Victor Wembanyama: A Rising Star on the NBA Horizon

ANALYSE – Author of a promising first part of the season, the French prodigy will participate in two events during the All Star weekend in Indianapolis.

Victor Wembanyama with his head in the stars. Small stars, but still. Not selected for the All Star Game, nor Rudy Gobert in fact, the French giant (2.24 m) from San Antonio is indeed present in Indianapolis, where he is rolls on All Star Weekend. And rather twice than once. Wemby will indeed participate in the Rising Stars Challenge next night (3 a.m.), alongside his former friend from Boulogne-Levallois Bilal Coulibaly (Washington), within Team Pau Gasol. On Saturday, he will be on the track again, this time for the Skills challenge (from 2 a.m.).

As for the All Star Game, he will have to wait a little longer. A priori, not very long at the rate the 20-year-old from Ile-de-France is going… Probably from next year in fact. “I don’t skip steps, that’s what I’ve always been told. But that sometimes didn’t stop me from running over them (smile).”he laughs, he who still sees himself as “A student of the NBA, even if I know more or less how everything works”. And to add, on what the 12-year-old Victor would say about his presence at the All Star weekend: “If you had asked me the question when I was 12, I would probably have answered ‘why not earlier, why not the year before?’ (smile). When I was little, one of my goals was to participate in the 2016 Olympics. I’m a little late for that (smile). I already had high expectations at that point.”

Holmgren distancé

Ambition has in fact never lacked «Wemby», who won the French championship last season before arriving like a hurricane in the NBA. Number 1 in the Draft, like his jersey number. Mixed start in his standards, notably with questionable statistics in terms of percentages and turnovers. It has since been resolved. Clean game. He recorded 24 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in January, with 50.6% shooting, including 32.4 from distance! Too late to really claim a place in Sunday’s all-star game, but enough to take the lead in the race for the title of Rookie of the Year ahead of Chet Holmgren, American center of Oklahoma City, second in the West.

The machine is working. Nothing seems to be able to stop him anymore. And this is just the beginning… “I wish I was like Wilt Chamberlain at times, he was so specialhe said, in response to a question about the one nicknamed the wader. He’s a mutant, he was ahead of his time, who changed the game so much…” A bit like Frenchy?

Above all, the Spurs are starting to look like something on a collective level. “Expectations? If we talk about my coaches and my teammates, they have only increased throughout the season. I hope it continues like this in the years to come because we aim to be in the play-offs quickly and win., he slips. This will obviously not happen right away. San Antonio remains last in the West (11 wins, 44 losses) and has only won one of its last nine matches before the cut linked to the All Star Game. Still, things are getting better since the terrible series of 18 defeats at the end of the year. Series ended against the LA Lakers (129-115) in mid-December.

The talent level is so incredible…

Let us remember that Wembanyama, as talented as he is, is only 20 years old and that he is still in the learning phase, he whose playing time has been limited for several weeks, in beginning of the year, after a sprained ankle. Since then, there has notably been this first triple-double with 10 blocks – he had already made one with 10 assists – and his passing the milestone of 1000 career points as highlights. The main changes between the NBA and Europe? “The talent level is so incredible… It’s hard to defend. The choices to make are different on the offensive level, the positions… It’s very different.he breathes, explaining that “Each new validated step is a small birth certificate. There have been several since the start of the season.”. We think in particular of his 38-point card against Phoenix at the start of the season, against Kevin Durant, who “is pretty hard to defend, even if you feel like you did your best, he scoresâ€. This is somewhat the case for Wembanyama, the best blocker in the NBA.

A significant impact on the floor but also off it, the NBA and the Spurs relying heavily on the French international (4 selections) in terms of marketing. His jerseys sell like hotcakes. The person concerned is not fooled. Asked about his popularity in the United States, he answered this: “How do I explain it? Well, I’m a nice guy, right (laughs)? Honestly, there has been a certain emphasis on the media and the NBA, which can be explained by my desire to do things well and the fact that I know how to express myself politely, to speak well and that I I tried, on several occasions, to get closer to the American public, to speak English. And in France, there is the fact that I am attached to the country.” All good, on and off the floor.

Not here to joke

While waiting for the rest of the NBA season, with the Olympics in sight, it’s time to celebrate for Victor Wembanyama and company in Indiana. Although, this pathological competitor is not here to joke. “Any advice to my teammates at Rising Stars to help me in the best conditions? I’m going to keep my secrets, I want to beat these guys during the season.”he slips, he who has not had time to be bored since his arrival in Indianapolis. “It’s been a busy schedule so far, but that’s why I’m here, lots of cool experiences. I can’t wait to play this match, two I hope (to go to the final). And for next year, I hope to be at the big game.” It’s not the riskiest bet… This time, the big match, 73rd of the name, will be without him. Kick-off at 2 a.m., during the night from Sunday to Monday.

2024-02-16 20:50:27
#Wembanyama #taste #joining #stars


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