For his first game in the NBA, Victor Wembanyama at the beginning of a great adventure

For his first game in the NBA, Victor Wembanyama at the beginning of a great adventure

The huge and talented Victor Wembanyama will play his first NBA game with the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The 19-year-old Frenchman can dream of an exceptional destiny in the most prestigious basketball championship.

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Exaggerated expectations of the height of the character (2.24 meters). French basketball player Victor Wembanyama will play his first NBA game against Dallas on Wednesday, October 25 with the San Antonio Spurs.

What is going on up there, in the mind of this young basketball player who is sure of his path, faced with the sports and media whirlwind that precedes him a few hours, finally, from his first game in the most prestigious basketball championship? world?

“The main character of [sa] own history” in his words, the child from Chesnay-Rocquencourt (Yvelines), first tricolor selected No. 1 in the draft in June, made a remarkable entrance into the big world of the orange ball. He will meet athletes there. almost as big as him, some as skilled as him, but none with this unique combination that makes this “rookie” the most anticipated debutant since LeBron James 20 years ago.

“How can we protect him?” asked his famous coach Gregg Popovich, former mentor at Texas of the best French basketball player in history at the moment, Tony Parker. “But I quickly understood, as I was talking to him, that he had understood everything. He looked at me with this look: ‘But why is this guy talking to me about this?’ He has a strong personality, a sense of humor, he’s intelligent, he knows how to deal with all this attention. So it doesn’t worry me anymore.”

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“In the top 5 most agile players in the league”

With a lot of dunks, blocks at unimaginable heights, dribbles, unique feints for his size and shots, in all positions, the phenomenon’s four preparatory games in October only reinforced the “wembamania” flooding social networks.

“Today, for me, he’s in the top 5 of the most agile players in the league. I’ve never seen anything like it,” exclaims former winger Paul Pierce, NBA champion and MVP in the 2008 finals with Boston, to the Showtime media.

What can we expect from young Wembanyama in the NBA, where the key word is often “patience”? Legends like Michael Jordan or LeBron James waited six and eight years for their first title.

As a nekketsu manga hero, a genre derived from the initial journey he loves, the Frenchman will have to assert himself by going through trials and facing increasingly stronger opponents.

His traveling companions, young players with great potential, will grow with him, having finished last (out of 15) in the Western Conference this spring (22 wins in 82 games) – a far cry from the Spurs, who won five. titles between 1999 and 2014.

also readFrom Tony Parker to Victor Wembanyama: the beautiful story of the Blues in the NBA

“Give it time to mature”

“Victor is the future best player in the world, but in France we think too much that he already is,” ex-coach and international player Jacques Monclar, a consultant for French broadcaster beIN Sports, told AFP. “In France, everything is seen through the prism of Tony Parker, who performed very young. That is a problem. Parker arrived in a team that won games, which will not be the case for Wembanyama. We have to “he develops, he gets used to contact, rhythm. He has such incredible potential in his hands that we have to give him time to mature.”

“The important thing is not necessarily the statistics, but that he is able to win close games for his team,” adds Jacques Monclar.

Victor Wembanyama is already dreaming of qualifying for the playoffs in April, which would be San Antonio’s first since 2019.

“I’m sure we can be competitive from the start of the season with this team. In preparation, we’ve seen real collective performances,” the Frenchman praised after pre-season. “My first impression of the game here is very positive. I felt very good in this environment, the way everything moves, the spaces. I’m made for this.”

Without having played a single minute in the NBA yet, “Wemby” has already been adopted by San Antonio, where his portrait blooms almost everywhere on walls that had trembled with joy after his draft four months ago.

also readVictor Wembanyama, the French “alien” ready to conquer the basketball planet

Cowboy hat on head, Texan accent on mouth and microphone in hand. The phenomenon took a trip a few weeks ago to meet the citizens of the city, with blissful smiles and twisted necks at the surprise visit of their new idol. Cleverly, Victor Wembanyama tucked them into his large pockets. With their many fans across the ocean, they are ready to embark on a great adventure with him.

With AFP

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