Because of his status as probably the most hyped rookie since LeBron James, there was certainly a lot of hype surrounding Victor Wembanyama’s first official regular season game in the NBA. It was also fitting that his San Antonio Spurs took on their division rivals the Dallas Mavericks in his first game.
His height, skills, and shooting touch were something everyone was curious about and the Frenchman showed a little bit of everything in his debut.
He had a block in his first minute of NBA action and he showed his ability to score from everywhere around the court with his soft shooting stroke.
It’s clear that Wembanyama will need some time to develop and adjust to the NBA game, but he also did show some flashes of his potential – including a nice sequence late in the game that helped the Spurs get back in it.
He finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block while shooting 6 of 9 from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. It probably wasn’t the dominant display that many fans around the world had hoped for, but there was still enough to encourage Spurs fans.
It’s also fair to point out that he also made a lot of mistakes. He had five turnovers and five fouls, which greatly limited his playing time as he only saw 23 minutes of action.
Luka Doncic, who is someone familiar with the burden of expectations from being expected to carry a franchise from day one, had high praise for his young opponent.
It’s probably worth noting that Doncic also gave Wembanyama a bit of a “welcome to the NBA” moment as he hit a dagger three to seal the 126-119 victory for Dallas.
What’s clear from his debut, though, is that Wembanyama has the tools to become a good, perhaps great, NBA player. However, he is going to need to put in a lot of work to reach his potential. Fortunately for him, he’s got the greatest coach in NBA history in Greg Popovich to help guide him and the long-time Spurs boss knows a thing or two about winning with a generational big man.