When Victor Wembanyama and Metropolitans 92 faced off against Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite in Las Vegas on Tuesday, the top two prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft caught the eyes of the entire basketball world with performances that will not soon be forgotten.
Henderson was impressive in his own right, but this exhibition showcase gave everyone in North America their first opportunity to see Wembanyama on national television, as the French star competed in his first-ever game on U.S. soil.
Wembanyama didn’t disappoint in the spotlight, erupting for 37 points, five blocks and seven (!) 3-pointers — a stat line that has never been seen before on an NBA court.
Victor Wembanyama is a one-of-a-kind hooper!— NBA (@NBA) October 5, 2022
🦄 37 PTS, 4 REB, 5 BLK, 7 3PM pic.twitter.com/jc3Jz6SLio
While we mere mortals were jaw-dropped by the 7-foot-4 center’s ball-deflating blocks and shockingly smooth 3-point stroke, even one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Lakers star LeBron James is also in Las Vegas for a pair of preseason games, and he was asked about the potential No. 1 pick following Los Angeles' game against the Suns on Wednesday.
James didn’t hold back his praise, admitting he was impressed with what he saw from Wembanyama.
“What do I think about him? I probably think the same as everybody else thinks,” James began.
“Everybody’s been labeled a unicorn over the last few years, but he’s more like an alien. No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is, but as fluid and as graceful as he is on the floor. At 7-4, he has the ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots. He’s for sure a generational talent.
“Hopefully, he continues to stay healthy because that’s what’s most important for him personally. … I think it was the two best players in the draft, they both did their thing. He’s a big-time player, and Scoot’s a big-time player as well.”
James was also asked to compare Wembanyama’s hype to his own experience, claiming he was grateful he grew up in the era that he did, before social media became what it is today.
“For me, what I went through… thank God I didn’t have social media. That’s all I can say,” James stated bluntly.
“I can’t imagine how my life would have been different or what would have transpired with social media. I’m happy I didn’t have social media and I’m happy I was from a small town like Akron, Ohio. It kept me in the bunker, it kept me locked in on the task at hand.”
You can watch James' full response on Wembanyama below.
If you missed Wembanyama and Henderson face-off the first time around, you can catch them again on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.