Tracy McGrady thinks Victor Wembanyama hype is too much: ‘I’ve seen this before’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

NBA legend Tracy McGrady revealed that he thinks the Victor Wembanyama hype is too much in an interview with GQ’s Howard Beck.

McGrady compared the 2023 NBA Draft’s No. 1 overall pick to the likes of Bol Bol and Kristaps Porzingis, saying that he’s seen players like Wembanyama before.

“No, I’m just saying the hype is crazy to me,” McGrady said. “It’s too much, bro. I’ve seen this before. Y’all act like you haven’t seen it. That shit that Bol Bol can do? He’s just not given the real opportunity, like I think he should. That kid is skilled. [Kristaps] Porzingis was highly skilled when he first came out, just like that. And hell, he’s 7-3, too. So I’ve seen it. The hype is just crazy. But I get it. It’s the media, they’re looking for a face for the NBA, and you got to have a new star that you got to build around. Bron (LeBron James) is about to be on his way out, Steph (Stephen Curry) and those guys, I get it.”

It’s hard to place any judgement on Wembanyama until he plays in a real NBA game, but the hype around the No. 1 overall pick is insane. He is considered to be one of the best prospects since James broke into the league in the 2003 NBA Draft.

This summer, Wembanyama appeared in two games for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

The French phenom struggled in his debut for the Spurs, shooting just 2-for-13 from the field against the Charlotte Hornets. While it was an unceremonious debut, he quickly showed everyone why he’s been so hyped in his second game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In that matchup, the French phenom scored a team-high 27 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field. He also added 12 rebounds, one steal and three blocks in the game.

Wembanyama’s size and skill are hard to find – even in today’s NBA. He handles the ball like a guard and can shoot the ball from beyond the arc. He’s a force on the interior with his shot-blocking ability, making him a solid two-way player.

During the 2022-23 season, Wembanyama played for Boulogne-Levallois Metropolitans 92. He appeared in 34 games, averaging 21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 3.0 blocks per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field.

McGrady isn’t wrong to say that there are players that are like the Spurs young star, but Wembanyama could be the best version of the Bol or Porzingis-like players in the league.

Only time will tell, but Wembanyama certainly should be motivated to prove all of his doubters wrong when his rookie season begins this fall.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.