Victor Wembanyama talks skills to improve, thoughts about Popovich

San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama talked about his desire to improve his skill set and his views of Gregg Popovich.

Victor Wembanyama has certainly been having a season to remember with the San Antonio Spurs.

While just a rookie, he is not only considered as such and has shown maturity for his age and experience. Playing for the Spurs, which prioritizes the development of young prospects under the tutelage of Gregg Popovich, has certainly helped his development.

In an interview with The Ringer, the French youngster talked about what he is looking to develop in his game and his relationship with Popovich.

“I feel way more comfortable when I have some momentum. Sometimes when I just catch and shoot with no dribble, I just feel like my arms are so low. My hands are so big, I feel like I’m stuck in a box,” he reflected.

“You know how Wilt Chamberlain was very bad at free throws? He was so good at hook shots and running finger rolls because he had momentum. …” Wembanyama recalled the NBA legend. “I feel kind of the same because there’s so much going on with such a small basketball, and so I feel way more comfortable when I can flow into my shot by being in movement already.”

Despite an impressive season, Wembanyama still expresses dissatisfaction with his offensive skill set.

“Often, when I get the advantage on my defender after a fake or a jab step or whatever, I go to the basket. But when the defender comes back, he can knock me off a little bit, my balance,” he noted. “Being a little bit lower on my legs to bump into the defender or resist, if I work on that, my finishing is going to get much, much better,” Wembanyama predicted.

Of course, it would not be easy to discount the effect of Gregg Popovich, one of the best NBA coaches in history, on Wembanyama.

“‘This is what you were doing day one,'” Wembanyama reminisced about Popovich’s remarks on his insistence on midrange or fadeaway jumpers. “Like, I learned that six months ago. I need to stop, you know?” he said.

“I mean, before meeting him, I would’ve thought he was more of an asshole,” the French big man laughed. “But he’s actually very fair.”

In his first year in the NBA, Wembanyama averaged a strong double-double of 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.

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