Former NBA superstar settles the Chet versus Wembanyama rookie debate

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

Gilbert Arenas has snatched headlines with controversial basketball takes since he exited the NBA over a decade ago. Despite his divisive opinions, the former superstar recently chimed in on the Victor Wembanyama versus Chet Holmgren debate on his podcast, offering his thoughts on what sets them apart. According to Arenas, the main factor we must consider is their respective ages and the context of their situations.

Both players are frontrunners in the Rookie of the Year race. However, there have been some notable differences between what Chet and Wemby are up against. Chet is coming off a foot fracture that forced him to the sidelines last season. Though that was a challenging experience, he had the opportunity to adjust to the travel and lifestyle of the NBA. He also had a chance to build relationships with his teammates and coaching staff, helping them determine his role in their system.

It is no secret that Gregg Popovich is still figuring out how to best utilize Victor Wembanyama and maximize his unique skillset. There is a learning curve for everyone involved, but the potential advantages Wembanyama could bring to the Spurs are enormous. At only 19 years old, the French phenom is merely beginning to scratch the surface of his upside, and with the support of a strong coaching staff, he could become a dominant force.

Holmgren has been a complete menace on the court, with dominant shooting and impactful rim protection. No one can argue against his polish or numbers, but the context of him playing alongside multiple All-Star caliber players must factor into the discussion. Wembanyama is also two years younger than Chet, a significant difference. Imagine what he will look like in a few seasons as he gets more familiar with the Spurs system. Regardless of where you stand, the NBA is in good hands.