Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard wants more respect for the LeBron James name.
As arguably the greatest player to grace an NBA court, Lillard’s request seems a bit odd. But it’s about all the buzz that the consensus first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Frenchman Victor Wembanyama, is getting.
More specifically, some believe Wembanyama is a better prospect now that James was heading to the 2003 NBA Draft.
This year’s draft has been surrounded by debate over which prospect is the best, with Wembanyama’s 7-foot-2 frame challenging the usual abilities of NBA big men, as he can dribble and shoot like a guard. .
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Lillard, however, believes that James’ exaggeration was far greater than Wembanyama’s.
«I was in 7th grade when they were Hyping bron on ESPN! If I’m still on top 20 years later…stop playing with the bra type…it’s falling out of my pocket,» Lillard tweeted Wednesday.
James was coined «The One» when his Sports Illustrated cover made its rounds around the world. Playing for St. Vincent-St. At Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, James wowed scouts and fans alike with his ability to fly through the air for dunks, rebounds and blocks while scoring almost at will.
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James was the same age Wembanyama is now, 19, when he entered the NBA and quickly made an impact with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He scored 20.9 points per game with 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 79 games. It was his sophomore season, James was named to his first All-Star team and he hasn’t missed one since.
On the other hand, Wembanyama faces solid overseas talent in France’s LNB Pro A league, and has averaged 21.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game this season.
Despite all the debate, James had nothing but positive words for the French phenomenon.
«He’s more like an alien,» James said, adding that he’s «a generational talent.»
A league general manager also mentioned that Wembanyama is a «7 foot 4 (sic) [Kevin] Durant who blocks shots».
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No matter the case, Lillard will see Wembanyama in the Western Conference next season after the San Antonio Spurs landed the first overall pick in the draft via the Draft Lottery, which was announced Tuesday night.