Hours after Lakers legend’s Bill Russell comparison, Victor Wembanyama shines in 5-point NBA Summer League defeat

Irrespective of being the first overall pick in the draft and scoring merely nine points in his Summer League debut, Victor Wembanyama still has, by all means, managed to make an impression on a Lakers icon.

From the legend, the seven-foot-five star even drew comparisons with one of the most eminent basketball players of all time, Bill Russell.  Russell had captained the United States national basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics as well as two back-to-back NCAA titles in 1955 and 1956 with the San Francisco Dons.

Lakers icon Jerry West sang Wembanyama praises

Despite the rookie’s struggles in his Summer League debut, NBA legend Jerry West sensationally compared Victor Wembanyama to a prominent big man from his era—the legendary Bill Russell. Wembanyama, 19, is comparable to a “larger Bill Russell,” according to Jerry West, a former NBA champion with the Lakers in 1972, who was speaking on Sirius XM NBA Radio on Saturday.

Bill ‘The Secretary of Defense’ Russell, an 11-time NBA champion who passed away last year, was six inches shorter than ‘The Frenchman,’ whose amazing seven-foot, five-inch height is officially recorded in the NBA’s narrative. The legendary center from the Celtics, whose No. 6 jersey was retired by the NBA before the start of last season, as mentioned before absolutely ruled the game from 1959 to 1969.

Wembanyama, in contrast, is more adaptable than Russell since he can play both the ‘Mr. 11 Rings’ position and the power forward role.

Victor Wembanyama drops 27-point performance in Spurs defeat

After scoring just nine points in a Summer League game on Friday for the San Antonio Spurs against the Charlotte Hornets, Victor Wembanyama has a long way to go before he can match Russell’s reputation as one of the best big men in league history. Victor dropped in all 27 points and has had three blocks with 12 rebounds.

He shelled 9-of-14 from the field zone and 2-of-4 from way behind the arc. Even the No. 1 player for the Spurs acknowledged that there were instances when he didn’t really know what he was doing and that he needed to concentrate on becoming fitter before the new NBA season began in October.

Victor Wembanyama

‘As of today, I’m just a rookie,’ Wemby stated on Saturday – a day after officially sporting the celebrated Spurs’ black and silver jersey for the first time in his life. ‘I don’t have one NBA game in me. I just got everything to learn. ‘The truth was, yeah, I didn’t know what I was doing. And for the next games, I’m probably not going to know what I’m doing, too.

But it’s going to come as time goes and hopefully, we’ll be ready for the season.’ Wembanyama only made two of his thirteen attempts, but he mostly scored by converting free throws. The European-bred player Victor Wembanyama also contributed eight rebounds, five blocks, and three assists which eventually resulted in Charlotte’s victory over San Antonio.


Kushal Shinde

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