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    Last night, the NBA Draft sent ripples through the sporting world when the San Antonio Spurs snagged Victor Wembanyama. This French wunderkind, standing tall at 19 years old, is being hailed as the most incredible talent since LeBron James. Impressive, sure. But let’s pop that hype balloon and look at why this might turn out to be a big ol’ whiff.

    Thin As a Stick

    Imagine a sequoia tree, towering and majestic. Now imagine it with toothpick-like strength. That’s our guy Victor – an imposing 7’5″, but only weighing in at a meager 220 pounds. He’s spoken about the importance of solidifying his frame, but talk is cheap. He’s going to need to put on some sort of size to bang around down low with the likes of Giannis, Joel Embiid, and the rest of the great big men of the NBA.

    NBA players are beefier, brawnier, and bolt quicker than the chaps Wembanyama has been up against in the LNB Pro A league. Our boy Victor will find himself outmuscled in key positions, and let’s not even start on his potential fatigue levels. We’re looking at the tortoise versus the hare here, but without the happy ending.

    Zion 2.0?

    Remember the frenzy around Zion Williamson? How he was hailed as the next big thing coming out of Duke only to spend the majority of his time off-court, nursing injuries? That’s a very real concern for our friend Wembanyama.

    If we’re being brutally honest, the NBA can be a relentless meat grinder. The odds of Wembanyama escaping unscathed with his lean build are, well, thin. We might be looking at another shooting star that burns out before it really shines.

    He’s No LeBron James

    Comparing a young player to LeBron James, it’s like comparing your high school band to The Beatles. Yeah, they can play a few tunes, but can they rock a stadium? LeBron wasn’t just a player; he was a force of nature, a team maker, and a play-creator.

    Victor, on the other hand, though a prodigious talent, isn’t quite there yet. He has his stats, but does he have LeBron’s versatility? Can he match that high basketball IQ? Leadership skills? We’re not checking those boxes yet. The thing about ‘generational talents’ is that they’re truly that, generational. That term has been loosely thrown around over the past few years, but there can only be one per generation. Is Wembanyama ready to take that torch?

    The Spurs’ Gamble

    San Antonio Spurs’ choice of a number one pick is a gamble, and the stakes are high. With the legacy of five championships, the Spurs are a team with winning in their DNA. The pressure for Wembanyama to perform and prove his worth is enormous, and we’re not just talking about making nice moves on the court. We’re talking about carrying the weight of the team’s expectations and living up to the legacy of a team that has produced legends like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

    Setting Wembanyama up as the ‘next big thing’ may do more harm than good. The lad’s just 19. The mental and physical pressure could get to him before he even sets foot on the court. From being the star in France to being the rookie in the NBA – that’s a giant leap, and not everyone sticks the landing.

    Fans celebrate during the San Antonio Spurs’ NBA basketball draft watch party at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Thursday, June 22, 2023, as the Spurs selected Victor Wembanyama. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    A Tale of Two Leagues

    It’s worth remembering that dominating the French LNB Pro A league is one thing, but the NBA is an entirely different beast. The sheer athleticism, speed, and physicality of the NBA could prove overwhelming. Wembanyama is about to find himself facing off against seasoned veterans who have been playing in this arena for years. The competition is fierce, and there’s no guarantee his LNB success will translate to the NBA.

    Basketball is a high-impact, high-intensity sport. Over a season, the relentless schedule, the travel, and the physical toll of the games themselves can wear down even the most robust of players. With Wembanyama’s slender frame, there’s a real risk of injury, not just from contact with other players, but also from the sheer strain of playing at this level.

    At just 19 years old, Wembanyama lacks NBA experience, and that’s something you can’t teach. He’s going to be playing against guys who’ve been in the NBA for years. They know the tricks, they know the tactics, and they’ve got the mental toughness that only comes with experience. We’ve seen a few European stars break through and become NBA All-Stars, but what we don’t talk about is the laundry list of failures that have made their way back to Europe after failed stints in the NBA. The Association isn’t for everyone, and Wembanyama could very well make his way back to France if he fails.


    Yes, Wembanyama’s a stellar talent and his achievements in the LNB Pro A league are impressive. But the NBA is a whole new ball game, both literally and figuratively. The pace is faster, the players are stronger, and the pressure is far more intense. Despite all the hype, it’s entirely possible that Wembanyama will end up as another promising player who doesn’t quite make it. Only time will tell, of course, but right now, it seems prudent to temper those expectations. So, here’s to hoping he proves us wrong and becomes the star many believe he can be.

    NBA FAQs

    How do you win NBA pick'em pool?

    In order to win an NBA Pick'Em pool, players must have the most points at the end of the season. For each correct pick during the regular season, members will receive one point (customizable based on the pool commissioner). Some pools will choose picks based on the spread or straight up.

    What is NBA pick'em pool?

    In an NBA Pick'Em pool, players make weekly picks (either against the point spread or straight-up). The number of picks each week is customizable by the pool commissioner. Optional best-bet and confidence pick settings can be put into place as well. Commissioners can use a hosting site like RunYourPool to keep up with scoring and calculations.

    How to play an NBA basketball pool?

    The way one plays a basketball pool varies on the game type. For example, in Pick'em Pools, you simply pick every game each week.

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    In order to run a basketball pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

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    In NBA Survivor, the last player standing wins. The name of the game is to make it to the next week. A member will select one game from all the games in that given week. If members choose the correct winner, they move on to the next week. If they pick incorrectly, they are eliminated from the contest.

    What is NBA Surivor Pool?

    In an NBA Survivor pool, players choose one NBA team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. If their pick is correct, they survive until the next week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the pool for the remainder of the season.

    What is a basketball pool?

    "Basketball Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more basketball game. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system.

    How to make a basketball pool?

    A basketball pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use basketball pool hosting services like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

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    In NBA Playoff Bracket pools, the winning entry is the team with the most points at the end of Playoffs. Members try to pick the winner of each playoff series. For each series, they also pick how many games they think the series will go. Points are awarded for each winning pick, with bonus points for how close they come to the correct series length

    What is an NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

    In an NBA Playoff Bracket pool, players pick the winner of each NBA Playoff series. Commissioners can choose to have members receive bonus points for guessing the series length. Points increase as the tournament progresses (points per round are configurable by the commissioner). The winning entry is the player with the most points at the end of the playoffs.

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    Yes! RunYourPool offers plenty of contest types for various playoff events! March Madness squares and bracket pools aer very popular among basketball fanatics, while the Super Bowl Prop Pool is the most popular annual event game.

    How to set up a basketball pool?

    To set up a basketball pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.


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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.

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