Scoot Henderson on Victor Wembanyama matchup: ‘It was definitely a duel’

The G League Ignite guard sat down one-on-one with Yahoo Sports NBA writer Krysten Peek to discuss his first showdown with the French big man and Thursday’s upcoming rematch.

Video Transcript

KRYSTEN PEEK: I'm Krysten Peek here with G League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson. We're in Las Vegas kicking off the season. It was the Victor Wembanyama versus Scoot Henderson show last night. Scoot, you finished with 28 points, nine assists. How good did it feel to have that type of performance on that stage, in front of hundreds of NBA scouts and basically the entire basketball world?

SCOOT HENDERSON: Honestly, it just felt good to be back out there again, and to most importantly, get the win.


SCOOT HENDERSON: And we're going to run it back tomorrow, so--

KRYSTEN PEEK: I mean, that game exceeded everybody's expectations, and then some. Could you feel that energy on the court? And was there a moment during the game or after the game where you knew that this game is one for the books?

SCOOT HENDERSON: No, definitely. Yeah, I could just tell it was definitely a duel. But I feel like both teams were playing.


SCOOT HENDERSON: Both teams are playing hard and good. And I feel like we executed down in the stretch. And that's why we finished with the win, honestly.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Was it your first time meeting Victor Wembanyama? It's your first time, obviously, playing against him. You had moments in the game where you were finding ways to scoop under him in the basket.

You would drive the lane, pull up, and then if he came off the help side block, you'd dump it for a pass. How much of that was studying him on film? And how much of that is just your natural feel for the game?

SCOOT HENDERSON: Most of it was natural feel, and just being unselfish, and just knowing that he's really tall, so he's not going to see me down there when I come across on the back side, things like that. But you know, it was a lot of film-watching the last few days, of just personnel, and you know, what he's used to doing on the defensive side of the ball, and how he can come here one time, and then still be on the other side. So it's just a lot of pace, I think, just to try to maneuver around him.

KRYSTEN PEEK: How good did that 3 feel when you drained it in the face-- in his face in the first quarter?

SCOOT HENDERSON: Yeah, it felt good, just to get the show started, so.

KRYSTEN PEEK: And then what is your first impression of him as a player, now having one game under your belt?

SCOOT HENDERSON: He's good. You know, I can't really take anything away from him. He's a good shooter. And he's very lanky, so--

KRYSTEN PEEK: Yeah. It wasn't the seven 3's that-- it wasn't the seven 3's that impressed you?

SCOOT HENDERSON: No, it was definitely-- he was draining them, for sure. Down in the stretch, he didn't fold. So you know-- but we got the win, still.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Hey, it's you and Victor Wembanyama, one and two at the top of the draft. If you were an NBA team, who are you taking?

SCOOT HENDERSON: Myself. I'm taking myself. Just my competitiveness, my dog in me-- very few come like me. And I feel like I'm one of none, honestly, so--

KRYSTEN PEEK: He's also one of none. I mean, he's been called a generational-type talent. What separates you from him other than just you play a different position than he does?

SCOOT HENDERSON: I feel like just the leadership, and just being a vocal point guard on and off the floor, just the will to win, honestly.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Yes, before the game, I asked you-- I said, what's your mentality going into the game? And you said, kill. That's it.

What does it take to get a mindset like that? Because not a lot of players have that. There's only a few players that play like that.

SCOOT HENDERSON: My favorite player is Kobe Bryant, so. And he's great. And that's what I want to be. I want to be great.

So in order to be great, you have to come into every game 115%, and with only one mindset, and that's to kill whoever the opponent team is, so.

KRYSTEN PEEK: And people, I think, forget that you're only 18 years old. And you're already, at this age, being compared to Derrick Rose, Ja Morant, Damian Lillard. What sort of pressure is that for you at such a young age, having those expectations of those great players, and you haven't even hit the NBA level yet?

SCOOT HENDERSON: I don't really feed into the expectations. I put the work in, so-- only success can come out of it as long as I keep putting the work in and stay humble. So I don't really try to feed into the comparisons. I try to be myself.

KRYSTEN PEEK: What similarities do you see between you and Ja's game?

SCOOT HENDERSON: Just the open floor, and the leadership, and being more vocal. I feel like that's where I still have space to grow, honestly. I have space to grow in every part of my game, in every aspect of the game. But I feel like being more vocal is definitely just going to-- I think that's what kind of [? compares ?] us, and you know, uplifting our teammates.


SCOOT HENDERSON: I see that a lot in Ja, so--

KRYSTEN PEEK: What can we expect for round two tomorrow?

SCOOT HENDERSON: A win. We're going try to-- we're going to win again.

KRYSTEN PEEK: Is there anything for you personally that you still want to show NBA scouts that you have left in your bag?

SCOOT HENDERSON: That I can lead the team to another win, and I can get stops on defense, down in the clutch. And you know, I'm-- I'm reliable to my coaches, and I'm coachable. And that's what I want to show everybody.