History will remember – and many predict it unique and glorious – that Victor Wembanyama suffered in his first game for the San Antonio Spurs. The French basketball prodigy provided a contrasting performance, Friday July 7, for his first with the Texas team, however winner of the Charlotte Hornets (76-68) in the Summer League in Las Vegas, where the spectators had no eyes only for him.
The 19-year-old Frenchman, drafted number one by San Antonio on June 22, scored 9 points and collected 8 rebounds in 27 minutes for his first game with the Texas franchise. The former Boulogne-Levallois Mets player was struggling on shots, posting a 2 out of 13 success (including 1 out of 6 from three points), but he was more to his advantage in defense, inflicting five blocks, well helped by its immense size (2.24 meters).
“It was a special moment to wear this shirt for the first time. I dreamed of a victory and I had it”savored Victor Wembanyama at a press conference.
put the price
A real “Wembamania” has accompanied him since his arrival in the United States: posters, flocked jerseys of his number 1, interviews… “Wemby” is the main attraction of the Summer League and is considered the greatest hope since a certain LeBron James, who readily describes him as” extraterrestrial “.
Nearly 18,000 spectators flocked to his first steps in this summer tournament, which NBA teams take advantage of to launch their recruits, line up young players in the making or veterans looking for a contract.
To get a ticket and have the privilege of attending the event on Friday, you had to go through resale, provided you pay the price. According to a spokesperson for Gametime, a company specializing in resale, quoted by the American media TMZ Sports, the prices ” go up to 617 dollars per seat [environ 560 euros] » to see French, for a fee “around $40 [un peu plus de 36 euros] » for most other matches.
When entering the room to warm up, the interior received a standing ovation from the public, phones out. On the floor, with each ball taken, he captivated the audience. But it exploded, despite himself, when the opposing pivot Kai Jones (7 points) flew above him to dunk above his head.
“Unfortunately, I was sometimes a little off the game plan, I had trouble reacting to the initiatives of my teammates. I didn’t really have time to adapt.”analyzed the Frenchman, lucid about his performance.
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The interior missed its first three attempts before making its first basket after a few minutes, causing the room to roar.
The Britney Spears Affair
A little over three months from his official debut in the regular season, Victor Wembanyama has yet to show the extent of his talent. But the weeks preceding this match could have been stressful for the Yvelines giant: from praise from superstars to his selection by Spurs, to dinners with San Antonio legends – Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Manu Ginobili or his compatriot Tony Parker, who made the glory of the Texas franchise −, until the recent Britney Spears affair. The American singer says she received a slap from a player’s bodyguard when she told him “tapped on the shoulder” for the “congratulations on his success”at the entrance to a hotel restaurant.
This first meeting of the Summer League was also an opportunity to see the numbers 1 and 2 of the last draft compete, since the strong winger Brandon Miller experienced his first with the Hornets, experiencing the same shooting difficulties as his opponent (5 out of 15) despite 16 points.
This fervor and this pressure, Wembanyama will be able to taste it again on Sunday, with a second friendly match against Portland. And, after this mixed introduction, his gestures will be scrutinized, his statistics dissected, his attitude analyzed. The great NBA circus has only just begun for the Frenchman.