"He's reached enlightenment"- JJ Redick is stunned after hearing Victor Wembanyama talk about keeping his focus and motivation

Victor Wembanyama left JJ Redick stunned with his answer about drive and focus.
Victor Wembanyama left JJ Redick stunned with his answer about drive and focus.

Victor Wembanyama is on the cusp of being named the No. 1 pick of the 2023 NBA Draft. He is only 19 years old, but his impact is already projected by many to be the same as that of the greatest players in NBA history.

The French phenom was called an “alien” by no less than LeBron James due to his never-before-seen combination of size, skills and fluidity. Wembanyama’s mindset, however, may just be as overwhelming as his physical gifts.

In “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, JJ Redick had this to say when Wembanyama told him about the thing that drives him most:

(4:55 mark)

“F**k, man. He’s reached enlightenment.”
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Redick said it in jest, but one could easily see how impressed he was with the maturity and depth of the answer.

As young as he is, Victor Wembanyama seems like an old soul. The former NBA player mentioned the word “totem” based on Nolan Ryan’s movie Inception. Redick meant the word as an anchor or a star that guides the person to his destination or keeps him grounded.

Here’s what the future basketball star had to say about what his “totem” is:

(3:00 mark)

“I know what I want. I’m driven from the inside of my heart. Nothing can put me out of my path.
“My totem is something bigger than basketball. It’s just accomplishing yourself inside this universe. When I need motivation, when I need energy, when I’m tired and I need to fight on the court and it’s hard, I always remember, I’m free in the universe. I do what I can. I know what I wanna do and nothing’s gonna stop me from doing it.
“It doesn’t just stop in basketball, it’s about life.”

Victor Wembanyama wasn’t very sure JJ Redick and co-host Tom Alter completely understood him as he could say it better in French. Redick assured him that the meaning was clear although they were still reeling from it.

The host was so stunned that he couldn’t even start his follow-up question. He could only exclaim:

“F**k, man! I wish I was free in the universe.”

The San Antonio Spurs don’t need enlightenment to draft Victor Wembanyama

When the San Antonio Spurs won the 1997 NBA Draft lottery, they knew they had a generational star in Tim Duncan.

The Boston Celtics, who had the best odds (36%) of landing the No. 1 pick, fell to No. 3. Boston offered picks No. 3 and 6 for the right to draft Duncan, who ended up becoming arguably the greatest power forward in NBA history.

The Spurs refused. They knew what they had in their hands.

Heading into the 2023 NBA Draft, no one probably bothered to ask San Antonio’s front office if they are thinking of trading the No. 1 pick. Spurs owner Peter Holt nearly jumped out of his feet when the team won the lottery.

It doesn’t take any enlightenment for basketball fans to realize Victor Wembanyama will be the first name to be called on Thursday. He is all but guaranteed to be the next franchise player of the San Antonio Spurs.


Also read: "I don't feel any pressure"- Victor Wembanyama on being compared with LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant

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