Victor Wembanyama, the NBA’s first draft pick, candidly admitted, “I genuinely didn’t know what I was doing,” during his eagerly anticipated debut for the San Antonio Spurs.
The towering 7ft 5in French wonderkid, aged 19, is the most buzzed-about draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003.
Despite Wembanyama only sinking two of his 13 shots, the Spurs still triumphed over the Charlotte Hornets 76-68 in their initial NBA Summer League match in Las Vegas.
“I’ll perform better next time,” he promised. “My goal is to continually improve.”
Wembanyama was thrilled to don the San Antonio jersey for the first time, playing in front of a capacity crowd of 17,500 at the Thomas & Mack Center. It was an honor, he said.
With just over 27 minutes on the court, he ended up with nine points and three assists. Despite this, he still secured eight rebounds and blocked five shots – the highest number by a Spurs player in a Summer League match since 2018.
Wembanyama reflected on his performance: “The greatest challenge was understanding the game. Occasionally, I struggled with interpreting the plays and the calls. The most crucial area for me to improve is my readiness to respond to the plays called by the point guard, to stay engaged. To be honest, I was pretty lost on the court tonight. But I’m trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can, as swiftly as possible, to be prepared for the season’s commencement.”
His debut was not without controversy, as it happened just hours after Las Vegas police announced they wouldn’t be pressing charges regarding an incident between his security guards and Britney Spears.
Instead of representing France in this summer’s World Cup, which runs from 25 August to 10 September, Wembanyama chose to be in Vegas to focus on preparing for his inaugural NBA season, beginning in October.
Wembanyama is slated to play again on Sunday against Portland, followed by a pre-season training camp with the Spurs.
“We need to be patient with him,” Spurs general manager Brian Wright told ESPN. “He’s smart but also incredibly inquisitive. It’s a rare combination in such a highly esteemed player. It’s part of what sets him apart.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Victor Wembanyama NBA Debut
Who is Victor Wembanyama?
Victor Wembanyama is a 19-year-old French basketball player who was the number one pick in the NBA draft. Standing at 7ft 5in, he is the most buzzed-about draft prospect since LeBron James in 2003.
How did Victor Wembanyama perform in his NBA debut?
During his debut for the San Antonio Spurs, Wembanyama made only two of 13 shots. However, he contributed with nine points, three assists, eight rebounds, and five blocked shots in just over 27 minutes of action.
What was the result of the San Antonio Spurs’ opening NBA Summer League game?
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Charlotte Hornets 76-68 in their opening NBA Summer League game.
What did Wembanyama say about his performance in his debut?
Wembanyama admitted to having difficulties in understanding the game and interpreting the plays and calls. He confessed that he wasn’t sure what he was doing but is trying to learn as much as he can as quickly as possible.
What did the Spurs general manager say about Wembanyama?
Spurs general manager Brian Wright noted the need for a patient approach with Wembanyama. He described Wembanyama as intelligent and incredibly inquisitive, traits that make him unique.