Is 19-year-old Wembanya ahead of 18-year-old LeBron?

Yahoo Sports NBA writer Vince Goodwill joins Bomani Jones The “Good Word With Goodwill” podcast discusses what they’ve seen so far from San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama in the preseason and compares Wembanyama, who is about to enter his rookie season, with LeBron James’s rookie season in 2003-04 Seasons were compared.

Listen to the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill,” part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.

video transcript

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Bomani Jones: You and I were old enough when LeBron came into the league.

Vincent Goodwill: fork.

Bomani Jones: Of course, LeBron was 18, not 19. But this 19-year-old version of Vick looks better than the rookie version of LeBron. LeBron came into the league ready to become a very good NBA player.

Vincent Goodwill: Well, even LeBron’s early stuff was just consistency like replicating it night in and night out. For Vic, I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem. Just like the numbers may fluctuate based on jump shots, but I feel like defensively he’s going to be comfortable night in and night out. Whether he plays 30 minutes or 35 minutes, how Popovich and those guys manage him. Everything I’ve heard from people I trust, they’re not going to let him be like the low-management program he was in early on.

Bomani Jones: They are all treated as handles. That’s the sick part. Like when I got to Vegas and saw this 7-foot-3 guy, I didn’t understand how that was possible. Like LeBron, wow, what an amazing thing all in one place. They can’t all be there. But it’s not out of the question that you’re 6’8″ and fast. It’s not impossible that you’re 6’8″ and have something similar – all of those things individually are possible, you just rarely see them in the same place.

There are some things that seem personally impossible for this guy, like it’s impossible to be 7-foot-3, 7-foot-4 and handle the ball like that. It can’t be that long. It can’t be that high, that coordinated, because these things usually sum to zero. I don’t understand, Vinny, what’s going on.

Vincent Goodwill: That’s another thing because we watched Big Vic’s first game. He walked past us like he was in the little tunnel area. He looked exactly seven times bigger. He makes the average tall man like, Beau, you’re literally six times that.

Bomani Jones: He is a foot taller than me. How about that? How about that? I feel like I’m in that picture of Bugsy Bowles and Duke(?Ball.?)

Vincent Goodwill: With three basketballs. Like we’re just talking about basic offensive plays, and that’s not what he’s supposed to do with his size. He’s a rookie.

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