(New York) French basketball player Victor Wembanyama said on Wednesday he was “immune” to the immense expectations of his extraordinary potential, on the eve of the NBA draft which should see him selected in first position by the San Antonio Spurs .
“I don’t let any of this go to my head, because I have such high expectations of myself that I’m immune to all of this stuff,” the 19-year-old Ile-de-France resident said during an interview. a press conference in New York, in fluent English. ” I do not care. »
For several months, the former Boulogne-Levallois player has been presented as the biggest talent that world basketball has known since the arrival, twenty years ago, of LeBron James, who himself called him a ” extraterrestrial “.
As for the attention he generates, in general, “even if it’s sometimes impressive, I expect to have this kind of reaction”, explained the giant of Chesnay.
However, he has appreciated the fervor of the fans since his arrival in New York on Monday.
“It’s tenfold compared to France,” he enthused. “The excitement is incredible. It makes me want to do good things to please all those people who believe in me and give love. It’s incredible. »
Immediate history is already largely written for the finalist of the last French championship who, barring a dramatic change, should be retained on Thursday by the Spurs in first position in the draft, the event which allows NBA franchises to select young people. players who have never played in the league before.
“For me, San Antonio is synonymous with the will to win”, summarized the one who was, in large part, trained in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine). “When Spurs got the first pick (after a lottery process) I thought I was lucky, because they have this culture, this experience of developing good players. I am impatient. »
“I’m going to have a hard time sleeping tonight,” said Victor Wembanyama. “Tomorrow something is going to happen that I have been dreaming about for years. […] From the day I understood what the draft was, I wanted to be the first choice. »
Very comfortable with the media, despite his young age, the greatest pure talent in the history of French basketball does not hide his ambition.
“No one is going to stop me from dribbling, getting the ball up or shooting three-pointers,” said the former Boulogne-Billancourt Mets number one jersey.
Evolving in a very atypical extended register for a player of his height (2.24 m), Victor Wembanyama explained that he often had to fight “battle” to be able to play his game and “stay faithful to (himself). It’s something I will never lose. »