‘Monster rookie’ Victor Wembanyama, 19, of the San Antonio Spurs, was turned down for a handshake.
Wembanyama played against the Portland Trailblazers in the NBA 2023 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, United States, on Tuesday (July 10). Before the game started, he shook hands with the referees to prepare himself. After shaking hands with the first referee, he turned to the other and extended his hand. However, the referee didn’t move at all and turned his hand away.
Wembanyama, who played in the French Ligue 1 until last season, had a “routine” of shaking hands with the referees before each game. However, he was left “empty-handed” by a referee who was preoccupied with his job. Unlike in the United States, many players in Europe are known to shake hands with referees before games.
The pregame scare didn’t deter him. On the day, he was on fire, scoring 27 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and three blocks. He shot 64.3% from the field, hitting nine of 13 shots. He also knocked down four 3-pointers, hitting two at the rim. San Antonio lost 80-85, but Wembanyama shined.
His debut on Aug. 8 was very poor. He scored just nine points against the Charlotte Hornets. He made only two of his 13 shots and shot just 15% from the field. His movement and shooting weren’t quite on point, as if he wasn’t acclimatized yet, but he came out firing in Game 2 and showed off his “super rookie” side.
Wembanyama was suspended from the Summer League after two games. ESPN and other local media outlets reported that Wembanyama will no longer play in Summer League and will focus on preparing for next season. It seems that the San Antonio organization decided that Wembanyama would be better off preparing for the season rather than playing in Summer League, as he had a less-than-stellar debut, but bounced back in his second game.
Wembanyama, who stands at 6-foot-9 with a 244-inch wingspan, is considered a “do-it-all” player. He plays power forward as his primary position, but he can also dribble, assist, and shoot from the perimeter. Last year, he played 34 games for Metropolitans 92 in the French League. He averaged 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 3 blocks per game and was named the regular season Most Valuable Player (MVP). 토토사이트추천
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft is expected to be the “eye of the storm” in a San Antonio uniform next season. San Antonio has embraced Wembanyama and is looking to return to the top after winning the 2014 NBA Finals.