Bruno AltieriReading: 7 minutes.
Victor Wimpanyama had his best game in the NBA against Kevin Durant in the Spurs’ blowout win over the Suns, demonstrating that the past, present and future of the league are more intertwined than ever.
Kevin Durant First he complains, then he lowers his arms, and finally he quits. KD now understands what was happening in 2014.
What his rivals felt when they chased the heels of his flexible legs, when they tried in vain to reach those plastic arms that felt the heat of being closer to the sun than their opponents.
frustration. This is the word that defines what we saw Durant For years and what we see Victor Wembanyama now.
Here he is, the new French genius on the last taxi towards the stratosphere. Yes, of course, you have to be patient, but come on: 38 points and 10 rebounds in his fifth NBA game? This is stupid. And the most curious thing is to do it in front of a veteran Durant In what appears to be the first reference to weapons being handed over between the famous warriors.
put to Durant And Wimbanyama Together in front of the mirror and the difference between them will be 15 cm. Now put them in front of a TV camera, in a basketball game, and we will see two identical players, one of whom has already become a legend, the other a very large copy born 15 years later, more than 6,000 kilometers away.
“We’re trying to understand what it is because we’ve never seen anything like this before,” Devin Booker said after the game.
On a different scale, the same thing happened with Drurant When he arrived NBA In 2007 in the extinct uniform Seattle SuperSonics. A tall striker, too tall for the position, too big for a small man and too fast for a big man.
At the time, he was an impossible player. An indecipherable theory for any defence, he is a prolific goalscorer capable of causing harm from any position. At that time, anxiety was exactly the same as it is today Wimpy: Can he handle a physique like this? Wouldn’t he be too skinny for the physical game NBA?
It has been 14 years since the arrival Durant. Many things have changed, but mainly the welfare of athletes, something the Frenchman has worked on since he was just 14 years old in Paris.
In these golden years, we witnessed, among a thousand things, the passing game San Antonio Spurs That turned them into a dynasty, the Big Three of Miami Heat with LeBron James In leadership, Kobe Bryant’s heart for leadership Los Angeles Lakersoffering unique shooters such as Stephen Curry To create an amazing universe Golden State Warriors. Recently, we have enjoyed the progress of the international navy Giannis Antetokounmpo As a symbol of physicality and Nikola Jokic As a brain emblem that drives the synergy of a reaction-based sport.
Of all we saw, which was many, we saw nothing like it Wimbanyama. An alien that can do absolutely everything. put to Giannis actually Durant into a blender and will result in this player taken from James Naismith’s deepest dreams.
He arrives to correct the blemishes of his former colleagues. Because it is Durant With more dribbling and height. Because it is Giannis With an external project. Could failure still be catastrophic? It’s difficult, but we’re here to surprise ourselves. Can basketball as we know it change? It’s difficult, but we’re here to surprise ourselves.
This is the roadmap we started following in the draft. This is a treasure hunt, a search for the X on a worn map that we basketball archaeologists search for like a lost ship. Night after night, we gather in front of screens to see if history will be rewritten again. If we are witnessing a piece of eternity being snatched from fate.
He played only five matches in NBABut we are consuming the era Wimpy Since League Pass began showing full games with Mets 92 last year. And when we get to the league, we then start with numerology which leads us to think about unusual things, like, for example, that on Thursday he became the second youngest player in the history of the league. NBA To achieve 35 points and 10 rebounds in the match. Firstly? Durant.
There is much more than that. ESPN’s stats department tells us he became the third player in the last 40 seasons! In achieving 35 and 10 in one of the first five matches of his career. Just Shaquille O’Neal And Anthony Morrow They’ve done it before. He scored the most points for a player in his first five matches. NBA Since Larry Kennon in 1976.
Among all this data, the most interesting thing is something else. The mental maturity he experienced at the dawn of his career is absurd. At just 19 years old, we already know he’s a clutch player. It shows in Chiquita, when things matter. Note this: Wimbanyama He shot 15-19 in the final quarters this year (79%). It’s the best percentage in the final quarters for players who have 15 or more shots at the rim before them Lebron And Jokic. There are only four stars who have had 20 or more points this season: two former MVPs (LeBron And curry), MVP filter (Luka Doncic)… And Wimbanyama.
DurantNow hug Wimbanyama. He smiles, telling him something we can’t hear, but suspect from afar. This is serious matter, dear friends.
Wimbanyama Intent on breaking in NBA. Popović pushes him, challenges him, explains and accompanies him. the Tottenham They are back.
And the NBAAgain, it’s that dream-like terrain where wonderful things happen.
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