Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Spurs’ Victor Wembanyama Says NBA Is ‘Less Physical’ Than European Basketball

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It may have only been two Summer League games, but Victor Wembanyama is noticing some subtle differences between NBA and European basketball.

“First of all, the court is more open [here]. It’s going fast, but it’s less physical,” Wembanyama told reporters. “I get fouled a lot, but not as much. Nothing to compare. Here, players are just flying. Out there, it’s more on the ground, pushing on the ground, big box-outs.

“Here, it’s great athletes, the best in the world. Way more talent. But I like this better, though.”

The San Antonio Spurs’ new franchise player appeared in two games in Las Vegas, one disappointing nine-point debut followed by a 27-point outing that saw him flash the type of skills that make him the most hyped draft prospect since LeBron James.

Wembanyama showed signs of struggling with physicality at points—particularly during his debut—but otherwise held his own and got to his spots surprisingly well for a 7’3″ player with handles like a point guard.

The NBA game is typically much faster-paced than its European counterpart, which largely relies on system offense and physicality on the defensive end. Wembanyama’s experience playing against grown men should help him transition quickly to the more open NBA game. We saw Luka Doncic have little trouble after his own development in the European game.

The Spurs will have their fingers crossed for the same type of quick rise to stardom from Wemby.

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