French phenom Victor Wembanyama is one of the most highly hyped prospects in recent memory, and he's widely expected to be the top overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James knows a thing or two about entering the NBA facing enormous expectations, as he was arguably the most hyped prospect of all time before he was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, and he recently shared some advice for Wembanyama.
"The most important thing [for him] is to stay true to the game," James said about Wembanyama, via ESPN. "And that's one thing for me. I always tell myself, 'I'm going to commit to the game. I'm going to train. I'm going to prepare myself physically, mentally, spiritually, to give to the game if you want to be great.'
"The second thing is don't forget to have fun because it becomes a business. It becomes a business right away. And he's going through it right now, and it's going to get even -- I don't want to say worse, but it gets even more demanding on you on the business side."
This is all sound advice from James, and given the sustained success he's been able to obtain both on and off the court, Wembanyama would be wise to soak it in.
In addition to sharing some words of wisdom, James has also been extremely complimentary of Wembanyama in the past, even using an extraterrestrial-level comparison to emphasize his uniqueness.
"Everybody's been a unicorn over the last few years, but [Wembanyama] is more like an alien,". "No one has ever seen anyone as tall as he is but as fluid and as graceful as he is out on the floor. At 7-4, 7-5, 7-3, whatever the case may be, his ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot stepback jumpers out of the post, stepback 3s, catch-and-shoot 3s, block shots, he's for sure a generational talent."
Since Wembanyama is probably the most hyped draft prospect since James himself, it's fitting that he will likely be the top pick in the draft exactly 20 years after James was. The fact that James will likely be around to face off against Wembanyama at least once or twice is a testament to James' longevity -- a feat that becomes even more impressive if you consider that Wembanyama was born the year after James was drafted.
Wembanyama has to hope he can come anywhere close to the success James, who recently became the NBA's all-time leading scorer, has enjoyed throughout his career. Adhering to James' advice would be a solid start.