Rachel Nichols says Victor Wembanyama could disrupt LeBron James-Michael Jordan GOAT debate

After San Antonio Spurs star rookie Victor Wembunyama scored 38 points against Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Rachel Nichols said the Frenchman can Breaking down the LeBron James and Michael Jordan debate about the greatest basketball player of all time.

“This player’s ceiling is so high that after the game, we talked about all the records he’s set or tied,” Nichols said. “In the first five games, you’re going to see names like David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James. Victor Wembanyama’s ceiling — I don’t Not predicting that he’ll get there — but his ceiling is higher than every one of those three gentlemen. We’ve been sitting here talking about Jordan and LeBron for a decade. Victor Wembanyama’s ceiling is that he can make it completely Mute.”

Venbanyama made 15 of 26 shots for the Spurs, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. In addition, he grabbed 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in one game, and the Spurs eventually won 132-121, improving the season record to 3 wins and 2 losses.

The 19-year-old’s performance against the Suns wasn’t his only highlight game so far this season. He had 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks against the Suns on October 31, and 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks against the Houston Rockets on October 27. The Spurs also won both games.

In five games for the Spurs this season, the big man averaged 20.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 blocks per game, shooting 50.0% from the field and 32.0% from three-point range.

By comparison, James averaged 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists as a rookie with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003-04. Jordan, meanwhile, averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists as a rookie with the Chicago Bulls in 1984-85.

James and Jordan both earned Rookie of the Year honors for their efforts in their first year in the NBA. There is a good chance that Wembanyama will receive the same award at the end of the season, but it is not yet confirmed that he will win the award.

That said, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren is also playing at a high level. He’s averaging 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in Oklahoma City’s five games so far.

While Bunyama had a great all-around performance on Thursday, one superstar-caliber performance alone isn’t enough to definitively say his ceiling is high enough to derail the “GOAT” debate surrounding James and Jordan.

Wembunyama hopes to replicate his performance against the Suns when the Spurs host the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

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