The day is finally here! We’ve been hearing about Victor Wembanyama for quite some time now, and this Wednesday he’s finally going to suit up to play his first-ever NBA match for San Antonio. The seven-foot-four big man will be the center of attention across the league as he faces off against Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks.
The No.1 Draft pick, who is regarded as a once-in-a-generation athlete, admitted to feeling a bit anxious before the match as he’s expected to create the same amount of impact that LeBron James did when he started out in the NBA two decades ago.
“Some butterflies in my stomach, like I have before every match, depending on what’s at stake,” the 19-year-old shared. “But it’s not like I’m shaking either — just a little stomach ache.”
French teenager Victor Wembanyama admitted to having “butterflies” as the NBA’s number one draft pick prepared to make his regular season debut for the San Antonio Spurs.https://t.co/E1Txm3NFKf #AFPSports pic.twitter.com/PPipUPOm0Y
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) October 24, 2023
He also revealed that his debut is the realization of a lifelong dream, as the French sensation has been obsessing about playing in the NBA for “as long as I have memories.”
“It’s one of my biggest goals in life so I know I’m gonna reach this, one day or the other,” he recalled. “I’m dedicating the next I don’t know how many years of my life to reach this. I’m ready to sacrifice anything.”
Even though he already performed in both the Summer League and preseason matches, he still feels like making his official debut is “unreal”. “I thought a month ago that some pre-season games would prepare me for this moment, but it’s totally different,” Wembanyama said.
The teenager has set himself a goal of winning “as many titles as I can” with San Antonio. “I know it’s something you don’t easily do, most players have a career and never make it to the finals, or win championships,” shared the center, who averaged just over 19 points a game in four pre-season appearances.
Even though he still feels he’s on a steep learning curve ever since he started training under Gregg Popovich, he believes that everyone is yet to see his full potential.
“I know nobody has seen my best so far,” he said. “In defense I’ve been in a role that I never had before. I love learning,” he said. “I’m really excited, it’s promising. We’ve learned quicker than I expected. Possibilities in defense are endless with this team.”
Wembanyama hopes to stay healthy throughout regular season to be able to play in all 82 matches for the Spurs
The Spurs just came out of their worst season in almost 25 years after reaching a 22-60 mark. Ever since Wembanyama landed, most of our recommended sport betting sites now consider San Antonio (+20000) to have the 22nd best odds to conquer the league this campaign.
The teenager, who is widely expected to win Rookie of the Year, says that his goal is to remain healthy throughout the season to play all 82 matches of the year ahead.
“Every game. If there’s no excessive risk for my health — of course I can’t predict the future — but I want to play every single game,” said the seven-foot-four athlete.
He then explained why he isn’t afraid of the competition that lies ahead. “Everyone has their strength, and being physical [with me] is something I’ve seen my whole life, basically every time I stepped on a court for the last few years,” Wembanyama stated. “It’s not something I’m afraid of.”