Victor Wembanyama Reveals Inspiration From Kobe Bryant

Victor Wembanyama, Spurs, NBA
Mar 3, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) dribbles the ball in the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Frost Bank Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama is evidence that the NBA is reaching people globally. The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is just the latest international player to take the league by storm and he certainly won’t be the last.

For the game of basketball to reach some of these countries, there has to be something drawing people in. A lot of fans overseas have been drawn in by the Los Angeles Lakers and the several stars who have donned their jersey. One of those stars is Kobe Bryant.

There are a lot of players in the NBA today who looked up to Bryant on the court. They try and emulate his style of play, taking some of his moves and putting their own spins on them, using them in the game today.

For the most part, those players are on the perimeter, guards or forwards looking to make their impact on the game. But, Bryant’s lasting impact went beyond players who play his position. Evidently, he also had an impact on big men.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Victor Wembanyama, Kobe Bryant, San Antonio Spurs Updates

Last week, following a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Wembanyama revealed that some of his inspiration came from Bryant. While the two have very different skill sets, the thing Wembanyama took away from studying Bryant was the mental aspect of things. 

In Wembanyama’s opinion, the mental aspect of the game is just as important as the physical. He needed that going up against his rival, Thunder big man Chet Holmgren.

“It’s a lot of mental,” Wembanyama said “You know Kobe (Bryant, the late Los Angeles Lakers star) said to win a game, it mostly takes shots, big shots, because they don’t call like any fouls. It’s not as much the physical battle. Even though in defense it’s 90 percent effort, but offensively it’s a lot of mental.”

While the Spurs haven’t found much success this season on the court, their outlook is extremely bright having someone such as Wembanyama as their centerpiece. Despite being in his rookie season in the NBA, he seems to understand what it will take to reach that next level as a student of the game.

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