The Knicks will play basketball tonight.
The Spurs, and more precisely this specimen we have come to know as Victor Wembanyama, will be inside Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Whether he will play basketball or an entirely different sport, we don’t know.
New York hosts the Mecca and the Mecca will grace Wemby for the first time as a professional basketball player exactly 39 years to the date Michael Jordan did the same.
MJ dropped a smooth 33 against the Knicks. He led the Bulls to a 121-106 win. He was unstoppable and had an otherworldly debut.
Otheroworldly is what the 19-year-old French phenom hailing from Le Chesnay is.
And your Knickerbockers are well aware of it.
Victor Wembanyama enters Wednesday’s matchup playing nearly 29 MPG while putting up 19.4 PPG (shooting 46% from the floor and 32% from beyond the arc), 8.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, and 2.6 BPG.
Here are some of the things the players and coach of the NYK have said about Victor Wembanaya ahead of tonight’s game against the Spurs at MSG.
(C) Mitchell Robinson on what he expects from Wembanyama
“I’m going to play [Wembanyama] just like he’s one of those Kristaps Porzingis-kind of (players). Who else play like that? Bol Bol? Just got a mix the two together. I kind of got a feel for how it should go.”
(C) Mitchell Robinson on how he plans to defend him
“[Wembanyama] is going to be on the perimeter a lot. I’ve just got to move my feet. Just gotta get ready for that.”
(C) Mitchell Robinson on his mindset entering a matchup against Wemby
“I’m not really worried about the tallness, bro. Just go out there and play hard.”
“I look forward to guarding anybody, that’s what this league is about. You’ve got guard. Good players, bad players, it is what it is.”
(SG) Donte DiVincenzo on his scouting of Victor Wembanyama
“Special talent. What is he? 7–5? 7–6? Something like that?”
(SG) Donte DiVincenzo on his expectations for the game against Wemby
“Just seeing what he’s doing is amazing for our league. It’s going to be a good challenge for us. Everybody will be locked in and ready to go, and it will be a fun game.”
(SF) RJ Barrett on his definition of Wembanyama
(SF) Josh Hart on his chances of successfully defending Wemby
“I’ll tell you what: It don’t matter what I do—He’s gonna shoot over me. It don’t matter.”
“I don’t know. I guess try to make it physical. We’ll see. We’ll see what the matchups are.”
(SF) Josh Hart on Wembanyama’s presence on the court
“[Wembanyama] is one of those guys where, it don’t matter if you’re there—You’re not there.”
(C) Isaiah Hartenstein on a player comparable to Wemby
“[Wembanyama is like Kevin Durant, but] he’s six inches taller. Wemby plays on the perimeter but KD was probably also more perimeter-dominant than [Wemby].”
(C) Isaiah Hartenstein on his approach to facing Wembanyama
“The length he has, the different things he can do on the court we haven’t seen in the NBA before... We’re excited.”
“It’s exciting. It’s a good challenge for us. Me and Mitch don’t back down to really anybody, so we’re both excited for that matchup.”
(HC) Tom Thibodeau on Wembanyama’s skill set and who he reminds him of
“You look at different aspects and say, ‘Oh, that reminds me of this guy a little bit, that guy a little bit.’ But he’s unique unto himself.”
“I think it’s the evolution of the big man, too. They’re like guards in terms of, he can handle the ball, he can shoot the ball. There’s not anything that he can’t do.”
“[Yao Ming] was very skilled and [had] great touch, but was not as athletic [as Wembanyama]. We were amazed at the things he did.”
(HC) Tom Thibodeau on Wemby’s career expectations
“[Wembanyama] has been very impressive. Obviously, he was highly touted coming in, and he’s certainly lived up to the billing”
“So unique. Obviously the size, but every aspect—his demeanor, the skill set, how he interacts with his teammates, makes other people better—and then that size, it’s a lot.”
Cancel appointments. Get ready. This is history in the making.