‘He looks great… but you can’t tell until he’s in the NBA’: Charles Barkley suggests the hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama may NOT be justified… and says he WILL NOT have the same immediate impact as LeBron James
TNT and Hall of Fame host Charles Barkley believes Victor Wembanyama, who is the #1 pick in the draft, did not deserve the publicity he has received – and will withhold further judgment until he is in the NBA.
The 7ft 5cm teenager dazzled both fans and scouts with his shooting and ability to dribble the ball like a defender despite his gigantic size.
In his last game with the French national team, he scored 22 points, 17 rebounds, six blocks and four steals against the Czech Republic.
“Everyone wants this kid and it looks like he’s great, but you can’t really tell until he’s in the NBA,” Barkley said.
NBA analyst Charles Barkley said that in his opinion Victor Wembanyama is not worth the hype
Wembanyama is the clear favorite to win the 1st overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft
Barkley then continued the conversation on Wembanyama after co-host Kenny Smith praised the great man’s shooting skills, saying: “I don’t agree with all of this, I think it’s going to be a huge adjustment.
Physical… I think it’s more physical than his game against the Czech Republic. I mean he’s going to play against grown men.
“And he’ll have to keep an eye on those guys on the other side, it’ll get him in nasty trouble.”
“Look, I’ve been in the NBA for 40 years and I’ve only seen one guy, one guy who didn’t go to college and looks great, that was LeBron. Kobe was great, he struggled early. Kevin Garnett was great, he struggled early.
Barkley seems to have forgotten one MVP contender, Luce Doncic, who played in Spain before being drafted to the NBA and averaging 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and six assists as a rookie.
Doncic was also named NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2018-2019 season after not playing a single second of college basketball, so it looks like Barkley may want to reconsider his statements.
The 2018-2019 class included players who featured in college such as Trae Young, Deandre Ayton and Jaren Jackson Jr, all of whom are regarded as some of the best players in the league.
Barkley’s co-host Kenny Smith, who has been interviewed for multiple NBA coaching positions after displaying a high basketball IQ as both a coach and TV analyst, also disagreed with statements about Wembanyama.
Fellow analyst Kenny Smith disagreed with Barkley and his gloomy predictions for Wembanyama
Wembanyama wowed the scouts with his dribbling ability, standing well over seven feet
He also showed amazing three-point shooting ability for a player of his height
Smith responded to Barkley’s comments by saying, “He’s an exceptional talent because of his ability to hold the ball and shoot it.
“I just think his skill set is that the way he scores even in European competition is very similar to the way he would score in the NBA,” Smith continued after Barkley’s stoppage. “So I don’t think it will be an adjustment for him.
“It’s not like … I think there were bugs where the guys had to change their game and add something to it.”
“This kid shoots three, he holds the ball, he goes into floor areas, seven foot five, he’s going to shoot above you. Not many guys can really save him and his ability to hold the ball is what really makes him special to me. It’s none other than his ability to play basketball.