Rudy Gobert talks Victor Wembanyama, poses for viral photo

For a number of different reasons, one of the NBA’s presumptive No. 1 picks in next year’s draft, Victor Wembanyama, has been compared to former Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

On Thursday afternoon, the stars aligned for Gobert to watch fellow Frenchman Wembanyama in action against presumed No. 2 pick Scoot Henderson in the second game of their much-hyped exhibition series this week near Las Vegas.

As it happened, Gobert and his new team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, had their own exhibition game Thursday night in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Lakers, so he and a few of his teammates sat by the court to see Wembanyama and Henderson.

During the third quarter of the game, Gobert was interviewed on the ESPN broadcast, and naturally, much of the discussion was about the 18-year-old Wembanyama, whom Gobert knows well and shares an agent with (Bouna Ndiaye).

Speaking of basketball talent in France, Gobert said: “Obviously we’ve never seen anything like Victor.”

Gobert said he has known the 7-foot-3 Wembanyama since the phenom was 13 years old.

“Obviously we knew he was going to be very, very tall, but I think what I really love about this kid is that he loves the game and he’s very mature,” Gobert said.

“He is very mature. He knows where he wants to go and he’s very confident, but at the same time he’s very humble, and I think that’s really what separates him (potentially) from being a really good player from being one of the best of all time.”

Gobert said he advised Wembanyama to just enjoy the process as he prepares to move to the NBA next summer (while saying that, Wembanyama inadvertently kicked the ball in Gobert’s direction).

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“He’s a student of the game,” Gobert said. “He wants to learn. He wants to learn about…every little thing, about defense, about little details about detection. He knew from the beginning that he was going to be something special.”

Gobert said he doesn’t think there are “comparisons” with Wembanyama and any player who has ever played in the NBA.

“I think he wants to be unique,” Gobert said. “He knows he can be in his own league and he’s learning.”

Gobert said there is a “high probability” that he and Wembanyama will team up on the front court of France at the 2024 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Paris.

“Just a great kid, man,” Gobert said of Wembanyama. “It is a pleasure for me to see that the world discovers him because he is working very hard and he is a great person.”

After the Wembanyama game, he and Gobert posed for a photo, and it went viral on Twitter due to Wembanyama being taller than his eldest statesman, even though Gobert is known to be a giant.

“I feel good. I feel small,” Gobert could be heard saying.

Here are some of the reactions to the photo.

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