Victor Wembanyama is the most hyped prospect to enter the league since Lebron James He was drafted first by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft.
The French phenomenon is expected to return to the Saint Anthony Spurs to prominence after the organization hasn’t finished above .500 four years in a row.
It’s a lot of pressure for a 19-year-old, but Wembanyama seems ready to accept the expectations.
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«To have a better record for my team than last year,» Wembanyama said on ESPN when asked what would constitute success in his rookie year.
«I’ve been digging all the data on the past No. 1 picks and the impact they’ve had. I’m trying to be better than all the guys before me.»
Wembanyama’s impact on the league was felt immediately last week when he made his Summer League debut against charlotte hornets.
A packed crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas came to see Wembanyama’s first game in a San Antonio uniform, and the first overall pick struggled.
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While Wembanyama showed glimpses of why he was drafted first overall, he struggled from the field, going 2-13 from the floor and just 1-6 from beyond the three-point line.
His disappointing performance sparked a debate on social media as to whether Wembanyama could live up to the hype.
Fortunately for Wembanyama, he recovered in his second game of the summer leaguescoring 27 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
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«I wish we would have won the game,» Wembanyama said. «I think I could have done more… I have to keep learning.»
San Antonio closed Wembanyama on Monday for the remainder of summer leaguesaying that they had seen all they needed to see of their first pick.
«I’ll sit down with Spurs to find out what the next few months will be like,» Wembanyama said on Sunday night after what became his summer finale. «When to go on vacation, when to exercise again, where am I going to practice, in San Antonio or somewhere else. I just know that I have two or three months, two or three great months, coming up, and they’re going to change my life.» .
Ryan Gaydos of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.