Ever since San Antonio won the Draft Lottery, fans from all over can’t wait to see the French sensation Victor Wembanyama land in the United States and start his fairy tale story in the NBA. It appears that if everything comes through as it is expected to, the rising star’s debut might come this July as the Spurs will appear in the NBA Summer League in Sacramento.
As the 19-year-old has been named the No. 1 pick for the upcoming NBA Draft this June 22, it is expected that he will be the Texan franchise’s pick. The team is among six others who will participate at the California Classic, which is one of the smaller summer competitions.
Even though Wembanyama sometimes wished he would stay and be tested a bit longer in Europe before crossing the Atlantic Ocean, he believes he’s made the right decision. “There was a little regret leaving the EuroLeague but in hindsight, there was no reason for that.
“As a competitor, I would have liked to taste a little more of European competition but I had to make a choice and I made the best choice,” he said.
Why are we so sure he will end up participating in the California Classic? The Charlotte Hornets, who hold the No. 2 draft pick, will also be appearing in that summer tournament, and will actually have their opening match against San Antonio.
“This event is the perfect kick-off to the NBA Summer League, giving fans the opportunity to watch the next generation of basketball talent and enjoy a world-class entertainment experience,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé declared.
The competition in Sacramento will begin on July 3, as Spurs and Hornets face off, while Miami will clash against the Lakers and Warriors will look for playoff revenge against the hosting Kings. As for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, it will start on July 7.
His current coach Vincent Collet dedicated a word of advice for his future trainer, most probably legend Gregg Popovich
The Metropolitans 92’s trainer, Vincent Collet, was one of the first to welcome the lottery results, as he always considered the Spurs franchise to be the best option.
“It was the choice I was hoping for. San Antonio is a franchise that has built its legend with foreign players. We saw that in France with the prism of Tony Parker but there was also Manu Ginobili and others. I think Gregg Popovich can be the best mentor for him,” the coach said.
Check out Wembanyama’s latest performance as he led his team to victory in Game 1 of the French Finals:
Collet, who also trains the French national team, went on to describe why it is important to give Wembanyama his freedom on court. “There are obvious things in his qualities like measurements, motor skills, etc. Then there is his project, his own will, his independency,” he said.
The versatile center, who can also play as a guard, hopes to anticipate the evolution of the modern sport, as he tries to mature his best assets and rejecting to limit his potential to a box.“Coaches always have this little pressure to win games even at younger ages and want to play it safe,” Wembanyama explained.
“So they would say ‘Victor don’t do that” and it’s mental, it’s unconscious. For me that would be the biggest mistake, to put myself in a box’.”
Source: Basketball Insider