Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has gone against San Antonio Spurs big man Victor Wembanyama a few times now. Irving has come away impressed with the Spurs rookie.

"You got to be aware of him late challenging, and he has the timing of a guard. I don’t know if it’s just he’s played against guards, but I’m just saying, I think he’s got a lot of reps of playing against good guards and guarding them one-on-one. Today, I thought I had a reverse layup and he ended up blocking it on the left side, because I thought he was going to be on the right side. But he has this long wingspan, so he covers up a lot of space. Me as a competitor and challenger, I like going in there and challenging him, because if you can finish on [Victor Wembanyama], I feel like you can finish on anybody in the world. He’s going to block some and he’s going to make you change it, but it’s only going to make you better as a basketball player, and that’s what I want, and I think everybody should relish in that. But also be smart in challenging him, because he does bate you a lot," Irving said. "He does do things like a Defensive Player of the Year would. He’s showing signs that’s he’s exceeded all the Defensive Player of the Year stats of the previous guys that have won it. You guys see it. I don’t know. who they’re going to pick, but I mean he has all the tools to be named Defensive Player of the Year. He’s for sure a candidate. I don’t know how he wouldn’t be, unless the games played and minutes. But every Defensive Player of the Year that’s won the past few years, he’s almost head and shoulder and we still have what 15 or some odd games left? I give him credit for being such a young player but learning on the fly and doing everything he can to get his team wins.”

Irving's Mavs won all three matchups he played in against the Spurs (and the one game between the two that Irving missed), but Wembanyama was impressive each game. The Dallas star is the latest in a long line to hype up the San Antonio rookie big man.