It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Far-Fetched Friday: Victor Wembanyama Records Quadruple Double in Rookie Year
If you haven't seen Victor Wembanyama highlights yet, then you either live under a rock or are not on NBA Twitter. Such has been the rise of the French-18-year-old teenager, who many experts label the best prospect since LeBron James. Those viral highlights include Wembanyama using his 7'9" wingspan to devour shots out of thin air, galloping down the court on Giannis-esque fast breaks with his 7 foot 3 frame and ultra-long legs, and perhaps most surprisingly, knocking down deep three-pointers from Steph-Curry like range. Simply put, Wembanyama is the most unique prospect in NBA history, which is why I believe it will only take him his rookie year to accomplish one of the most unique statistical accomplishments in NBA history, the elusive quadruple-double.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at one of the most coveted prospects ever.
The quadruple double is just what it sounds like, recording double digits in four of the five major statistical categories (points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks) in one basketball game. There have only been four in NBA history, and the last time it happened was February 17, 1994 when David Robinson recorded 34 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, and 10 blocks.
The other games were:
Nate Thurmond in 1974, 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 blocks
Alvin Robertson in 1986, 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals
Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990, 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, 11 blocks
So, it goes without saying it is extremely difficult to accomplish a quadruple double, but when it does become possible is when you combine a center with extreme defensive skill with a high usage rate offensively. The kind of center like Wembanyama, who recorded 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 blocks in a FIBA U-19 Final against a Team USA led by the likes of Chet Holmgren and Jaden Ivey in July of last year.
Team USA ended up squeaking out a 2 point win, but that takes nothing away from what Wembanyama did in just 27 minutes of playing time. The highlights alone show the Alien-like potential Wembanyama presents and why many consider him the best prospect since LeBron James.
The last detail to note is what team will end up with the number one overall pick for next year's draft, with many claiming the San Antonio Spurs are in pole position. What started out as social media jokes linking Wembanyama to San Antonio because he played for ASVEL, a team owned by Spurs legend and French national Tony Parker, turned into reality when the franchise that already missed the playoffs last year traded away their 25 year-old star point guard in Dejounte Murray, signaling their intent to tank for the first overall pick.
And if the Spurs do end up with Wembanyama, it'll be a match made in heaven. Not just because of their impeccable history in player development and drafting another star international big man in Tim Duncan, but also because two of the four quadruple doubles ever recorded have been by a San Antonio Spur in Alvin Robertson and David Robinson. 27 of the 30 NBA franchises have never recorded a quadruple double, so for the Spurs to have two occasions in their history bodes well for my prediction if and when they get Wembanyama.
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