There was already plenty of hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama before he was picked No. 1 overall in this year’s draft by the Spurs. And now that he’s set to make his debut when the regular season tips off, one Celtics legend believes he has “a target on his back.”
Kevin Garnett understands the pressure of being a first-round pick as a teenager. Though he wasn’t selected first (fifth overall pick by the Timberwolves in the 1995 draft) he knows that all eyes will be on how Wembanyama performs from game to game.
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“He’s No. 1. Absolutely, he has a target on his back,” Garnett said, via The Washington Post’s Ben Golliver. “Everybody’s gonna set their level to the number one player and you’re gonna see what their level is. Coming from high school, I had a bunch of targets on my back. But that’s part of it. … He’ll be all right.”
Garnett went on to have a stellar career that included 15 All-Star Game appearances, the 2003 NBA MVP, nine All-NBA Team honors, 12 NBA All-Defensive team honors and a 2008 NBA championship with the Celtics.
Wembanyama has already faced some criticism before even stepping onto the court for a regular-season game. The 19-year-old played in just two Summer League games before being shut down — though that was the plan all along. But his Summer League debut left a lot to be desired, shooting just 2-of-13 and scoring nine points.
But he rebounded nicely in his second game with a team-high 27 points for the Spurs, shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point range.
What kind of career Wembanyama goes on to have remains to be seen, but Garnett is of the belief that he’ll be a successful NBA player.