Victor Wembanyama, the 7-foot-2 French prodigy who is projected to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, has been described as a “unicorn.” LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers prefers to call him an “alien,” and that seems to suit Wembanyama just fine.
“First of all, I’m really glad he said that because I didn’t like to be called a unicorn,” Wembanyama said in a February 21 story by Sports Illustrated’s Andy Nesbitt. “I like it because it’s just something not from this world. I like being called an alien, yeah. It’s really what I’m working to be — something unique and original.”
When Kristaps Porzingis entered the league in 2015 as a 7-foot-3 player for the New York Knicks who could “score, defend and make plays like a guard,” per Bleacher Report, he was labeled a unicorn. Since then, the term has become overused.
“We’re labeling, like, this unicorn thing. Everybody’s been a unicorn over the last few years,” James said in a February 21 story by Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo. “But he’s more like an alien — no one has seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is on the floor.”
With his wild mix of height, 8-foot wingspan, shooting ability, ball-handling, and defense, Wembanyama is considered a can’t-miss prospect, a player unlike anything the NBA has seen before. The draft is June 22, and the Houston Rockets have the best odds of having the No. 1 pick.
LeBron James Discusses Kyrie Irving Team-Up
At the All-Star Game, James’ selection of Kyrie Irving to be on his team led to speculation by Lakers fans about a reunion of the two former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates. Their hopes got even higher when James talked about how great it was to team up with Irving again, just weeks after the Lakers failed to land the star point guard in a trade.
“It’s always great to team back up with Kyrie,” James said. “Obviously, you guys know how I feel about Kyrie, both on and off the court. So, it’s always good to see him. Very proud of him, very proud of the man he’s become in his life right now.”
LeBron James Puts Lakers on Notice
The Lakers haven’t played at the level that James, Anthony Davis, or their fans wanted so far this season. However, James isn’t ready to lie down and give up. He put his teammates on notice, letting it be known that he wants to return to the playoffs this season.
“I want to make a push to make the playoffs,” James said. “I don’t want to see myself not being part of the postseason for two years straight. It’s just not part of my DNA. We’re sitting up here talking about the [scoring] record and things of that nature, and that’s all cool, but I’m more passionate about trying to make the postseason and give ourselves a chance to compete for another Larry O’Brien Trophy. That’s just who I am. That’s what I’m cut from.”