “Wemby” promised in the first place. “Victor Wembanyama is about to join our League, which is very exciting for us.said Adam Silver on Wednesday, in Paris, in a long preamble before answering reporters’ questions. I heard that he is supposed to attend the game tomorrow (Chicago-Detroit Thursday at the Accor Arena boards, Editor’s note). I haven’t met him yet but I can’t wait to at least say hello.“It’s not just him, Magic Johnson, who will be in Bercy on Thursday, who nurtures the same ambition according to the words of the NBA commissioner!

And the big boss of the North American league continued: “I can’t wait to say hello to him tomorrow. As far as I know, he is not only a good basketball player, a good athlete, but also a good young man, very intelligent, very committed. I wish I had the chance to tell him to take one day at a time. It’s a cliché, but it’s also true. From what I saw, I was very impressed that he knew he had to work on his body, on his game, mature as a player. Even the best players in their thirties will tell you that they are working on a new aspect of their game every summer, that they are improving all the time. This is the recipe of the greatest.“All while highlighting”brotherhoodwithin the NBA, with adults serving as mentors to youth.

There are times when I envy the promotion/relegation system.

Adam Silver

Obviously, Adam Silver, “impressed», Refused to give a preference about the team that will have the opportunity to welcome the 19-year-old French phenomenon in the coming months. “If I have an opinion, I won’t give it to you“, he smiled, adding that he had “no preference“he’s from”love all (his) team“. To see if some clubs will launch early in a tanking operation intended to put the hook on the Mets player. Understand, with the goal of losing the most matches to get the highest in the Draft. “Tanking? It is not part of the Commissioner’s vocabulary.“Mr. Silver smiles, remembers the NBA”be carefulin this kind of phenomenon and remembering that various changes have been made to prevent it. “There are times when I envy the promotion/relegation system“, he joked, thinking “pretty happy with the way things are” on this topic.

Moreover, as Adam Silver points out, the best are not always chosen in the first row, from Nikola Jokic to Giannis Antetokounmpo, through Stephen Curry and of course Michael Jordan, the examples he mentions. We also thought of Tony Parker, who was selected in the 28th position in 2001.I don’t know who the first draft pick was. Besides, it’s only mid-January. The Draft will take place at the end of June. A lot can happen at that time“, he slipped, making sure he wanted to”watch out for this young man because of his talent, he hasn’t set foot on the NBA floors yet, he hasn’t even been drafted yet and it looks like he’s good. It’s the same for LeBron, who has effectively become one of the greatest in history. Victor has the potential to be at this levelSaid the 60-year-old US leader.

The NBA relies on the “Wemby” effect

In terms of impact, the wave could be big in France and other markets. “Wembymania” should come out quickly. Adam Silver is rubbing his hands in advance…”Let’s not put too much pressure on him before he even becomes an NBA player. But if it follows the same path as in other markets, it will be a big attraction in France, no doubthe admitted. And French fans aren’t the only ones who want to follow him. I think of Yao Ming. It’s a big attraction in China, and beyond! Fans love great players. We will follow him in France, in Europe. He is of African descent. One can imagine the connections with this continent.»

Meanwhile, under the colors of Boulogne-Levallois Victor Wembanyama will play again this Wednesday night, on the side of Marseille, against Fos-sur-Mer, for a match on the 18th day of the French championship. A match… to be followed in the application of the NBA, like all the meetings of the French unicorn with the Metropolitans 92. A privilege reserved for Wembanyama alone, the first in the history of the NBA. “That’s what makes the sport interesting: you have to try to predict the future, which no one else cansaid mr. Silver. That in “Wemby” is already mapped.

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